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Red Sox Clinch Division, Miss Opportunity for Home Field Advantage

By on September 29, 2016 at 9:42am
The Red Sox lost in horrific fashion, but still managed to clinch the AL East with Toronto's loss to the Orioles. (USA Today) The Red Sox lost in horrific fashion, but still managed to clinch the AL East with Toronto's loss to the Orioles. (USA Today)

That’s not exactly how you draw up clinching the division.

With the Boston Red Sox leading the New York Yankees 3-0 in the eighth inning, the Baltimore Orioles came back to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 and clinch the American League East division title for the Red Sox, win or lose against the Yankees.

The Red Sox chose the losing route. Needing just three outs to kick off the celebration with a win, Craig Kimbrel threw 28 more pitches than I did in recording the same number of outs (that would be zero). He gave up a single, walked three, and threw a wild pitch.

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Jose Fernandez

September 27, 2016 at 3:17pm in MLB, Opinion, Top Story

Jose Fernandez

On September 25, 2016 Major league baseball lost one of the greatest pitchers in the game.  Not only was Fernandez already one of the best pitchers in the game, but he had a very bright future.  Fernandez passed away around 3 in the morning on September 25 due to a tragic boating accident.  I woke up to this news on Sunday and I was completely devastated.  Being that he was only 24 years old, it seemed like he had a lot of great baseball left but now all we can think is what could have been.

Before I talk about how great a person he was, let’s talk about Jose Fernandez, the ace of the Miami Marlins.  In his short four year MLB career, Fernandez had a career record of 38-17 with an ERA of 2.58.  He also posted 538 strike outs.  This guy could throw heat and he was very electric.  In my mind he was easily in the top 5 of MLB pitchers right now.  Some of his career accomplishments, were winning the NL Rookie of the year in 2013 and being named to the all-star game in 2013 and 2016.  Not only did Fernandez bring dominant stuff to the mound but he also brought a great personality.  This guy loved baseball and he was always having fun.  He was also the Marlins biggest cheerleader.  He loved his teammates and his teammates loved him.  Sometimes he rubbed opposing players the wrong way but that was just him showing his emotions.  Fernandez was just a fun, loving player that would express how he felt about his performance or his teammates performance.

Jose Fernandez, the individual, was also great too.  Fernandez tried to escape from Cuba to America and failed three times.   On his fourth attempt, a person fell into the sea, and not knowing who it was, Fernandez, jumped into the water and was able to rescue the person and get them back into the boat.  The person he saved turned out to be his mother.  At only 15 years old, Fernandez, was already a hero for doing that.  Fernandez, his sister and his mother successfully made it to America and relocated in Tampa Bay.  Jose loved his family and his biggest fan was his grandmother.  His grandmother would climb to the roof of her house just to be able to listen to Fernandez pitch on the radio.  After six years apart, his grandmother was able to attend opening day in 2014 and watch her grandson pitch.  Fernandez pitched a great game that day and I believe part of the reason was because of his Grandmother being in attendance.

Jose Fernandez leaves his grandmother, mother, sister, and girlfriend behind.  One of the saddest things about Jose passing is that a week ago he announced on Instagram that his girlfriend was pregnant.  That child will never know his/her dad but will know how outstanding his/her father was not only as an MLB pitcher but as a human being.  The Marlins have already announced that they will retire the number 16 Fernandez jersey and I believe that is the right move.  He will never be forgotten by that franchise and will be watching down on that team.  Baseball will miss you Jose, keep smiling and forever Rest in Peace.

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Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

September has been an incredible month for the Red Sox. In just this month only, David Ortiz passed Mickey Mantle on the all time home run list, Rick Porcello reached 20 wins (21st win Monday), Hanley Ramirez was named AL Co-Player of the week on Monday, and Boston now sits in a comfortable four game lead in the AL East.

If you haven’t been watching the Red Sox play this month then you’ve been missing out on some great games. They have been playing superb baseball as the post season is right around the corner. The Sox just came off a four game series sweep on the New York Yankees. A series in which Hanley Ramirez homered four times. The series was started off with a monster three run walk off home run from Hanley himself. He now has 28 homers and 106 rbis on the season. Not only is Hanley hitting timely home runs but he has been DESTROYING these home runs. I was at Fenway a week ago when the Sox had a 12-2 win over the Orioles and he hit one of the farthest home runs I’ve ever seen hit over the green monster. I’m not kidding, it never came down it just kept going up. I seriously think that ball got lost in Mars’ orbit.

On a side note, after ace Rick Porcello picked up his 21st win Monday night over Baltimore, it seems like he may have locked himself in on the AL Cy Young Award. He now is 21-4 on the season and the only competition behind him is J.A. Happ of Toronto who holds a record of 19-4. But Porcello holds a better, ERA, WHIP, and strike out count than Happ. Boston has 12 games left to play in the season so Porcello should probably get a couple more chances to add some wins to his already stellar record.

All that being said, the Red Sox are HOT right now and it couldn’t come at a better time in the season. The Sox don’t show any sign of slowing down and are hopeful to play strong into the playoffs. October baseball is almost among us and I’m very optimistic for great things coming to the city of Boston in the near future.

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Hanley’s Walk Off Moonshot

September 16, 2016 at 12:14am in Featured, Red Sox
Rob Perez/FOX Sports

Thursday night’s match up against the New York Yankees was an important game for the Red Sox to win. Coming into Thursday only one game ahead of Baltimore, the Red Sox had some pressure on them. What started off as a slow night turned into one to remember. Heading into the bottom of the ninth at Fenway, the Sox were trailing the Yankees five to one.

Note to self: NEVER LEAVE A SPORTING EVENT EARLY.

