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But Can He Pitch?

Updated: 2017-08-20T08:00:05-04:00


Red Sox Minor Lines: Bryan Mata is getting tired


A rough day for Bryan Mata, a solid one for Jalen Beeks. Pawtucket W 4-2 Tzu-Wei Lin: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K Sam Travis: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 R Bryce Brentz: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R Blake Swihart: 0-4, 2 K Deven Marrero: 1-3 Jalen Beeks: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 5 K Austin Maddox: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K Another day, another really solid outing for Beeks. I can’t really imagine a scenario in which he gets any major-league starts this year besides possibly getting one at the very end of the year if the Red Sox are fortunate enough to wrap things up early. Even so, it could be worth it to add him to the 40-man soon and get him some bullpen action in September. They would have to make some tough cuts for this to happen, so perhaps they will just wait until the winter to make the move. Either way, his time in the minors is coming to a close. Portland G1 SUSP Portland G2 PPD Salem L 6-7 (F/12) Tate Matheny: 2-6, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K Austin Rei: 0-4, 1 BB, 3 K Roniel Raudes: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 K This wasn’t the best of starts for Raudes, though honestly this kind of seems like a typical line for the righty this season. His run totals have fluctuated a bit from start-to-start, but the strikeout and walk numbers have been around this ratio all year long. He’s still a really interesting pitcher who I really want to stay in the organization through the winter so I can see him in person in Portland in 2018. Greenville L 4-7 Tyler Hill: 0-3, 1 K Brett Netzer: 0-4 Roldani Baldwin: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K Bobby Dalbec: 0-2, 2 BB, 2 R, 1 K Bryan Mata: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 3 K That’s an ugly line for Mata, though he can be forgiven as the 18-year-old is wrapping up his first full season as a professional and he’s likely showing some signs of fatigue. Don’t be surprised if his lines are underwhelming for the rest of the year and/or he’s shut down a little early. What’s more disappointing is the offense, who can’t seem to put together consistent production. Baldwin has had an encouraging year, but the rest have been inconsistent at the plate. Lowell L 0-5 Michael Osinski: 1-4, 1 K Garrett Benge: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 CS Jake Thompson: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K GCL Red Sox L 2-8 Pedro Castellanos: 0-4, 1 K Tyler Esplin: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB DSL Red Sox W 7-6 Willis Figueroa: 1-4, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K Keibert Petit: 1-3, 2 BB, 2 R, 1 RBI [...]

Red Sox 3, Yankees 4: Red Sox shut down by CC Sabathia...again


CC Sabathia owns the Red Sox this year for some reason. It was not the happiest of Chris Sale days in Boston on Saturday, as the Red Sox ace was a little bit off compared to where we’re used to seeing him. The Yankees, who Sale has dominated so many times this year, were able to manage some hard contact off the lefty in this game and that was enough to propel them to a victory. While Sale’s performance was noteworthy because of the hard contact, he was still able to go deep into the game and put the Red Sox in a position where they still could have won. Unfortunately, Boston has no answer to CC Sabathia, in this the year 2017. The veteran lefty was dominated the Red Sox this season, coming into this day with 14 scoreless innings against his rival. They did manage to score two off of him in this game, but he cruised through most of this outing. Seriously, what Sabathia has been able to do against the Red Sox this year is uncanny. This was a wildly frustrating game, and some of that was due to some solid contact that didn’t results in a hit, but a lot of it was simply because they couldn’t get anything going against the former Cy Young winner. It sort of felt like some of the earlier struggles in the year, although this one was much more forgivable considering how well they’ve been hitting of late. Still, you’d have liked to see them do more against the aging southpaw, but it wasn’t in the cards tonight. The Red Sox didn’t even manage a baserunner against Sabathia until there were two outs in the third when Jackie Bradley got a single. Before that, there was not much to be happy about, though Mookie Betts was robbed of a single on a great reaction play by Sabathia. Bradley was, of course, stranded at first after that single and Boston followed that inning up with a 1-2-3 fourth. To say Sabathia cruised to that point would be an understatement. Meanwhile, Sale was being hit as hard and as consistently as we’ve seen in 2017. Granted, the bar is set incredibly high for the Cy Young favorite, but it was still a bit jarring to see the Yankees hit him so well. The first inning against Sale wasn’t too bad as New York managed but one walk, but things took a turn after that. In the second, after a quick first out, he allowed a ground rule double into the right-field corner from Didi Gregorius. Amazingly, it was the first double from a left-handed hitter against Sale all year. The southpaw hit the next batter he faced to put two runners on for Tyler Austin. Sale tossed him a fastball up in the zone, and Austin was sitting on it. He smoked it over everything in left field to give the Yankees an early 3-0 lead. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images Sale settled down some after that. He allowed an infield single before getting out of that second and allowed just one baserunner in each of the next two innings, with one coming on an error. There were some loud outs in that frame, though, with the most notable being a deep flyout from Austin on which Jackie Bradley made yet another amazing catch. This time, he leaped way up in the air against the wall to make the grab. So, that brings us up to the fifth with Sabathia and Sale seemingly switching roles for the night, at least based on expectations. The Red Sox ace allowed a one-out double to Hicks in the top half, and it seemed like trouble with Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez coming up. He got through it, because of course he did. In the bottom half, the Red Sox finally got a rally going against Sabathia. Xander Bogaerts started things with a one-out walk, and he moved over to third on a single from Rafael Devers. With runners on the corners, Sandy Leon hit a weak ground ball that resulted in an out but also scored a run and pushed Devers to second base. That would turn out to be important as Bradley came through with a two-out single that scored Devers, partially thanks to an impressive slide from the rookie at home plate. The throw home moved Bradley to second, but Eduardo Nuñez stranded him there with the R[...]

