The Sox finished up their four-game series against the Rays yesterday and are now getting ready for the Marlins. They are 3-1 and sit atop the AL East early in the season. Really, the Sox should be 4-0, but we can’t dwell on what we can’t change.
Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Hector Velazquez all had quality starts for the Sox.
- Sale went six inning on opening day, only giving up one hit, three walks and striking out nine. Unfortunately, he received a no decision after a very poor 1/3 of an inning from Joe Kelly, in which he blew the 4-0 lead. On the bright side, it was a great start for Sale and he’s a consistent guy, so I expect similar performances throughout the season.
- David Price also pitched a gem in his start. It was a battle between him and Rays pitcher Roe, but he never broke. He went seven innings, giving up four hits and striking out five. Oh, and ERA: 0.00.
- Rick Porcello got off to a decent start this year, which I felt was really important. He went 5.1 innings, giving up six hits, one walk, one earned run and striking out four. Another good sign: that run wasn’t given up early. Porcello usually gets in jams early but this time he was in control.
- Hector Velazquez hung in there for the Sox, giving up only five hits, one walk, one earned run and striking out five over 5.2 innings. The Sox were able to take the lead after he gave up that one run early, giving him the win.
- The bullpen looked pretty good in this series despite Joe Kelly’s fluke in the first game. Matt Barnes has had a strong 2.2 innings in which he has relieved for the Sox. He’s given up only two walks and has recorded three strikeouts and an ERA of 0.00. Craig Kimbrel gave a beautiful closing performance in games two and three. Overall: two innings, three strikeouts, one walk, and an ERA of 0.00.
X-Man the X-Factor
Although Xander’s bat was pretty cold come game four of the series, it seemed he was the only one really doing some damage in the first three games. His stats over that span: 8-12 with five doubles, a home run, two RBIs and four runs scored. Going into the Miami series, he is batting .471 with a SLG of .941 and an OPS of 1.412. I’d say the new hitting/batting coach is working out. I mean, I know a lot of people expected this type of start from J.D., but there’s nothing to worry about. It’s only been four games. He’ll heat up soon; everyone is different. But shout out to Xander for getting it done this series.
The Sox now head to the Jeter-owned Marlins for a two games series before heading home for their opener at Fenway. This is a new look Marlins team, who no longer has their superstars; essentially a start-from-scratch team. Hopefully the Sox can sweep this series and go home 5-1. Brian Johnson will pitch the first game, while Sale goes for the second.
Tune in to NESN tonight for the first game. First pitch: 7:10 pm!
The Red Sox opened up the season yesterday against the Tampa Bay Rays. They led for much of the game until the bottom of the 8th. Unfortunately they ended up losing 6-4, giving Chris Sale a no decision. Imagine going six innings, striking out nine and not giving up any runs; but it didn’t matter in the end.
Who’s to Blame: Bullpen or Umpires?
Well, quite frankly both. But I want to specify ‘bullpen’ because it was only really one person: Joe Kelly. Kelly came in and only recorded one out, while also walking four straight batters. I mean, that’s a pretty difficult situation to get out of unscathed, so Carson Smith did what he could. BUT… I also said the umpires had a hand didn’t I? Well, when it wasn’t Kelly’s lack of control on his pitches, it was the umpire being stingy with the strikes. Several pitches that would have resulted in strikeouts were called balls, in turn making them walks. Though, we can argue that Kelly could’ve avoided the situation all together had he been able to control his pitches. He said what we were all thinking after the game: pathetic.
There were some great things that happened in that game along with Sale’s performance . For example, Eduardo Nuñez hit an inside the park homerun! I mean, who expects that on opening day?! And Xander Bogaerts went 3-4 with two runs and a couple of doubles. But no one’s talking about it because they’re too busy talking about how the bullpen a.k.a Joe Kelly blew that 4-0 lead. Maybe Kelly did a little too much playing around this Spring? Being a fake reporter and all…
The Sox have three games left in the series. Price goes up against Snell tonght at 7 pm and the Sox are hoping not to drop this one.
After the struggle to come to an agreement and the long awaited ‘passing of the physical’, J.D. Martinez is now officially a part of the team. I personally thought this deal would NEVER get done, which would have been a shame because we needed a big bat. But Dombrowski came through for us, and with plenty of Spring Training games left.
Getting the Deal Done
Martinez was initially offered $100 million for five years. Then there was a lot of chatter and mixing up of numbers that was immediately shut down by the organization. But any type of deal was looking bleak for a while, and here’s why:
- Martinez, who initially wanted a seven year deal (and I’m assuming more than $100 million) became agitated. He thought he deserved more, but the Sox wouldn’t budge.
- Eric Hosmer then received his monster deal from the Padres at $144 million for 8 years. Now, many didn’t believe he deserved a big contract like that, which was why he was sitting there in free agency for so long.
Just looking at stats, the Hosmer deal was kind of a slap in the face. Martinez has been more consistent the past few years, plus he’s coming off of a monster season. Hosmer’s BA has been up and down, with last season not being all that impressive in comparison to Martinez. That’s business for you. But Martinez ended up getting a contract he could get behind (5 yrs/$110 million). No matter what people say, it HAD to be front loaded, along with all the opt out options and limited no trade clause. It’s a nice illusionary tactic. But really, he knew wasn’t going to get a better deal than he got. Not with next year’s free agency pool…(*cough* Bryce Harper *cough*).
Martinez’s Big Bat Dominance
A lot of people I knew didn’t believe we needed this guy. Everyone wanted Stanton, but he didn’t want us, so it was time to move on. Honestly, Martinez was the next best thing. Just last year he hit 45 HRs, had 104 RBIs, a BA of .303 and an OPS of 1.066 — and that was after being traded midseason. This guy had some solid seasons with Detroit, which was where he really started to come into his own. In three full seasons with them, he recorded 83 HRs, 246 RBIs, batted .301 with an OPS of .899. As long as Martinez can continue to post those Big Papi numbers like he did last season, the Red Sox will be a legitimate threat in the AL again.
I’m looking forward to an exciting season, and hopefully one that doesn’t end with a first round exit in the playoffs. Let’s go Sox Nation!