Red Sox Sweep the Ray; onto the Orioles
After being swept by the Baltimore Orioles in the opening series, the Red Sox took on the Tampa Bay Rays. This time, it was the Red Sox that swept the Rays and even their record to 3-3 in the American League East Division. In Game 1, Xander Bogarts went 4 for 5 an RBI and a run scored. JD Martinez homered in the 8th inning as the Red Sox totaled 11 Runs and 16 hits. Nick Pivetta started for the Red Sox and earned himself a win. He threw 5 plus innings and gave up 2 hits and 4 walks. Pivetta struck out 4 in 92 pitches. In game 2, there were many mishaps for both the Red Sox and the Rays. The most notable mistake came in the bottom of the 8th inning when Rafael Devers flied out to Right/Center Field. Martinez kept running from second base believing it was the last out. Martinez had to remain at second base. Unfortunately, it was a double play and the end of the inning. Matt Barnes came in relief to shut out the Rays in the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Diego Castillo came in for the Rays to close the game. On an 0-2 pitch, Christian Vasquez homered over the green monster to tie the game. Eventually, the game came to the end at the bottom of the 12th inning. JD Martinez hit the ball deep at Right Field. Ray's Randy Arozarena misjudged the ball that went over him. That resulted in Martinez in a double that scored Renfroe and Verdugo for the win. Lastly in game 3, the Red Sox scored 3 runs in the fourth, and 6 runs in the fifth inning on Ray's pitcher Ryan Yarbrough. ON the other side, Eovaldi earned his first win as he went 7 strong innings, striking out 7 and giving up 1 Earned Run with 3 hits.
The Red Sox faced their first extra inning game on Tuesday night. The rule in extra innings is that the batter that created the last out in the previous inning, goes to second base at the start of the new inning. This is a great way for the game to be more exciting and prevent the game from extending the time. The game may have lasted four hours but was filled with action from both clubs. I have seen extra inning games similar to this in the minor leagues. MLB did have the minor league clubs practice and survey extra inning rules and it worked to perfection. The local team, Hartford Yard Goats, an affiliation to the Colorado Rockies, spent many games in extra innings. Managers strategize their game by executing sacrifice bunts and flies to help push the runner to third and in better scoring positions. We all can expect the managers to practice sacrifice hits throughout the season.
Notable Red Sox Roster
JD Martinez continues his success as he has a six game hitting streak. He hit one HR off of Chris Mazza. Christian Vasquez hit 2 Home runs in the series. One of them clutched to extra innings. And Xander Boegarts going 3 for 3 in the third game.
Nick Pivetta and Nathan Eovaldi pitched well in the series. In 6 games, the Red Sox have not given up a home run.
Team leaders so far through 6 games is JD Martinez batting a .440, 2 HRs, 11 RBIs, .481 On Base Percentage, and has a total of 11 Hits. In pitching, the stats are close but Nathan Eovaldi leads the team in 11 Strikeouts.
As a team, The Red Sox increased their batting average. However, there is still concern about clutch hitting, particularly in the second game of the Rays when the Red Sox could have needed a guy similar to David Ortiz. It seems as though the only players that can be counted on are JD Martinez and Christian Vasquez. The Red Sox had struck out 27 times in the series. That is three more than the previous series against the Orioles. Kike Hernandez leads the team with 7 strike outs in 23 at bats. Devers, Dalbec, Bogaerts, and Cordero each have 5 strikeouts.
On the previous episode in this podcast, I had Joe Aguiar as a guest and had plenty of words to describe the details on why the MLB pulled the All Star game out of Atlanta. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred listened to the civil rights group and the MLB Players Association. It was indeed a decision Manfred had to make as now the MLB will have the All Star game at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, Denver, Colorado.
The MLB Standings by Division:
In the AL East, it is a tight race with Yankees and Orioles on top. In the AL Central, Minnesota Twins are 4-2. IN the AL West, Houston Astros are 5-1. The Astros completed their series against the Anaheim Angels but the fans did not forget what happened two years ago with the cheating scandal. Fans tossed an inflatable trash can and a real one onto the field.
In the National League East, The Mets and Nationals will make up the games not played in their double headers. But for now, the Philadelphia Phillies are leading the East. In the NL Central, The Cincinnati Reds lead the way and in the NL West, the LA Dodgers are 5-1.
- The Red Sox-Orioles will match up again. This time the Red Sox will visit the Baltimore Orioles in a three-game series. The game will start on Thursday, with the first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM EST. The projected starter for the Red Sox will be Eduardo Rodriguez, who will be making his first start versus Matt Harvey. Harvey had no-decision as he pitched four ⅔ innings striking out four, and gave up 2 ER 6 hits and one walk.
The second game will be on Saturday. Garrett Richard will make his second start against Bruce Zimmerman. Zimmerman earned his first win of the season pitched 6 strong innings, striking out 5 and giving up 3 ER, four hits and a home run from JD Martinez.
The series closes with Nick Pivetta for the Red Sox and Jorge Lopez for the Orioles on Sunday. Lopez will pitch against the Red Sox for the first time. In his career, the Red Sox has batted a .302 against Lopez. Rafael Devers has hit 2 HRs against him. Lopez's last start was against the New York Yankees as he only pitched 4 ⅔ innings in a 7-0 loss.