Red Sox vs. Yankees lineup: Time for a Sale Day beatdown



The Sox have owned the Yankees without Chris Sale on the mound, so today should, uh, be easier?

The first-place, awesome Red Sox (70-51) look to beat the dumb Yankees (65-56) yet again when they take the field tonight at Fenway Park (7:10 p.m., NESN, MLB Network out-of-market). It’ll be Chris Sale (2.51 ERA), the best, against CC Sabathia (4.05 ERA), a former Cy Young Award winner and generally good guy coming off the disabled list whom the Sox ought to nonetheless pound. And oh yeah, Sale. Who rules. Little else to report. Here are the full lineups:

Don't ever mention "Mookie Betts" and "trade" in the same sentence again


Not for Giancarlo Stanton. Not for anybody. Please and thank you. I always cringe when I listen to Bill Simmons talk about the Red Sox. I understand the clout he holds in the realm of Boston sports fandom, and respect his ability to inject fandom into mainstream media coverage in a reputable way. He is the prototype for forums like SBNation, and for that fans and even bloggers like me owe him a debt of gratitude for allowing for these types of platforms. But he's a Celtics guy, first and foremost. And even the mere suggestion that Mookie freakin Betts could be dealt for Giancarlo Stanton this season (or ever) enraged me enough to start furiously typing. On his most recent episode of "The Bill Simmons Podcast" he brought his dad on to discuss a pu pu platter of Red Sox topics, which led to a discussion on Giancarlo Stanton and a potential trade to Boston. Stanton recently cleared waivers because, well, he's owed buckets of money from now until eternity ($295 million, to be exact.) Simmons, alongside his guest Mallory Rubin (who knows far more about baseball than he does), introduces the topic by somehow deciding it would be impossible to pry Stanton from Miami without parting with one of: Rafael Devers, Andrew Benintendi, or Mookie Betts. This is A) almost certainly made up, B) not true, and C) categorically false. As the voice of reason, Rubin introduces the conversation by saying: "You don't want to part with Devers for Stanton. You're not going to say goodbye to Betts or Benintendi." Simmons comes back by half-heartedly agreeing, then spouting: "Betts is overqualified for this trade, but on the other hand I think he's a couple years away from really getting paid. You could argue Stanton's an upgrade." Simmons then asks his dad whether he would trade Betts, Benintendi, or Devers for Stanton. His dad, without hesitation, says he would, and decides Betts would be the one of those three he'd part with (another ludicrous decision, but that's a separate discussion). So, to get this straight: He wants to think about trading Mookie Betts for Giancarlo Stanton because Mookie Betts is a few years from getting a contract that will still be smaller than Stanton's contract is right now. That's some roundabout logic. It is an absurd, baseless, utterly misguided thought, and there are several hundred reasons why. The first — and perhaps least important — reason: Mookie Betts is better at baseball than Giancarlo Stanton. I deem that to be a relevant point when discussing a(n) (im)possible baseball trade. Say what you want about WAR -- and there are flaws — but it is a stat that helps provide a complete picture of a player's value independent of his team around him. Mookie Betts' WAR in the last three seasons: 20.7 Stanton's? 11.6 Stanton's best season, by WAR, is still a full three wins lower than Betts' total last season, when, I'll point out, he finished second in the MVP race. Betts is three years younger than Stanton. Stanton has had notable injury issues, Betts has not (knock on wood). Betts is a significantly superior defender, especially considering the perils of replacing him with even an average defender in Fenway's right field. And Betts still makes less than a million dollars this year and cannot be a free agent until 2021. Oh, by the way, Giancarlo Stanton is just beginning his 13 year, $325 million contract. That matters a ton, even when you're adding a player who might his 60 home runs this season. This is an ownership group that has, contrary to national narrative, prioritized staying under the luxury tax, at least for now. The idea of Giancarlo Stanton playing at Fenway Park is undeniably enticing. He is the perfect replacement for Papi, and instantly makes the Red Sox the favorites in the American League this year. I am willing to have a civil discussion about whether they should just bite the contractual bullet and place the best power hitter of the last decade into Boston. I am not willing to have any such conversa[...]

