Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, Sox Sphere proudly brings to you our almost (almost) world famous weekly wrap up of your AL East leading (tied) Boston Red Sox.
Let’s get started!
The Red Sox currently stand atop their division in a virtual tie with the always hated, never imitated, New York Yankees. The Sox end Sunday with a 32-15 record, good enough to be tied with, you guessed it, the Yankees for the best record in baseball. Boston managed to finish this week winning 4 of their last 7 and 6 of their last 10 outings.
Red Sox Fall Twice to A’s
Boston started out the week against the Oakland Athletics, when we last saw the Athletics they along with starter, Sean Manaea decided to mess around and no-hit the Red Sox for the first time in 25 years. They would also take 2 of 3 games in their first of 2 series against the Sox.
The good news is, Boston didn’t get no-hit at Fenway. The bad news is they would once again drop 2 of 3 to the Athletics, giving the A’s bragging rights, winners of the season series for the second year in a row.
In the first game of the series, the Red Sox would actually manage to get 8 hits off the aforementioned Manaea along with 3 runs. It was a back and forth affair for sure with teams alternating scoring runs from the 3rd all the way to the 8th inning, however it was not enough for Boston to eek out the win as they would fall 6-5. Starter Rick Porcello was not sharp in this outing, giving up 5 runs on 9 hits and striking out 5 over 6 innings. Porcello had been up to this point Boston’s go to man in the rotation behind Chris Sale and would get a chance later in the week to redeem himself, but more on that later. Also of note, Martinez would continue his hot hitting with his 11th homerun.
The two teams would go back at it again the following night, but once again the Red Sox would be left with no answers on how to beat this A’s team, falling 5-3. While starter Eduardo Rodriguez did a passable job on the mound, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits over 5 innings of work, Rollie Finger….err Daniel Mengden and his sweet handle bar mustache pitched just slightly better, keeping runs off the plate, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 8 hits over 6 innings of work. Andrew Benintendi would go yard for Boston, but the Sox could certainly have used more offense against an A’s team struggling to keep their heads above water.
Boston would gain a measure of revenge the following evening, winning 6-4 in the final game of the series. Boston ace Chris Sale continued his streak of hot starts giving up 2 runs and striking out 9 over only 5 innings of work, with Boston giving him some run support behind some round trippers from Just Dingers himself J.D Martinez and X-Man, Xander Bogaerts. Craig Kimbrel would notch his 12th save, putting the A’s to sleep in the 9th inning, he would however give up a home run to Matt Olson to make this game a little closer for the drama…or at least that’s why I think he gives up runs in the 9th inning..for the drama.
Highlight of the Night: Just Dingers for JD
— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB2) May 16, 2018
Red Sox Pick Up Win Against Division Rival
The Red Sox would follow up a disappointing series with the Athletics by welcoming division rival Baltimore for a 4 game series. The O’s, came into Fenway Park in dead last in the AL East behind even the supposed to be putrid but actually decent Tampa Bay Rays. A complete turnaround from the past few seasons where they’ve been moderately successful and competitive, the Orioles looked to get it going against Boston. However they would find out fast that it would be no easy task.
In game one of the series, Boston would get a stellar start from David Price. Price who has been battling numbness in his pitching hand due to carpal tunnel syndrome, would befuddle the O’s throwing a complete game striking out 8 and giving up 2 runs on a 9th inning home run by Manny Machado. The Red Sox would go on to win the game 6-2 behind another 3 run shot from Xander Bogaerts his second in as many nights and another home run from J.D Martinez who has been worth every penny so far this season.
Highlight of the Night: Devers flashes the leather
— Red Sox on CLNS (@RedSoxCLNS) May 18, 2018
The Red Sox would be brought down to earth the following night however, falling 7-4 to the Orioles. Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright would be responsible for those 7 total runs as the Sox would fall behind in the 4th and never get close to taking the lead. The bright spot for Boston however would be one Markus Lynn Betts, hitting a round tripper his 14th in his MVP Caliber start to the season.
Starter Rick Porcello would redeem himself against these O’s the next night giving up 3 runs over 6 hits and striking out 9 over 6 innings. Porcello certainly seems to be back to his Cy Young form from a few seasons prior, either that or hes doing his best Josh Beckett impersonation by being a stud every other season. Either way it’s good to see him pitch so well. Mookie Betts would homer once again, further solidifying his ownership stake of the Baltimore Orioles baseball club. The Sox would take this game 6-3 going into Sundays finale.
Highlight of the Night: Mookie Takes Over
— Stadium (@WatchStadium) May 20, 2018
In the final game of the series, the Red Sox would finally shut down these Orioles decisively with a 5-0 victory. J.D Martinez would hit homerun number 14 and 15 in this game, and former Oriole prospect Eduardo Rodriguez pitched well, striking out 7 giving up 9 hits over 5.2 innings. Andrew Benintendi would also homer in this game, as the Sox ended the week with a bang and some momentum going into next week against the 3rd place Tampa Bay Rays.
The Rays, have been an early season surprise landing in 3rd place in the AL East despite being 22-23 on the season. The Sox cannot afford to take this team lightly especially when trying to keep pace with the Yankees for tops in the East.
Following that 3 game tilt against the Rays, Boston will welcome the Atlanta Braves to town for a 3 game series. Atlanta is Boston’s counterpart early on this season, leading the NL East with a record of 28-17 and represent a good test for Boston as we move into the summer months and later into the season.