Archive for the 'Red Sox' Category

Prospect Lead Red Sox to World Series Title

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018

Between 2015 to 2017 myworld had the Red Sox minor league system in the top ten of the major leagues. They traded some of those players to acquire Chris Sale (Yoan Moncada) and other prospects for Craig Kimbrel (Manuel Margot). Both those players were critical to the Red Sox winning the World Series last year. They also kept a couple (Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers) that offered significant contributions. With graduation and trades the farm system is not as stacked. They still had two players appear on Top 100 prospect lists last year but the talent drops quite a bit after them. Don’t be shocked if the Red Sox are absent any players in the Top 100 in 2019.

Michael Chavis and Jay Groome are their two players who appeared on Top 100 lists last year. Michael should provide some pop in the infield. He plays the same position as Devers so one of them will have to move. Both of them are not stellar defensive players or run fast enough to play the outfield. An 80 game drug suspension took away the first part of the season for Michael. When he returned he looked solid at the plate, but was limited to just 200 at bats. Michael hopes for a better start to the 2019 season, one that will vault him to the major league lineup.

Jay Groome missed all of the 2018 season because of Tommy John surgery. The 6′6″ lefthander who the Red Sox took in the first round in 2016 was supposed to be pitching in High A ball last year with the possibility of being promoted to AA. That would have put him a year or two from the major league club. That time table his been turned upside down. His fastball sat in the mid-90s and he had good snap to his curveball. With his 6′6″ inch frame the one thing he needed to work on was his command and that would come with repetition he missed to make sure all those moving limbs rotate with consistency. Groome should be ready by mid-season to pitch in the Rookie Leagues for some rehab and start again in Low A.

Tristan Casas was the first round pick in 2018 but he plays the same positions as Devers and Chavis. He also lacks the speed to move to the outfield. Casas played for Team USA that took the gold medal. He shows excellent power, but was unable to show that last year after hurting his thumb limiting him to just five at bats. His arm is strong but at 6′4″ his movements around third are a bit stiff.

Bobby Dalbec at least played a full season slugging 32 homeruns and driving in 109 runs. Unfortunately his best positions are third base and first base. For 2019 they can keep Chavis in AAA and have Dalbec play AA but in 2020 something has to give. The swing and miss is no stranger to Dalbec, who whiffed 176 times in just 129 games last year. The Red Sox will take that if his OPS remains above .900 as it did last year.

In the bullpen the Sox have Darwinzon Hernandez. The Venezuelan signed for a bargain basement price of $7,500 in 2013. The lefty has a fastball that flashes across the plate in the high 90s. He has the requisite three pitches to survive in the rotation, but his command is poor so the best use of his heat with the departures of the Special K’s Kelly and Kimbrel may be in the pen. Last year he threw 5 games in relief in AA after starting 23 games in High A. In 107 innings he allowed just one ball to carry over the fence.

Tanner Houck was a first round pick of the Red Sox in 2017. His fastball can jump up to the high 90s but he had trouble throwing strikes, walking 60 in 119 innings. Myworld looks for pitchers who at least have two whiffs for every walk and Tanner fell short of that. He had a rather pedestrian 4.24 ERA in High A with the opposition hitting him at a .245 clip. Drafted out of Missouri the Red Sox were hoping he would move quickly, but that may not be the case.

Two other starting pitchers who could crack the rotation are Bryan Mata and Mike Shawaryn. The Venezuelan Mata sits in the low 90s and can reach the mid-90s but he has trouble finding the plate. His 58/61 walk to whiff ratio in High A is concerning but the opposition only hit him at a .229 clip. Like Hernandez he could be another pitcher moved to the bullpen. Shawaryn is a Maryland pitcher who lacks overpowering stuff. His slider is his best pitch. He could be ready for the back end of the rotation in 2019 since he started six games at AAA last year.

Josh Ockimey could be ready to play first base for the Red Sox next year. Last year he slugged 20 homeruns, five of them in AAA. His glove makes his best position DH and his speed is border line base clogger. A power bat with lots of whiffs is what you will get from him.

C.J. Chatham had a solid season with the bat last year, hitting .314 at two A levels. Injuries in 2017 prevented the Red Sox from seeing a lot of him. At 6′4″ you would think he could hit for more power but his balls have a tendency to land into the gaps and not over the fences. Despite his height the tools are there to play shortstop.

Antonio Flores ($1.4 million) and Danny Diaz ($1.6 million) are two high priced bonus signings from 2017 out of Venezuela. Flores plays shortstop and had a standout season last year, hitting .340 mainly playing in the Dominican Summer League. Injuries limited him to just 4 at bats when he was promoted to the States. His power is light now but it could develop and the tools are there to play shortstop. Diaz plays infield corner with some big time pop in his bat. That is not a rare trait in the Red Sox farm system at third base. His arm is strong and the quickness is there to play third but nothing makes him stand out from the other corners ahead of him..

A sellout for Yankees/Red Sox in London

Friday, December 7th, 2018

For those of you thinking of buying tickets for the Yankees/Red Sox in London - forget it. The game is a sellout. As would be expected for all Yankee/Red Sox games the June 29/30 game in London was a sellout. Ticket prices ranged from as high as 385 pound ($491) to 30 pound ($38). The game is being played at the Olympic Stadium in London. While the stadium can seat 80,000, for baseball the stadium was reconfigured to hold 55,000.

The collective bargaining agreement allows an extra $60,000 to each player who participate in the trip. Now that is a big per diem. Major league baseball will also play games in London in 2020.

Pearce Leads Red Sox to World Series Victory

Monday, October 29th, 2018

As myworld focused on pointing out players who would be the most unlikely heroes in these playoff games, one was voted the MVP of the World Series. Steve Pearce hit two homeruns yesterday to lead the Red Sox to a 5-1 win. He hit three homeruns in the World Series and drove in eight runs. Released by the Orioles three times and traded during mid season to the Red Sox by the Toronto Blue Jays, Pearce becomes our most unlikely hero that actually became a hero.

David Price also pitched a great game. Price has had a history of struggling in the playoffs, but in this post season he pitched mostly solid games. Last night he gave up just three hits, one of them a first inning solo shot from David Freese to lead off the Dodgers at bat. That turned out to be the only run of the game.

Clayton Kershaw continued his post season struggles, though he went seven innings. The Red Sox touched him for three homeruns, Steve Pearce with a two run blast in the first and Mookie Betts with a solo shot in the sixth and J.D. Martinez with a solo in the seventh. Kershaw only allowed four other hits, but it was the homerun ball that killed him. Steve Pearce slugged his second homerun of the game and the fourth for the Red Sox in the eighth inning, a solo shot off Pedro Baez.

Joe Kelly and Chris Sale closed out the game with one inning of splendid relief work each. They faced six hitters and struck out all six. Kelly was another World Series rock, appearing in five games and not giving up a run. When he was struggling during mid-season and Alex Cora was questioned for continuing to bring him in during tight games Cora’s response was “We’re going to need Kelly”. That proved very prophetic.

The 119 wins by the Red Sox for the 2018 season have only been topped by the 1998 New York Yankees (125) and the 2001 Seattle Mariners (120). Puerto Rico has to be proud with rookie manager Alex Cora guiding this 119 win team to a World Series championship. It was their fourth championship in the last 15 years, three more than the New York Yankees have won during that time. That has to irk some Yankee fans.

Red Sox Rally to Win Game Four

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

The Dodgers had just gotten a three run homer from Yasiel Puig in the bottom of the sixth. Rich Hill was in cruise control through the first six innings. A walk in the seventh and Dave Roberts came out. Despite chants from the crowd to leave Hill in Roberts took him out. The Red Sox brutalized the Dodger bullpen for nine runs in the next three innings to win 9-6. A most unlikely hero Steve Pearce was instrumental in the rally with his four RBIs.

The two starting pitchers, number four starters in their rotation at best, Eduardo Rodriguez and Rich Hill were in a pitcher’s duel. Rodriguez was the first to break down when he gave up four in the bottom of the sixth, including the big three run blow to Yasiel Puig. Dave Roberts, having witnessed the break down of Rodriguez in the sixth did not want to see the same thing happen to Hill in the seventh. He pulled Hill after a one out walk, hoping the bullpen would preserve the shutout.

Things got ugly after that. Scott Alexander walked the one batter he faced, Brock Holt. In came Ryan Madson. He retired pinch hitter Jackie Bradley on a popup. Keith Moreland pinch hit for the pitcher’s spot and he took Madson deep. It has not been the best of seasons for Ryan Madson. Madson has now inherited seven runners on base in this World Series and allowed all of them to score.