Red Sox Minor Lines: Carson Smith tosses a scoreless inning


Carson Smith with another rehab start, Henry Owens with another Henry Owens start. Pawtucket L 4-11 Tzu-Wei Lin: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K Sam Travis: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 K Bryce Brentz: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K Blake Swihart: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 2 K Deven Marrero: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI Hector Velazquez: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K Carson Smith: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K Another rehab outing for Smith, and this time he put together a solid enough line but one that’s hard to get excited about. He didn’t record any strikeouts, and the velocity isn’t back yet. Him getting back to full form this year was always a longshot, but it’s looking even longer now. Meanwhile, Velazquez, Marrero and Swihart have solid games and they are all candidates to come up in a couple of weeks. Portland G1 L 1-4 Danny Mars; 0-3 Michael Chavis: 1-3 Josh Ockimey: 0-3, 2 K Josh Tobias: 1-2, 1 2B Henry Owens: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 K Portland G2 L 1-5 Danny Mars: 2-5 Michael Chavis: 1-2, 1 BB Josh Ockimey: 2-3, 1 R, 1 K Trevor Kelley: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K After his previous outing was so encouraging, Owens had another Owens-esque outing on Friday. As people will always point out with respect to Owens, the southpaw is still young and there is still time for him to turn things around. That is absolutely true. I’m just not sure it’s ever going to happen with the Red Sox, and I’m really interested to see where he plays in 2018 and how it goes. Salem L 1-2 Tate Matheny: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K Austin Rei: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 K It’s been a really inconsistent year for Matheny, and it’s probably unfair for him to ever be the most exciting position player prospect on a roster. Still, that’s the case with him in Salem right now, so it’s always nice to see him go deep. It was his sixth homer of the year. Greenville L 8-10 Tyler Hill: 1-3, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K Brett Netzer: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 E Roldani Baldwin: 1-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI Bobby Dalbec: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 E The ball was flying in Greenville on Friday night, so much so that even Hill went deep. The outfielder is an exciting player, don’t get me wrong, but power isn’t exactly his strong suit. Dalbec had a pretty typical Dalbec game, showing off both the good and the bad. Meanwhile, Baldwin continues his quietly strong season behind the plate. Lowell L 1-3 Michael Osinski: 0-4, 1 K, 1 E Frankie Rios: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K GCL Red Sox L 4-6 Cole Brannen: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB Pedro Castellanos: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI Zach Schellenger: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K Friday was the professional debut for Schellenger, the team’s sixth round pick in this past June’s draft. The Seton Hall product is a relief-only prospect, but there is real excitement here. I’d expect him to get at least an outing or two in Lowell before the year is out and to start next year in Greenville’s bullpen. DSL Red Sox W 3-1 Willis Figueroa: 2-2, 1 R Keibert Petit: 0-4, 1 R, 1 SB, 1 CS [...]

Red Sox 9, Yankees 6: This team does not quit.


