July 23, 2014

G101: Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 4

Red Sox   - 300 010 000 - 4  9  1
Blue Jays - 300 002 10x - 6  8  1
Example
Clay Buchholz / R.A. Dickey
Victorino, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Nava, LF
Bogaerts, 3B
Drew, SS
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF

July 22, 2014

G100: Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 3

Red Sox   - 000 000 012 - 3 11  0
Blue Jays - 001 003 12x - 7 13  0
Although the Red Sox had squandered some scoring chances, leaving the bases loaded in the fourth and stranding two more in the fifth, they still trailed by only one run in the middle of the sixth. But then Peavy (6.1-8-5-3-7, 105) - and the game - fell apart.

Jose Reyes (3-for-5) lined Peavy's 2-2 pitch to right for a home run. Melky Cabrera (3-for-5) hit a ground-rule double to right and after Jose Bautista flied out, Dioner Navarro (2-for-4) homered to right-center. Toronto led 4-0; from there, both teams traded runs until the end.

Once again, the Red Sox did not score while Peavy was in the game. He began the night with the lowest run support among all American League pitchers (2.91).

David Ortiz homered to center in the eighth. And after Shane Victorino opened the ninth with a single, Stephen Drew donged to right. Down by four, Boston tried to fashion a rally. David Ross grounded a one-out single to center (Jackie Bradley pinch-ran) and Brock Holt walked. But Dustin Pedroia flied to right and Ortiz forced Bradley at third.

Both Ross and Victorino went 3-for-4. Ortiz homered and doubled.
Example
Jake Peavy / A.J. Happ
Holt, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Victorino, RF
Drew, SS
Bogaerts, 3B
Ross, C
The Continuing Legend of David Ortiz:
Sunday night: "I'm about to get hotter than Jamaica in the middle of August."

Monday: Slams 2 home runs, drives in four.

Monday night: "I'm on my way to Jamaica."
Jonny Gomes:
That's why they play one hundred and sixty-two. ... Not 16 games, not 40 - you go for six months and you go like this [a rollercoaster]. It takes 162 to figure this damn thing out.
Have the Red Sox finally figured this damn thing out? They have won eight of their last nine games, setting season-highs in runs (14) and hits (18) last night in Toronto. The pitching staff, which has been a strength all season, has allowed only five runs over the last six games. With 62 games left on the schedule, they are 7.5 games out of first place.

Optimism > Drudgery. It's time to get on the bus.

July 21, 2014

G99: Red Sox 14, Blue Jays 1

Red Sox   - 024 260 000 - 14 18  0
Blue Jays - 001 000 000 -  1  3  0
Seven Red Sox batters had at least two hits in a rout of the Blue Jays.

Xander Bogaerts, Mike Napoli, and Daniel Nava each had three hits. ... Stephen Drew and David Ortiz both had 4 RBI.

Ortiz cracked two home runs (both off lefty Brad Mills), and passed Carl Yastrzemski on MLB's all-time list. Flo, with 453 dongs, is 36th all-time.

John Lackey: 7-2-1-0-3, 76. And zero 3-ball counts. ... Opposing teams have scored only six runs off Red Sox pitching over the last five games.

Boston has won five in a row and eight of its last nine games. Baltimore won last night, so the Red Sox remain 7.5 GB.
Example
John Lackey / Drew Hutchinson
Holt, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Nava, LF
Drew, SS
Bogaerts, 3B
Bradley, CF
Vazquez, C
Boston - winners of seven of their last eight games - begins a seven-game road trip in Toronto. After four games with the Blue Jays, the Red Sox play three in Tampa Bay.

By sweeping the Royals, the Red Sox gained two games in the AL East. They are now 7.5 GB the Orioles.

July 20, 2014

G98: Red Sox 6, Royals 0

Royals  - 000 000 000 - 0  4  1
Red Sox - 102 300 00x - 6  9  0
Jon Lester: 8-4-0-2-8, 115. Last seven starts: 52.2 IP, 5 ER, 47 K, 0.85 ERA.

Daniel Nava: single, double, walk, 3 RBI.

Jackie Bradley: 2 singles, walk, 2 runs scored.

