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Benintendi collected his first MLB hit in Seattle. Photo: Joe Nicholson, USA Today Sports

If anyone from New England stayed up till one in the morning to watch the Red Sox lose six out of eleven games on the West Coast, then…sorry. However, you were not alone, and you were also not alone if you felt frustration and anxiety as the Sox quietly ducked out of a playoff spot for the first time since April.

Now that all is said and done, the Red Sox sit three games out of first place in the AL East and a half game behind the Deroit Tigers for the second wild-card spot.

Opposite-coast games are tough for any team, but when you pair the exhaustion of eleven games in eleven nights-after a six hour flight from Boston, in which three different ballparks were visited-and, incredibly, the fact that the Sox have had to endure 43 games in 44 days-their toil is understandable.

The one off-day the Red Sox get in the midst of their mind-bending stretch comes today-and they get to relax on yet another long flight, this time back to Boston to take on the Yankees the next night. The six-game homestand is much needed, as the Sox will soon be on the road again for another 11 games, in four cities.

A few months ago, the entire city of Boston seemed confident in the Red Sox and their playoff chances. Now, with a little less than two months to go, hope is dwindling. If the Red Sox can manage to take four or five of six from the Yankees and Dbacks-a highly achievable goal, temperaments will improve, but the outlook after their next eleven game set on the road remains to be seen.

A few more thoughts…1. Why can David Price not get to ten wins? Who pitches for the Sox in a one-game playoff? 2. A-Rod finally stepping away from the diamond. One more series at Fenway? 3. ESPN can’t help but make sure that JBJ is always in the headlines as a trade candidate in the offseason. 4. Benintendi worth the wait so far.

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1. Red Sox

  • Price not worth the Price
  • Everytime I watch Tazawa pitch he is getting ripped but his ERA remains adequate – he threw up some cookies
  • Pedroia is on pace to hit into 30 double plays
  • Can’t believe Dodger Stadium is the third oldest park in baseball
  • Would you trade, as suggested in the Globe, Rusney Castillo for Puig?
  • I love hearing Ortiz had to be taken out of the game for sore body after playing six innings in the field – try being a single parent that works five days a week for $30,000

2. Luck:

Sports writers so want Andrew Luck to be the new quarterback delight now that Peyton is gone. How is he in the postseason compared to Tim Tebow:

  • Winning % : Luck .500 / Tebow .500
  • TD to INT: Luck 9 TD to 12 INT / Tebow 2 to 0
  • QB rating: Luck 70.8 / Tebow 90.0

3. Top Red Sox catcher’s average:

minimum 150 at bats

  • Leyritz….287
  • Fisk……284
  • Leon……272
  • R. Nixon…268
  • Berryhill….263
  • Gedman….259
  • Parrish……259
  • Montgomery .258
  • Cerrone……250

4. Yankees:

Yankees removed $109mm from its payroll for 2017

* A Rod……..$20mm

* Chapman….$11.3mm

* Miller………$9mm

* Teixeira…….$22.5mm

* Sabathia……$25mm

* Beltran……..$18mm

* Nova……….$4.1mm

Amazingly they still have $100mm due to Headley, Tanaka, Gardner, Ellsbury, McCann, Castro, Clippard

5. NFL Hall of Fame induction:

A league of integrity:

* Chris Mortenson received a plaque from the NFL – second time they have given him something

* Eddie De Bartolo – rigged the salary cap (like Denver)

* Brett Favre – who showed his junk around

* Marvin Harrison who was connected to a shooting death

6. Mount Rushmore of Red Sox switch hitters:

Reggie Smith, Bill Mueller, Yoan Moncada, Shane Victorino

7. Amazing Stat:

Jim Furyk a record 58 Sunday

  • Birdies on seven straight holes
  • 10 birdies / one eagle
  • Picked up twelve strokes on the leader
  • Missed six birdie putts

8. Old School – Red Sox averages:

  • Clemens, Lollar, Kelley, Wade Miller, Schourek were 9-16 as hitters – .562
  • Rudy Pemberton has the highest average of any Red Sox with at least 100 at bats – .346
  • Dave Sax, Tony Graffanino, Jemile Weeks, Joey Gathright were 92-289 – .318

9. A Little Bit Outside:

Saw this question the other day – if you could bring a fictional character to life who would it be – some of my suggestions:

* Yukon Cornelius

* Cool Hand Luke

* William Wallace

* Maximus

* Ghost of Christmas Present

* Bugs Bunny

10. Randomocity

* 1st basemen are holding tags on runners that dive back into the base hoping their body is not connected to the base when they go to stand up

* Last thing you want to hear from a dog owner – he’s usually so friendly

* Jason Heyward making $17.5mm – average by month .224 / .217 / .257 / .217 / .250

* How does a 1-0 National win that goes only 8.5 innings take 2:43

* Dave Stapleton hit two home runs in his first two games

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Garoppolo will have a lot on his plate to start the year. (Kevin Hoffman, USA Today Sports).