Another late-game comeback for the Red Sox. What a wild game, which is quickly become the norm for this Red Sox team. It was a roller coaster of emotions that included a strong start from Drew Pomeranz until the lefty was forced to exit early for back spasms. It included a couple of early dingers from the Red Sox lineup — from Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez — but some disappointing at bats as well. It included horrible bullpen management from John Farrell in the middle innings and even worse pitching from the relievers in that same time period. But, most importantly, it included yet another late-game comeback from this lineup. It’s becoming increasingly clear as the year goes on that this Red Sox team just doesn’t quit. Thrilling comebacks have become the norm, and it doesn’t matter who they’re facing. The Yankees have the best bullpen in baseball, but they were able to put a rallies together against Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle and Aroldis Chapman, all of whom can be fabulous pitchers. It has been a wildly fun month of baseball. Early on in this game, everything was comin’ up Red Sox. On the mound, Pomeranz was continuing to pitch like he has all year long. Granted, he wasn’t incredibly sharp, but against a frightening Yankees lineup (I don’t care if some guys have struggled a bit in the second half, they are still scary dammit) he kept runs off the board. He had most of his curveballs spinning well, and while his fastball wasn’t flying out of his hand quite like it was the last time he faced the Yankees, he was locating the pitch and getting enough velocity behind it. Although he kept runs off the board in the time he was able to pitch, he got into a little bit of trouble in just about every inning. In the first, Brett Gardner hit a single and moved along to second before the inning was ended with him stranded in scoring position. The second saw a well-hit double from Chase Headley, but he was eventually stranded at third. In Pomeranz’ third and final inning, the southpaw got Gary Sanchez to sit down on a huge strikeout with runners on first and second. As I said, he’d have to leave with back spasms in the next inning, but if this is just a short-term concern then there’s no worrying about Pomeranz’ performance. He’s been so consistently solid-to-great for such a long stretch of this season, and that continued on Friday. The Red Sox need that moving forward. Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Meanwhile, on offense, the Red Sox had a solid start against Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery. Well, it was a delayed solid start. The first inning was uneventful, but Boston got things going in the second. After a couple of quick outs to begin the frame, the Sox started to rally. Xander Bogaerts got things started with a double off the Monster, continuing to show signs of life that have been missing for so much of the year. Devers came up next, and did what he does best. Montgomery served him a hanging breaking ball on the outer half of the plate, and Devers launched it the other way for a two-run home run. It gave Boston a 2-0 lead. Things quieted down for the next couple innings for Boston’s lineup, as they drew a walk in each of the next two frames but couldn’t do anything with the baserunners. Then, in the fifth, they’d tack on an insurance run on yet another home run. This time, it was Vazquez who led off the frame by taking a fastball right over the heart of the plate and crushing it over everything in left field. It gave Boston a 3-0 lead, and that insurance run would prove to be important. So, at this point things were up to the Red Sox bullpen for a much longer period than they had expected. Brandon Workman was called upon first, and though he struggled both with his performance and his velocity, he got through 1 2⁄3 scoreless innings to preserve the shutout. That brought on Matt Barnes for the sixth, and he wasn’t so[...]

Drew Pomeranz exits Friday’s start early



It looked like a back issue.

The Red Sox may have just suffered a major blow to their rotation. Drew Pomeranz, pitching through some wet conditions at Fenway, had gotten through 3 13 scoreless innings against the Yankees. Then, in the middle of the second at bat in the fourth inning, the lefty made an awful pitch and some of the infielders noticed that something wasn’t right. That brought out John Farrell and the training staff.

Obviously, it’s hard to say exactly what is going on at this moment. We have no information. What I can say is that it appeared that Pomeranz was tugging his lower back when he was talking to the trainers. You could see that he was having some trouble finishing his pitches, and something clearly wasn’t right. Hopefully, this is just a minor tweak and he’ll be better tomorrow, particularly in drier weather. We’ll keep you posted when we get more updates.

UPDATE: The Red Sox announce that Pomeranz was pulled with back spasms.

Red Sox vs. Yankees lineup: Bad weather for the bellwether



It’ll be Drew Pomeranz vs. Jordan Montgomery if they play

The Red Sox (69-51, nice) face the dumb Yankees (65-55) again tonight, weather permitting, at Fenway Park (7:10 p.m., NESN). It’s lefty on lefty with Drew Pomeranz (3.39 ERA) squaring off against Jordan Montgomery (3.94 ERA). Too busy to say much beyond the fact that we came thisclose to sweeping those turds last weekend in Yankee Stadium, and now we’re at home. I like our chances. Here are the full lineups: