Sox Drop Series To Yankees

August 12, 2016 at 1:22pm in Boston, Red Sox
Farrell's days could be numbered if The Sox don;t turn this around.

Are you kidding me?  This past Yankees/Sox series might have been the most frustrating regular season Red Sox series EVER.  This team has a real problem finishing games, and that will ultimately be the reason this team doesn’t make a deep playoff run.  If they even make the playoffs.  As of now, yes they are a playoff team.  However, do they really look like a playoff team?  The obvious answer is no.

The Red Sox should have won this series pretty easily, but now?  The Yankees are only 3 games back of The Sox in the standings.  The Yankees are not a good team.  They unloaded at the trade deadline by trading, Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, and Carlos Beltran.  New York pretty much waved the white flag at the deadline, and now they have hope.  I’m not saying The Yankees are a threat in the division or the wild card.  The point is these are the games you have to win when you’re fighting for a playoff spot.

The Red Sox had a lead going into the 7th inning in all 3 games of the series.  They lost two of those games.  The one game they did win, they walked the bases loaded in the ninth.  This Red Sox bullpen is putrid.  It seems like they can’t get anyone out, especially when there are guys on base.  It seems like this pitching staff has no guts.  They can’t get the big strikeout when the pressures on, it seems like they get tight and timid.

This series wasn’t all the pitching staffs fault.  What happen to the offense?  Just about a month ago they were crushing the baseball.  Now?  They have 2 hits in their last 29 attempts with the bases loaded.  This offense is much to talented to go into slumps like this.  Speaking of slumps, why does it seem the whole team goes in one giant slump at the same time?  It seems like this team is lacking confidence right now.  They could really use a benches clearing brawl to wake them up, or you know they could fire the manager.

They start a 3 game series with Arizona tonight, it’s safe to say sweeping The Diamondbacks is a must.  Especially with the tough road games on the horizon.

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

Nothing comes easy for the 2016 Boston Red Sox, as David O’Brien et al remind us on a near-nightly basis. After a dismal road-trip, the Red Sox failed to improve on their record in a series against the Yankees, and now sit at only nine games above .500.

The playoff picture in the East is tight as it will ever be, with the Sox three games behind the Jays, and 2.5 behind the Orioles. At the moment, the Red Sox hold a .5 game lead over the Tigers for the second spot in the race for the second wild card berth. A poor series against a .500 team was the last thing David Ortiz and Co. needed, but regardless, it is what they got.

With a team as streaky as this, it’s feasible to consider the possibility that they might go on another tear, and finish the season with breathing room in any playoff race. However, sports in the Boston media remain ever-reactionary, and the flavor of the past ten games has been doom. It is always difficult to remain positive, after the stretch the Sox have most recently suffered through.

One of the bright spots on the team has been newcomer Andrew Benintendi. Unfortunately, the key word in the sentence prior is “newcomer”. All rookies are bound to make mistakes, or have a “welcome to the League” moment. Benintendi’s simply came during a crucial moment in the game.

For those watching, it was next to unbelievable. A seemingly playable, albeit sharply, hit ball by Jacoby Ellsbury quickly made it’s way into left field, prompting a quick response by Benintendi. The ball went mere centimeters over the 22 year old, and Ellsbury was safely aboard with a double, driving in two. Those two runs proved insurmountable in the eighth and the ninth for the Sox, who once again left the field with a heartbreaking loss.

Heartbreaking losses are acceptable in a season of 162 games, but at the rate they are coming lately to this team, one has to wonder if this is truly a team built for postseason success. All outside factors point to yes, with phenoms X, Betts, JBJ, and now Benintendi-but close games, especially during the postseason-are must-wins.

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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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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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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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(Ft. Myers, FL, 03/13/15) Boston Red Sox's Yoan Moncada participates during a minor league baseball workout at JetBlue Park in Ft. Myers, Florida on Friday, March 13, 2015. Staff photo by Christopher Evans

Today, ESPN’s David Schoenfield released a list of each MLB team’s most untouchable player at the trade deadline. When it came to the Red Sox, some might have said Mookie Betts or Xander Bogaerts, but Schoenfield listed Yoan Moncada as the Sox’s most untradeable player. Moncada would command a king’s ransom at the deadline, and he is certainly a player that the Sox will be hoping to use next season. When the Cuban signed for $31.5 million, few were expecting him to rise as quickly as he did to Double-A ball, but the 21 year old has shown he is already worth the huge amount of cash.

Moncada is listed as the number 5 prospect in Major League Baseball, and his scouting report draws comparisons to Robinson Cano (with more speed). Paired with Andrew Benintendi, the number 21 overall prospect, the future in Boston is bright.

So, where does that leave the Red Sox next year? Some players and their positions are set in stone, such as Bogaerts at shortstop and JBJ in center. The areas of need, if one is to nitpick, would be left field, third base, and first base.

Continue reading Yoan Moncada and the Red Sox »

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AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

As the baseball season is at the halfway point we start examining players for baseball’s most prestigious award, the Most Valuable Player. Two Red Sox players are considered to be serious contenders in this year’s insanely competitive AL MVP race. Those two players are Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz. However there are many other great players to consider when talking about the MVP race.

Potential AL MVP Candidates

  • Josh Donaldson
  • Jose Altuve
  • Robinson Cano
  • Mike Trout
  • Manny Machado

Many people put Josh Donaldson at the top of the list right now. Donaldson was the AL MVP last season and is once again having himself a fantastic season. But I personally wouldn’t put him at the top of the list right now. If I had to choose a player right now to be at the top of the AL MVP race I would choose Astros 2B Jose Altuve. Altuve currently leads to MLB with 135 hits and a .358 AVG. Right behind Altuve I would put Ortiz. Ortiz leads the MLB with 34 doubles, a SLG of .665, and an OPS of 1.083.

The only problem with Ortiz is that he’s a DH. Many people use that against him because there are no defensive stats to credit him with. But with the performance David is having at the plate this year makes him a serious contender for the MVP award in his final season.

Do not forget about Xander Bogaerts. He is being viewed as a genuine player to win the award. He is arguably one of the best hitting shortstops in the entire MLB. As of Saturday Xander has 125 hits (3rd in the MLB behind Jose Altuve and Mookie Betts), 23 doubles, 11 home runs, 61 RBIs, .324 AVG, .381 OBP, .469 SLG, and a .850 OPS. Xander is also a very good defensive player with a .973 fielding percentage and only 9 errors in 813 innings.

The AL MVP race is going to be a very competitive one this year because there are so may players that could take the crown. But it is only half way through the season so nobody knows who’s going to stay on track or drop off the candidate list. All I’m saying is to not count the Sox sluggers out of the race, especially Ortiz. Even though he’s a DH, he’s putting up one of the best seasons of his career and has some of the best numbers in the game right now.

Can you imagine a 40 year old in his last season winning an MVP award? We can only hope…

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