The Amazing Rich Hill

September 26, 2015 at 11:34am in Featured, Opinion, Red Sox, Top Story
Rich Hill (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)

Friday night’s 7-0 win over the Orioles featured a dominant performance from a Red Sox starting pitcher, the likes of which the team is unaccustomed to in 2015. Rich Hill was dealing at Fenway Park, tossing a two-hit shutout with a walk and ten strikeouts. Hill seemed nowhere near the Red Sox radar even a month ago, but has burst onto the scene in September with three dominant starts, providing the Red Sox with a short-term ace on the month. While that kind of production is unlikely to be sustained over the course of an entire season, Hill has shown a capability to be effective in the Major Leagues (again), and might be earning himself a chance to make the Red Sox in 2016.

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Pedro and the rest of Red Sox Nation celebrated David Ortiz's admission to the 500 HR club before Monday's game against Tampa Bay. (Boston Globe)

Unless you’re into breathlessly watching to see if the Boston Red Sox can avoid a third last place finish in four years, there isn’t much left worth tuning in for as the team plays out the string on this miserable 2015 season.

Thankfully, David Ortiz has yet again provided a reason to watch, even though it’s not for his late season and postseason heroics.

Big Papi’s pursuit of membership in the 500 home run club has been a welcome excuse to keep following the Red Sox this season, and last night’s celebration of his 500th home run was some quality television. Newly minted Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, and a brand new SUV on the field? Plus a montage of all 500 of Ortiz’s home runs? AND David Ortiz signature Bean boots (far better than the car, IMHO)? Sign me up.

In case you missed it, check out the video after the jump.

Continue reading Video: Red Sox Honor David Ortiz, Newest Member of the 500 HR Club »

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Joe Kelly (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

When the Red Sox decided to shut Joe Kelly down for the remainder of 2015, it ended a roller coaster year for the hard-throwing right-hander. This season has included a lot of failure, and a decent amount of success for Kelly, especially recently. Kelly’s past eight starts have been encouraging, and provide some hope for success going into 2016. Whether or not Kelly will still have a shot at a rotation spot is debatable, but there is success to build off of. The most important factor of Kelly’s recent stretch of success is consistency, which he has generally lacked for most of his Red Sox career. Since Kelly will not be taking the mound again in 2015, we can take a look at his season as a whole, and the results might be somewhat surprising. I like to hear bad news first so I’m going to start there.

The Bad

Basically the first four months of the 2015 season. Kelly’s first 17 starts left him with a 6.11 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, and .284 Average Against. It essentially seemed like every time Kelly pitched, he ended up with as many earned runs allowed as innings pitched, almost always leaving his team trailing. While Kelly maintained decent strikeout (7.54 K/9) and walk (3.36 BB/9) rates, his run prevention was awful at best. Part of that problem was a near-complete lack of command from Kelly. That issue does not really show up in the walk rate, but it was apparent in watching Kelly pitch; he would miss with the first few pitches to fall behind in the count, then leave a pitch over the middle of the plate to get crushed. This kind of performance leads to a high pitch count, exits in the early innings, and a huge burden on the bullpen to finish the game. Kelly would probably like to forget the first two-thirds of the season as much as the Red Sox as a whole.

Continue reading The Good, The Bad, The Joe Kelly »

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Jean Machi (Andy Marlin, USA Today Sports)

Believe it or not this is a serious question: why on the good, green Earth do the Red Sox continually put “Mean” Jean Machi into games in key situations? When Koji Uehara was lost for the season the team tried having Machi replace him in the closer role, which we can say was a resounding failure. Dare one say, it might have even brought back memories of Alfredo Aceves. But even after his demotion, Machi still seems to find himself on the mound in key situations, which might actually be worse for the team than having him start a clean inning in the ninth. It is clear that the Red Sox bullpen as a whole is an unreliable mess, but Machi is basically the figurehead of that inconsistency and should no longer be trusted to pitch any kind of meaningful innings in 2015.

Continue reading Why Do the Red Sox Still Trust Jean Machi? »

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SCOTT BREAKER/New York Daily News

After a warm Saturday at Fenway Park where Red Sox fans enjoyed a 6-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies and witnessed home run number 497 from David Ortiz, the Labor Day Weekend jubilance was quelled by violence. Around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, the time when most of the Fenway bar patrons funnel out onto Landsdowne Street, Yawkey Way, Brookline Ave, and others near by, gunshots were fired on Brookline Avenue. Two women in their 20’s were hit and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. It has been reported by local news stations that one women was shot in the leg and another was grazed on the side, nonetheless both where taking by Boston EMS to area hospitals and are expected to recover. Continue reading 2 Injured in Shooting Outside Fenway Park, No Suspects »

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Wade Miley (Bob DiChiara/USA Today Sports)

When the Red Sox acquired Wade Miley in the offseason, they did not expect him to carry the starting rotation. The team was looking for a pretty good/not great innings eater who could be counted on for a quality start virtually every time out. For much of 2015 Miley had underperformed those expectations. Miley has been much better in the second half, and has looked more like the mid-rotation horse the Red Sox were looking for.

It is hard to say what the main reasons were for Miley’s underwhelming first half in Boston. There certainly could have been an adjustment period for a new team, new catcher, and a new league that he had not really pitched to before. Whatever the cause, Miley’s first half line was entirely unimpressive: 6.48 K/9, 3.29 BB/9, .269 AVG against, 4.80 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 4.42 xFIP. The peripheral stats are mediocre, and the estimators suggest that Miley might not have been too awful, but the entire picture is still uninspiring. There is no stat in that line that brings value to the team, making Miley essentially replacement level.

Continue reading The Red Sox Can Now Count on Wade Miley »

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Don Orsillo (Gail Oskin/Getty Images)

Does anyone working at NESN have any idea what they are doing? Do the network’s decision makers put any thought into their actions, or do they just throw things against wall and hope they stick? We have reached the point where something needs to change in the hierarchy at NESN because the Red Sox’ flagship network is quickly becoming a complete joke among the fan base, which will do absolutely no good for their precious ratings.

Continue reading NESN Continues to Disrespect Don Orsillo »

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