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Boston Red Sox Game 109 Notes



Boston Red Sox Game 109 Notes: Rick Porcello Looking To Keep Indians In The Ballpark

The Boston Red Sox take on the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday with Rick Porcello on the mound pitching against Trevor Bauer

Here are the lineups:

RED SOX (59-49) INDIANS (57-48)
Mookie Betts RF Bradley Zimmer OF
Andrew Benintendi LF Francisco Lindor SS
Eduardo Nuñez 2B Michael Brantley OF
Hanley Ramirez DH Jose Ramirez 2B
Rafael Devers 3B Edwin Encarnacion DH
Xander Bogaerts SS Carlos Santana 1B
Mitch Moreland 1B Brandon Guyer OF
Christian Vazquez C Roberto Perez C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF Giovanny Urshela 3B
Pitching: RHP Rick Porcello (4-14, 4.55). Pitching: RHP Trevor Bauer (9-8, 5.25).

Sandy Leon is once again out of the lineup with swelling in his knee from Saturdays slide at home plate. Vazquez is the only healthy catcher on the roster at the moment.

Game time:7:10 p.m.

The Red Sox do not have a ton of experience against Bauer, but the Indians do have several hitters who have faced Rick Porcello a ton.

Red Sox vs. Bauer: Nunez 2-9, Bogaerts 1-8, Ramirez 4-7, Betts 3-7, Moreland 0-6, Holt 3-5, Bradley 1-3, Benintendi 1-2, Leon 1-2.

Indians vs. Porcello: Santana 12-43, Encarnacion 13-40, Brantley 8-33, Gomes 5-13, Lindor 2-9, Ramirez 2-8, Perez 3-5, Jackson 0-3, Urshela 2-3.

A win on Wednesday will help keep the Red Sox in first place or a share of first place with the New York Yankees.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Chris Sale Says Sayonara Cy Young



Boston Red Sox

Chris Sale may have lost the Cy Young Last Night

Boston has been hearing it all year long: Chris Sale is a shoo-in for the AL Cy Young Award. Well, it now appears that we have all witnessed, what may be, the most massive jinxing in recent Red Sox history. If you’re the type of person who cares about accolades (unlike Sale), it’s not looking very good.

On Tuesday night, against the Toronto Blue Jays, Sale unofficially tossed away his Cy Young bid. The sinewy lefty went just 5 innings, giving up 5 ER’s while allowing 8 hits (4 HR’s) and 2 BB’s. This ugly “Sale Day” start was downright exasperating. That’s because he could have practically materialized a Cy Young Award with a solid outing. Instead, Red Sox fans have been left with a nonplussing shoulder-shrug of a not so grand finale.

Meanwhile, over in Cleveland, Corey Kluber, Sale’s most formidable contender for the AL Cy Young Award, has crossed the finish-line like it was a preemptive victory lap.

Neck and Neck

Chris Sale, the workhorse of this Red Sox pitching staff, has appeared sort of over-encumbered lately. Perhaps the ambitious comparisons to Pedro Martinez have finally gotten to him, or maybe it’s the asphyxiating media presence, or it could just be a “thing”. But in his last 3 starts, Sale has not performed like the ace that Boston could depend on earlier in the year.

He’s not an emotional dude. His “stuff” on the mound is the gateway to this man’s soul.

A 4.45 ERA with a WHIP of 1.26: These are the telling numbers from Sale’s last 3 starts. Going into Tuesday night, He had a collective 2.75 ERA and a .946 WHIP. Considering that he recently became the first AL pitcher since 1999 to record 300 strikeouts, it seemed that a requisite quality-start could almost guarantee him the Cy Young. But after Tuesday’s debacle, Sale has a disproportionate ERA of 2.90 and a .972 WHIP. At best, he will have one more chance to polish the back of his baseball card, before CYA voting begins.

Disclaimer: This by no means represents a “bad” season. It’s just mathematically not as good as the season that Corey Kluber has had.

Contrasting Sale’s sputtering, it has been business as usual for Kluber, through the month of September. He’s gone 3-0 in his last 3 starts. During that stretch, he has not allowed an earned run. Over the course of those 23 innings, Kluber’s WHIP is nearly immaculate at .696. With presumably one more start left before the postseason, his 2017 stats are definitively Cy Young worthy: He has a 2.27 ERA (best in the AL) and his WHIP is .861 (best in the AL). If there are still some doubters out there, Corey Kluber also has a record of 18-4. How could you argue against this guy winning the Cy Young?

