Record (4-3) Season (32-15) GB 0.5 Series Play (11-4-0)
Record (4-3) Season (32-15) GB 0.5 Series Play (11-4-0)
- The Oakland series that began this homestand was disheartening on two counts. Not only did Boston drop the series, but it also featured the return of the tiresome Jonny Gomes to the NESN booth. How this guy gets return invitations is beyond me. His insufferable cadence is like fingernails on a chalkboard, and if that isn't bad enough, he talks to the audience like they never watched a baseball game before. Both he and David O'Brien are absolute death, but their polar opposite personalities are almost comical. On one hand, you have the greased back, goody-two-shoes version of Ward Cleaver in O'Brien. Then you have the skin-headed "Hacksaw" Jonny Gomes who looks as if he's going to reach through the screen and snatch your soul.
- Oakland is the only team so far that has a winning record against the Sawx as they took 4 of 6 from Boston to complete their encounters for 2018. The Red Sox avoided the sweep thanks to staff ace Chris Sale who turned in a competent, if not slightly substandard, outing. The strikeouts were there as he punched out 9 batters, but he walked 4 and only managed to last 5 innings. Xander Bogaerts salted this one away with a 3 run shot in the 6th for a 6-4 victory. The long ball became quite prominent on this 7-day stretch as Boston belted 14 in total at Fenway. The final game of the A's series seemed to be the launching pad as JD Martinez joined Xander in the fun. JD's massive shot to deep center gave Sale the lead he required for his fourth win of the season and led to an amazing week for the man nicknamed "Just Dingers".
- Martinez smacked 5 taters on the homestand while batting .346. He also drove in 8 runs which was good for second overall trailing team leader Andrew Benintendi by one. JD's bravado with the bat earned him player of the week honors as he led the charge against the hapless Orioles with Boston grabbing 3 of 4 games. As in the Oakland finale, both JD and Xander once again went bridge in the Baltimore opener which also saw Buck Showalter demonstrate his disgust along with a wry sense of humour. After Boston inexplicably ran wild on the bases on O's starter Kevin Gausman stealing 5 bases, the Bogaerts' three-run homer off the left-field light tower was Buck's breaking point. When he went to get Gausman he cut in front of Bogey as he rounded third base. When asked about this unorthodox maneuver after the game, Showalter said he was just trying to follow the pace of play rules to speed things up. This game also highlighted a complete game 6-2 victory for David Price to even his record to (4-4, 4.38) on the season. Price was one out away from a shutout, but Manny Machado leaned on an offering for a two-run blast to break the goose egg.
- The Baltimore series also included a breath of fresh air in the booth as Dennis Eckersley supplanted Gomes, and the difference was night and day. The ultra-cool Eck is always very refreshing with his baseball lingo, and I love his new one for caught looking: "pair of shoes". He also doesn't hesitate to call things like he sees them. When Eduardo Nunez booted a routine grounder Eck uttered in disgust "No way, look at the hop he got. He just clanked it. I don't get it. This is the big leagues." Last year, the well-documented feud between him and David Price erupted over a comment Eckersley made about a poor rehab start by Eduardo Rodriguez. Eck seemed to then be a bit too careful in his analysis soon after this, so it's good to see he has the kid gloves off once again.
- Starting pitching accounted for all the decisions in the homestand, and it was a mixed bag. Eduardo Rodriguez looked terrific against the Orioles in the series finale but laid an egg in the Oakland series. Consistency and longevity must go hand in hand with ERod. Rick Porcello was bitten by the home run bug against Oakland and couldn't harness a critical shutdown inning on 2 occasions but was able to deliver a solid 6 inning effort for his sixth win of the year in the third game against Baltimore. The bullpen provided stellar support when called on and had a combined ERA of 2.82. The homestand also marked the return of Steven Wright to the fold. He was able to eat some innings after Eduardo's brief stint against the A's and offer support in yet another disappointing Drew Pomeranz start. If Pomeranz doesn't get things together soon, Wright could push him for a spot in the rotation. The bullpen took a hit with the moronic injury suffered by Carson Smith after he threw his glove in the dugout during the Oakland series. His throwing shoulder looks as though it'll require season-ending surgery, but it doesn't end there. Smith alluded to the fact that overuse may have played a role in his injury. Alex Cora was quick to rebuke that notion saying he checks in with the bullpen regularly and was not informed by Smith that he was stressed by his workload.
- Included in the Baltimore onslaught was Andrew Benintendi's return to prominence. The sophomore slugger is beginning to find his stroke and seems to thrive in front of the home crowd. Benny is hitting .361 at Fenway and really found a groove during this home stint. After a slow start which saw him bat .218 20 games into the campaign, he has turned up the dial significantly mashing at a .340 clip in his last 23 games. Getting back to JD, he leads all teammates with 9 long balls at home and is second in batting average (.365) to all-world Mookie Betts (.417). This homestand capped a historic run for Boston as they have hit 67 HR this season, the most through 47 games in franchise history (previous: 66 in 1977). Boston currently leads all AL teams in home batting average as well (.289).
- The Sawx are now 15-7 at home but are only 7-6 in the last 13 games. They'll have a quick turnaround to improve on this as they are off on a mini 3 game jaunt in Tampa. They then will return for 6 more games at Fenway against the Braves and the Blue Jays.
Homestand by the Numbers
|Jackie Bradley Jr.||4||13||10||3||1||1||0||0||0||3||7||1||0||.100||.308||.200||.508|
Hanley is the only Sox player with negative offensive, defensive and base running numbers. His OPS is the same as last year. His isolated power has gone from .217 to .188 to .154. He's 314 PA from his option vesting. Might be time to free Mitch a little bit here.— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) May 20, 2018
Drew Pomeranz last— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) May 19, 2018
8 GS - 36.2 IP - 6.14 ERA - 1.75 WHIP
19 BB - 31 K
4.58 IP/per start
18.5 pitches per inning
Five-tool player? Switch-hitter? Two-seam fastball? Sometimes it seems like baseball is another language. Thankfully, Jonny Gomes is here to bring everybody up to speed -- @GlennDOrdway @LouMerloni @christianfauria pic.twitter.com/3L2cM1er1f— OMFonWEEI (@OMFonWEEI) May 15, 2018
Xander hit that so hard Showalter changed pitchers before Xander even crossed home pic.twitter.com/8ASfMfqbUA— Sox Lunch (@Soxlunch) May 18, 2018