He got out of the eighth and it was time for Kenley Jansen to get the two inning save. He failed the night before giving up a solo blast to Jackie Bradley in the eighth to begin the marathon game. He failed last night giving up a solo blast to Steve Pearce to tie the game. Both teams were hoping that a marathon game would not follow.

Roberts turned to Dylan Floro to pitch the ninth. The RBI man Rafael Devers, who in his previous start ended his consecutive RBI streak at eight games started another streak with a pinch hit RBI single to give the Red Sox a 5-4 lead. Steve Pearce then assaulted pitcher Kenta Maeda with a bases clearing double to drive in three runs.

Those three runs proved crucial when Enrique Hernandez hit a two run homerun off the Red Sox struggling closer Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the ninth. Like Kenley Jansen, it seems like Kimbrel gives up a run each time he comes in to pitch. With a 9-4 lead it was probably an inning the Red Sox did not need Kimbrel. After throwing 28 pitches in both games three and four he may not be too fresh for game five.

Game five will be Clayton Kershaw and David Price, two pitchers maligned for their post season starts.

Manny Machado seems to be making a habit of stepping on the legs of first basemen. He did it again last night, stepping on the foot of Steve Pearce when he grounded out for the second out in the ninth. Against the Brewers he appeared to kick the leg of Jesus Aguilar when crossing the bag. It appears his dirty play and lack of hustle post season performance could cool teams wanting to bid top dollar for Machado. A lot of teams may fear that once he gets his money he will dial it back and cruise through the rest of his career.

Dodgers Win Marathon

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

Myworld lasted until the 13th inning before crashing. The game lasted seven hours before ending. That is past 3 A.M. Eastern time. It was the longest game in World Series history, lasting longer than the four games combined that were played in the 1939 World Series.

Max Muncy, released last year by the Athletics and turning into a slugger for the Dodgers put an end to the game with his walk off solo shot off Nathan Eovaldi in the bottom of the 18th. Nathan, released by the Yankees was working his seventh inning of relief. His pitch count was in the 90s. Muncy almost ended the game earlier, hitting one out in the 15th but it went foul. His uniform number 13 is giving him some luck.

Rookie Walker Buehler was unhittable for the Dodgers. The Red Sox mustered just two hits off him. The game would have ended 1-0 Dodgers if Roberts had not pinch hit for him in the seventh. He brought on Kenly Jansen to put together a two inning save. Jackie Bradley put an end to that notion with his two out solo shot in the eighth.

Joc Pederson had homered off Rick Porcello in the third to give the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead. For Joc it was his fourth World Series homer in nine World Series games. He has a World Series homerun every seven official at bats.

Ian Kinsler made an error in the bottom of the 13th with the Red Sox up 2-1. Ian is one of three finalists being considered for a Gold Glove at second. He was trying to get Yasiel Puig at first but threw it past the first baseman. That Muncy kid scored from second. Kinsler had entered the game as a pinch runner in the 10th. He was almost picked off at first, overran the bag at third and almost tagged out. The third time was the charm with Cody Bellinger gunning him down at home.

The Red Sox got their run in the top of the 13th on a throwing error by pitcher Scott Alexander that allowed Brock Holt to score from second. So the two teams matched solo shots and throwing errors to allow a runner to score from second to score their first two runs. Both runners who scored from second on the throwing errors got on base via a walk.

The Red Sox threw four of their starting pitchers in an attempt to win the game. Rick Porcello started the game. Eduardo Rodriguez got one out in the ninth. David Price got two outs in the ninth but also gave up a single and walk. Nathan Eovaldi is probably out after his six innings to close out the game. The Red Sox have chosen Eduardo Rodriguez to start game four.

Red Sox Steal Another Game

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

Myworld had a busy day yesterday. We were conked out after the fourth inning of last night’s game. The last we remember the Dodgers were up 2-1. When we awoke the Red Sox had won 4-2.

David Price pitched well. He went six innings allowing just two runs. The bullpen of Joe Kelly, Nathan Eovaldi and Craig Kimbrel went perfect with one inning each for the last three. The Dodgers offense managed only three hits off Price, going 0 for 16 after they scored two runs in the fourth.

In this new game of relying on the bullpen, Hyun-Jin Ryu may have been left in one inning too long. He gave up three runs in the fifth, enough to give the Red Sox the win. Ryu retired the first two hitters in the inning but the number nine hitter Christian Vazquez ripped a single to keep the inning going. That brought the top of the Red Sox order and should have singled to Roberts that it was time to go to the pen. Mookie Betts got the second of his three hits and Andrew Benintendi walked to load the bases.