David Ross: 2-run home run, walk, 2 runs scored.

Shane Victorino: 2-for-4, 1 run scored. ... Brock Holt: 2-for-5, 1 run scored.

Boston has won four in a row (with the pitching staff allowing only five runs) and seven of its last eight games. (Go A's!)
Example
Yordano Ventura / Jon Lester
Holt, 3B
Nava, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Carp, 1B
Victorino, RF
Drew, SS
Ross, C
Bradley, CF

July 19, 2014

G97: Red Sox 2, Royals 1

Royals  - 001 000 000 - 1  5  1
Red Sox - 000 101 00x - 2  6  1
Mike Napoli's sixth-inning home run snapped a 1-1 tie. Rubby De La Rosa (7-5-1-4-2, 104), Andrew Miller (a perfect eighth), and Koji Uehara (a perfect ninth) held the Royals in check.

Boston has now won six of its last seven games. Also, each of the Red Sox's last eight victories at Fenway Park (since June 16) have been decided by one run: 1-0, 2-1, 2-1 (10), 3-2, 5-4, 4-3 (10), 5-4, and 2-1.

Napoli scored Boston's first run, singling and scoring on an infield error in the fourth inning.

Jackie Bradley started his sixth double play with a catch in the top of the first inning. At the start of today's action, no other outfielder had more than three DPs. It was Bradley's 11th assist of the season.
Example
Danny Duffy / Rubby De La Rosa
Holt SS
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Gomes, LF
Victorino, RF
Bogaerts, 3B
Bradley, CF
Vazquez, C
The Red Sox sent Mookie Betts to Pawtucket to make roster space for Shane Victorino.

July 18, 2014

G96: Red Sox 5, Royals 4

Royals  - 100 210 000 - 4 12  1
Red Sox - 010 004 00x - 5 10  2
Two-run homers from Xander Bogaerts and pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes in the sixth inning lifted the Red Sox to victory. The Red Sox gained a game in the standings: 8.5 GB.

Gomes has now hit six pinch-hit home runs during his two seasons with the Red Sox. Only Ted Williams (7) has hit more PH-HR in a Boston uniform.

Clay Buchholz (6-10-4-0-3, 104) became the first Red Sox starting pitcher to win consecutive team games since Don Schwall (July 9 and 13, 1961, also around the All-Star break).

(And while looking at the 1961 schedule, I see the Red Sox had walk-off wins in both ends of a June 18 doubleheader, 13-12 (8 runs in the bottom of the ninth!) and 6-5 in 13 innings. Must have been an extremely fun day at Fenway!)

Example
James Shields / Clay Buchholz
Holt, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Nava, LF
Bogaerts, 3B
Drew, SS
Ross, C
Bradley, CF
In the Red Sox's last game, Clay Buchholz had one of the finest outings of his eight-year career, tossing a three-hit complete game shutout, with a career-high 12 strikeouts. Buchholz gets the ball again in Friday's game against the Royals as Boston begins the season's "second half".

The Red Sox host the Royals for three games before going on the road to Toronto and Tampa Bay, before coming back to Fenway Park to play the Blue Jays and Yankees. Will the Red Sox have narrowed the gap in the AL East by the time the trade deadline passes and August begins? ... Boston has won four of its last five games, showing some offensive pop, though those victories came against the White Sox and Astros, two sub-.500 teams.
Orioles    52  42  ---
Blue Jays  49  47  4.0
Yankees    47  47  5.0
Red Sox    43  52  9.5
Rays       44  53  9.5
Jon Lester:
Our division is pretty open. ... You're talking about nine games, you're talking about a homestand where things can be very, very different if we get on a roll and we start playing better. I think you saw that the last five or six games from us. The offense has started swinging the bat a lot better lately. If we continue to keep our guys in games, we're going to win more games and hopefully those one-run games are going to change for us.
Koji Uehara:
I feel that the way we finished off the first half and how many games there are left in the season, I certainly think that we have a shot.
Ben Cherington:
We've put ourselves in this position, so the math is working against us a little bit. But stranger things have happened. We don't see why we can't win more games than most of the teams ahead of us.
Shane Victorino could rejoin the Red Sox for the KC series.