On July 15th Tom Brady announced to the world he would no longer seek legal action in the infamous “Deflategate” scandal, thus ending the longest, and quite possibly the most ridiculous sports story ever, that was endlessly talked about for the better part of a year and a half. At that moment, it became clear Brady would accept his four game suspension, and put an end to his 14 year starting streak in the process. The man who has grown from hidden-gem to living legend had to hand the reigns over to Jimmy Garopplo, the unproven yet highly touted backup, therefore creating quite the interesting scenario for the QB from Eastern Illinois. Continue reading The Curious Case of Jimmy Garoppolo »

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Mookie Named AL Player of the Month

August 5, 2016 at 10:17am in Featured, Red Sox
Rob Carr/Getty Images

On Wednesday Boston’s center fielder Mookie Betts, was named AL Player of the Month for the month of July. Mookie tour up July, posting some pretty impressive stats. He batted .368, hit five home runs, had 15 RBIs, five stolen bases and had a 1.068 OPS.

At just 23 years of age Betts is having himself a remarkable season. He is arguably the best lead-off hitter in the MLB as he is is in first place in multiple lead-off hitter statistic categories including hits, home runs, RBIs, and doubles.

Mookie currently has 140 hits (31 doubles), 22 home runs, 71 RBIs, and an average of .306. He joins teammate Jackie Bradley Jr. as the only Red Sox players this year to receive player of the month rewards; JBJ won AL player of the month back in May.

Betts keeps proving to everybody that he is becoming an elite out fielder/hitter in this league and I believe he can easily be compared to a Mike Trout caliber player. Hey if you don’t agree with me, the stats speak for themselves.

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1. Red Sox pitchers rank by starts:

* Wright – team record during starts – 13-7

* Price – team record during starts – 11-12 * Porcello – team record during starts – 16-6

2. Draft position of the Patriots leading passer, rusher and receiver during Super Bowl seasons:

2014 –   199 /  undrafted / 42 Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Top Sports Moments, Ruben Kinkaid and Celtic Scoring »

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Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire

The Sox had a relatively quiet trade deadline today as they only acquired one player in a one for one trade. The Sox acquired left handed reliever Fernando Abad from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for minor league lefty Pat Light.

Abad will help the Sox’s struggling bullpen as left handed hitters have only a .163 batting average off him this season. This is not a big trade but will definitely aid the Sox a little with their pitching situation. But the move that everyone was hoping for was to see another stud pitcher in the starting rotation.

Everyone knows Chris Sale was the talk of the deadline but it was no surprise to me that he stayed with Chicago. A dominant pitcher like him is not going to go anywhere without a very large trade being put in place. It’s a shame the Sox couldn’t snag him because he is just what we are missing.

However, I have to say I am very surprised Andrew Benintendi and Joan Moncada stayed with the AA Portland Sea Dogs. I expected the Sox to move at least one of them in a trade to acquire a starting pitcher. Now that they are staying in the Sox farm system, I don’t know what the Sox are going to do with their starting rotation.

The addition of Drew Pomeranz was viewed as a good move at first but is looking a little shaky right now. Steven Wright has had a couple bad starts lately and David Price is still yet to get into a consistent groove. The only consistent pitcher the Sox have right now is Rick Porcello who quietly has been a stud this year with a 14-2 record.

I don’t know what the Sox are going to do but if they want to be serious contenders for the playoffs, their pitching has to make some adjustments. The AL East and the American League in general is very competitive right now and it’s really a toss up for which teams are going to win the division and the wild card.

Safe to say this trade deadline helped, but it wasn’t enough.

 

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Dustin Pedroia plays the hero in LA (Getty Images)

Heading into the month of August, it appeared as though the Sox had lost their swagger. They took a beating from the surging Tigers, and they were on the verge of being stomped out by the under-performing, last place Angels. All day long, the offense was stagnant to say the least. Steven Wright, who has been a shell of the pitcher we came to love earlier this season, did his best to work his way in and out of trouble throughout the entire afternoon. But his tightrope act eventually succeeded three runs to an Angels offense that should have jumped all over the knuckleballer much earlier in the game. As the innings painfully kept rolling along, the Sox offense did their best to ensure that the Angels would walk away with a 3-1 series victory.

That was until Dustin Pedroia came to the plate with two on and two out in the top of the ninth inning. Pedey took a high, first pitch fastball from Houston Street that was right in his wheelhouse. It appeared as though he’d missed his pitch, but Street went right back to the well with another high heater, and the former AL MVP jumped all over it and sent it over the center field wall to put the Sox up 4-3. For good measure, Xander Bogaerts followed up Pedroia’s heroics with a yabo of his own, and the Sox were able to close out a 5-3 victory in a game that they had no business winning in the first place.

These are the kinds of games that playoff caliber teams, and moreover, championship caliber teams find ways to win. There’s no telling if this Sox team has the resolve to be either of those just yet, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Lord knows the Orioles and Jays aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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