The Eye Test

Yes, some vehement Fenway-faithful may still suggest that Chris Sale is the best pitcher in the AL, despite what has been a disappointing finish to his season. And that’s not a totally uneducated contention: He has reminded Boston of what it’s like to have a Pedro-esque bulldog at the front of the rotation.

Sale has had a helluva year - the type of year that we haven’t seen since, well… Pedro in 1999. But Chris Sale doesn’t have to win the Cy Young Award to crystallize his undeniably special talent or his importance to this promising Red Sox team.

Fans should be greatly heartened by Sale’s maiden season in Boston. Remember how guys like Josh Beckett and John Lackey started out here? Chris Sale at 28 years old, is already infinitely better than both of them combined; Beckett and Lackey both went on to win a World Series with the Sox. In fact, Pedro Martinez’s first year in Boston is statistically the most comparable to Sale’s: In 1998, Pedro had a 2.89 ERA with a WHIP of 1.091. And how’d he end up working out for us?

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Injuries Pop Up In Loss



Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 on Monday night. The loss itself has to be disappointing for a team trying to lock up the AL East with the New York Yankees continuing to win ballgames. But the real loss here is the injuries and lack of velocity from starter Drew Pomeranz.

Pomeranz went 2 innings and his velocity was down. His velocity has been down for the last two starts with Monday’s outing being even slower with his fastball. It could be the innings piling up with the starter having a career high in innings this season.

He explained away the velocity questions after the game though. Pomeranz said he only threw two-seamers as his fastball on Monday and wasn’t planning on reaching back for higher velocity until later in the ball game. He claimed it has nothing to do with wear and tear and instead was simply a strategic move.

“I feel fine,” said Pomeranz. “I came out early and was throwing some two-seams a little slower and was trying to get some swings on them. I was missing. They had one big inning and the weird play there, where the ball kind of spun sideways on us, and I probably should’ve gotten over there and been waiting for it at the base. Then I was out of the game.”

It could have been a strategy but his fastball velocity sat around 92 mph in August and is down to 90 mph in September. For the Red Sox they are aware of the innings build up on Pomeranz and plan to monitor him going forward. Manager John Farrell also wouldn’t rule out creating extra rest for the reliever turned starter ahead of the postseason.

“If the opportunity presents itself, I certainly wouldn’t rule that out,” said Farrell when asked about extra rest for Pomeranz before the postseason. “We recognize the innings total, how he’s climbed over the last couple years in particular. But we notice the velocity has dropped somewhat so it’s got to come down to being able to locate more consistently which he did in Baltimore. He was pinpoint control that night. Tonight, not so much.”

The other health concerns on Monday are positional players. Eduardo Nunez left early after re-aggravating his knee injury.

“My foot got stuck at home plate and we didn’t expect that,” Nunez said. “We didn’t expect it was going to be that tough, so we’re going to sit down for a few more days. We’re going to keep working, do my treatment and hopefully in the series with Houston try again.”

Nunez will be brought back slowly with the goal getting him healthy for the postseason.

The other injury is to right fielder Mookie Betts. Betts’s wrist acted up a couple of days ago and worsened in the game on Monday. Betts postgame didn’t seem overly concerned with his wrist and should be good to go in the coming days.

“I’m not really that concerned,” he said after the Red Sox’ 6-4 loss to the Blue Jays. “I think I’m  going to be fine.”

Once the Boston Red Sox lock up the division they can then start to rest some of their stars and give guys like Chris Sale and Pomeranz some much-needed rest. Boston will take on Toronto once again on Tuesday night with Sale on the mound.

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Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Win 5 In A Row, Magic Number Down To 5



Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox are winners of five straight games in a row. Their last loss came back on the 17th when they lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2. This run that they are on has helped catapult them into a four-game lead over the New York Yankees for first place in the AL East.

New York, clinched a playoff spot on Saturday and acted like they had won the World Series. There was champagne popping in the locker room and photos all over the social spheres. The overreaction of baseball playoff-clinching continues. Boston happened to clinch their playoff spot last week. Did any of you see a clubhouse party? Nope. Me neither.

Boston has started to showcase hidden gems like the resurgence of Eduardo Rodriguez, Rafael Devers, and the return of David Price who has been stellar so far out of the bullpen.

Thier latest winning streak is impressive. But it is also important not to overreact to a good team beating a string of bad teams. Getting hot at the right time matters though.

With 8 games remaining their magic number to win the AL East for the second straight season is sitting at 5 games. New York continues to win ballgames of their own keeping this pennant race one that could go all the way to the end.

One more game in Cincinnati on Sunday, then 7 games to finish off the regular season at Fenway Park. A three-game set against Toronto, and a four-game set against Houston, one of the best teams in the American League to end it.

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