The Dodgers brought in Ryan Madson, a batter before J. D. Martinez. He walked Steve Pearce to tie the game. J.D. Martinez does what he does best, slicing a single to right field to break the tie and give the Red Sox a 4-2 lead.

Rafael Devers failed to drive in a run, ending his consecutive RBI streak at eight games. With an RBI he would have broken the record he now has to share with Lou Gehrig, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard of post season consecutive game RBI streak with eight.

The series now goes to Los Angeles where the Dodgers will try to change their fortune at home.

Red Sox Strike First in World Series Win Over the Dodgers

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

These two teams have not met in a playoff game since 1916. Babe Ruth pitched in that World Series game. Clayton Kershaw, another pretty good lefty had never pitched at Fenway. His struggles in the playoffs continued as the Red Sox treated his first visit rudely with five runs in just four innings of work. Chris Sale, the ace of the Red Sox staff was only able to survive four innings before departing with three runs allowed.

The Red Sox bullpen was pretty sharp, limiting the Dodgers to just one run in the last five innings. If that is the Red Sox achilles heel it is the bullpen. Craig Kimbrel was pretty sharp for once, retiring the Dodgers in order with two whiffs. Andrew Benintendi had a good day with four hits, all against lefthanded pitchers.

Tough to find an unlikely hero. Rafael Devers got the start at third. If you had to identify one it would be Eduardo Nunez. He pinch hit for Devers in the seventh with the score a precarious 5-4 and hit a three run homerun. That put the game safely on ice for the Red Sox.

Mookie Betts gave the nation an opportunity for free tacos at Taco Bell with his stolen base in the first inning. You have to get the taco on November 1 between 2-6 PM local time. J.D. Martinez got a big hit with his RBI double off the wall in center field to give the Red Sox a 3-2 lead. He could have had a triple if he had not stumbled rounding second.

Rafael Devers RBI single in the seventh gave him RBIs in eight consecutive post season starts. He now joins an esteemed group led by Lou Gehrig, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Howard for the longest RBI streaks in post season history.

And finally the villain of these playoffs, Manny Machado drove in three of the four runs for the Dodgers. He had an RBI single, RBI ground out and sacrifice fly to drive in the three runs but it was not enough.

Red Sox Find the Right Price for World Series Appearance

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Like Clayton Kershaw, David Price has struggled as a starter in playoff games. Coming into this game he had yet to win a start, going 0-9. That all changed last night and it couldn’t have come in a bigger game. Price pitched six innings of shutout ball, limiting the Astros to just three hits while striking out nine in the Red Sox 4-1 win. They beat the defending champion Astros in the best of seven series four games to one.

The Red Sox trio of outfielders were a bit quiet in the clinching game, combining to go 0 for 13 with one walk. The veteran J.D. Martinez drove in the first run with a solo shot in the third. Rafael Devers put the game on ice with a three run blast in the sixth. Both homeruns were off Justin Verlander.

Marwin Gonzalez gave Astro fans their lone reason to cheer with a solo shot in the seventh to make it 4-1. Nathan Eovaldi and Craig Kimbrel closed out the game, going 2.1 innings to give the Sox the victory.

Jackie Bradley Jr. fell two RBIs short of the franchise record of 11 established by David Ortiz, but it was still enough to get him the MVP award for these series playoffs.

Dodgers and Red Sox Roll

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

The Brewers used Wade Miley for one batter and then went to their bullpen. The Dodgers used Clayton Kershaw for seven innings and went to their bullpen. Advantage Dodgers. They win the game 5-2.

Brandon Woodruff worked a starters load for the Brewers but he gave up three runs in five innings. Kershaw may have the numbers of a number five pitcher in playoff appearances but he was unhittable yesterday, allowing just one run in his seven innings while striking out nine. Kershaw may have lost some stuff because of injuries over the years but he can still put together dominating outings.

All five of the Dodgers runs came within a three inning span, 5th through 7th, when Woodruff may have started to get tired and Joakim Soria just was not effective in his seventh inning appearance, retiring only one hitter. Sometimes you can go to the well one time too often relying on your bullpen and find there is no more water left. The Brewers plan on starting Wade Miley for the critical sixth game to keep them in the playoffs.