The Sox rallied in the ninth as David Ortiz drove a line drive up the middle to put run number two on the board. Next  up, Mookie Betts drives another run in to make it a two run deficit. Then Hanley Ramirez steps to the plate. Dellin Betances throws a handful of breaking balls to Hanley. When the count showed 3-1, Betances reared back and threw a fastball right down the middle. Ramirez connected with the pitch and hit an absolute moonshot three run home run over the center field wall. Hanley knew it was gone right off the bat, as some may say he “pimped it” as he walked down the line and held his bat high in the air.

Hanley gracefully trotted around the bases and then was mauled by his teammates at home plate. The home run was Hanley’s 25th of the year and it also jumped his rbi count to 100. This win was so important with the AL East standings being so close between the Sox, Orioles, and Blue Jays. Boston now sits in first place and two games ahead of Baltimore. Every game in September is an important win as the Sox are nearing the end of the regular season. Boston has three games remaining in their series with the Yankees.

Not only was tonight a night to remember for Hanley, but also for David Ortiz. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Ortiz hit a line drive home run to center field. It was his 34st homer of the season and also the 537th of his career, passing Mickey Mantle on the all time home run list. David now sits at 17th all time. It’s really going to be something when he leaves the game.

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Dan Hamilton/USA Today

With Friday night’s 13-3 blowout win against the Blue Jays, Boston’s ace Rick Porcello picks up his 20th win of the season, the first starting pitcher to do so this year.

Porcello has probably been the quietest winning pitcher in all of baseball. After Friday night’s game Rick holds a 20-3 record. Not only is Rick the best pitcher in baseball right now but the Sox are now in first place and two games ahead of Toronto in the AL East.

The Sox have been playing very well lately as they have won seven of their last ten games. It looks like Boston is establishing themselves as a dominant team in this league as their hitting and pitching has really come around as the season is nearing an end. But much of that success is due to the tremendous season Porcello has had so far. He has a great chance to take the AL Cy Young Award this year.

I don’t want to get my hopes up, but with the post season right around the corner, I cannot wait for what October has in store for Sox Nation.

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Photo: Gerald Herbert (AP)

Naturally, after last night, it is safe to assume that this Red Sox team will advance only as far as their bullpen allows it to. For those who did not see, Eduardo Rodriguez pitched well over five and a third innings, but was pulled after recording an out, leaving the bases loaded for Tommy Layne, a below average middle reliever.

Layne promptly gave up six runs without recording an out, and when Farrell pulled him, Robbie Ross Jr. gave up another two, putting the game way out of reach, and embarrassing the Red Sox on national TV.

As frustrating as watching that game was, even a casual fan had to wonder why Farrell decided to get involved. Rodriguez’s pitch count was up, but should the manager have given him a chance to get out of the inning with the bottom of the order coming up? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. But if pulling him was the right decision, then-why Layne? Ziegler is your ground ball guy. Layne is the guy you put into a game that is already out of reach, and when it comes to the Kansas City Royals, a two run lead does not put a game out of reach. Citation: their eight runs in that same inning.

Farrell’s managing abilities come into question seemingly daily, taking off some of the pressure of under-performing Sox. Regardless, the fact remains-if this teams expects to advance past the ALDS, or take the AL East, their bullpen must show some backbone and record some important outs.

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Will The Sox Win The AL East?

August 29, 2016 at 9:30pm in Featured, Opinion, Red Sox
(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

As September is nearing, playoffs is becoming a predominant topic in baseball. The powerhouse hitting Red Sox are now in a position where the postseason is not a guarantee. They have been bouncing in and out of first, second, and third place for a majority of the season. The Red Sox, Blue Jays and Orioles have been the most dominant teams in the Al East all season.

Going into Monday Aug. 29th, the Red Sox sit in second place with a 72-58 record, two games behind the Blue Jays. Baltimore sits right behind the Sox, only one game back. So the question we are all wondering is who is going to win the division?

I believe at this point it’s a complete toss up. We can pull out as many statistics as we want to predict the end of the season results but we have to remember that this is baseball. This game is so unpredictable, especially when there are only 30 games left to be played. Any team could take the division with being just a half game up, it could be that close.

The good news is that the next month of baseball is going to be tough for all teams in the AL East. Starting tonight until the end of the season the Sox have two remaining series against the Rays, Yankees, Orioles, and the Blue Jays. So the standings in the AL East are going to be jumping all around for the next month. If the Sox want a legitimate chance at taking the division, they need to be the best team in the month of September, period.

If the Sox do not win the division, they always have the Wild Card. But with the Wild Card , the top two teams have to play in a one game playoff match up to decide who moves onto the ALDS. Boston needs to avoid this at all costs because a one game deciding match up is a tough game to win. If this were to happen I’d be scared to see who Farrell decides to start on the bump.

However I am very confident the Sox will finish the season strong. Their hitting is still very dominant. Ortiz is still showing he’s one of the best with 30 plus homers and 100 plus RBIs. Mookie is still one of the best hitters in the entire MLB right now with 29 homers, 94 RBIs, and a .321 AVG (Did I mention he was a lead off hitter for the majority of the season?). And Pedey quietly is hitting .320 going into Monday. So the bats are there. Again as we’ve discussed a million times, it all comes down to the Sox pitching. Starting pitching for Boston has looked better lately, the bullpen is still an issue. All we can do at this point is pray that the pitching comes around going into September.

The toughest series the Sox are going to have this next month are the ones against the Blue Jays. Toronto plays as the biggest threat towards Boston. They are a very well rounded team that can hit and have some pitching. The two series the Sox have against them in the next month are definitely the most imports series they will have all year.

This all being said, I’m super excited for the next month of baseball because its going to be a a fun one to watch.

 

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