For the third consecutive game the usual homer happy Dodgers went without, but they did steal bases and slap around seven singles with two doubles. Austin Barnes drove in the first run with a bleeder RBI single up the middle to tie the game 1-1. Yasiel Puig was standing in the on deck circle but Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to bat. The Brewers could have called the bluff and walked Barnes to bring up Yasiel Puig or Kershaw - but didn’t.

Puig was able to get his at bat in the sixth and drove in a run with a single. Max Muncy also had an RBI single, ignoring his homer happy ways to drive in runs to break the 1-1 tie. The two RBI singles put the Dodgers up 3-1. A Justin Turner RBI single and a Brian Dozier RBI ground out the next inning would make it 5-1. Not one RBI created from an extra base hit. That’s normally not the Dodgers formulae for winning games.

Red Sox 8 Astros 6

It was a wild game that many were probably unable to stay up late to watch. It ended on a diving catch by leftfielder Andrew Benintendi with the bases loaded. If he had not made the catch the Astros probably would have won the game 9-8 since the ball would have rolled to the corner of the left field wall and all three runners on base would have scored.

Jackie Bradley can not be called an unlikely hero anymore. He may be hitting ninth in the order, but the bat has been carrying the juice of a clean up hitter. His two run homerun in the sixth carried a long way and gave the Red Sox a 6-5 lead, a lead they would not relinquish. It also gave Bradley nine RBIs for the series two short of slugger David Ortiz for the franchise record for most RBIs in a playoff series.

There were six different times in this game a team took the lead or tied the game. That must have left a lot of fans dizzy. For those staying up late at night there was no time to take a break for sleep. You can do that at the office.

Kimbrel got the two inning save, but it was not easy. He gave up a run, walked three and issued two hits and probably would have lost the game if not for the Benintendi catch.

There was a bit of controversy on a non-catch. Mookie Betts made a leaping attempt to catch a ball by Jose Altuve that was clearly going over the fence for a two run homer. The replays show Betts may have been able to catch the ball but a fan touched the glove of Betts and prevented him from keeping it open to make the catch. If his glove was in play the interference call would have been valid. If his glove was hanging into the stands there should have been no interfence call. The replay officials did not reverse the fan interfence call since it was unclear whether his glove was in the stands when he made his leap.

Betts continued to show his gold glove wins are no fluke with another great play in the eighth. Tony Kemp hit what appeared to be a leadoff double down the right field line. Betts was able to get to the ball and rifle a strike to second to nail Kemp.

All three Red Sox outfielders combined their bats and their gloves to win this game, accounting for at least a plus 12 in the run department.

Dodgers Win Marathon to Even Series; Red Sox Blast Astros

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

There were lots of zeroes on the scoreboard in the Dodgers eventual 2-1 13 inning win over the Brewers. Gio Gonzalez only went one inning, giving up one run before a sprained ankle ended his day. The Brewer bullpen muscled down, throwing 11 shutout innings before Cody Bellinger ended the game with his walk off single in the bottom of the 13th to give the Dodgers a 2-1 win and even the series at two games each. Coming into this game Bellinger’s postseason average for 2018 was .048 and for his career .176.

The Dodgers bullpen also pitched well, not allowing a run for eight innings. Julio Urias, the one time Mexican sensation, came back from oblivion to throw one inning of shutout ball to get credit for the win, proving all that rehab from injury can pay off. Ryan Madson, who was horrible in relief during the regular season with the Nationals and Dodgers stranded a critical runner at third in the seventh and then pitched a scoreless eighth. Madson has only allowed one hit in his 3.1 post season innings, stranding six of the nine runners he has inherited.

Red Sox 8 Astros 2

Jackie Bradley has had his major league career defined as good glove but weak bat. He was again the Red Sox offensive hero with a grand slam homerun in the eighth inning that put the game out of reach and gave the Red Sox the win. It may have been his only hit in the game, but it was a big hit.

Nathan Eovaldi, whose career has been a bit of a disappointment considering his three digit fastball, was the pitching hero, going six innings and capturing the win while allowing two runs. Eovaldi is considered the hardest thrower from Alvin, Texas since, well Nolan Ryan, who was sitting in the stands rooting for his Houston Astros. Eovaldi’s fastball was ringing the radar at three digits.

Steve Pearce, another journeyman player who was a late acquisition from the Blue Jays broke a 2-2 tie with a solo homerun in the sixth. For Pearce it was his first post season homerun.

The Red Sox now lead the best of seven series two games to one.