David Price Proves His Critics Wrong

 

david

Photo Credit: Jason Miller/ Getty Images

In December of 2015 the Red Sox signed David Price to a seven year contract worth 217 million dollars. The deal at the time was the largest contract ever given to a pitcher. Since signing that deal Price has received heavy criticism and clashed with the media in Boston. He hasn’t put up the spectacular numbers he did prior to arriving in Boston and has continued to struggle in the postseason until this past week. This year Price has dealt with elbow problems which placed him on the disabled list for the majority of the second half of the season forcing the Red Sox to use him as a reliever for the playoffs. In the opening round against the Houston Astros Price is pitching like the pitcher the Red Sox thought they were getting. As a starter Price is 0-8 in the postseason and in his only  postseason start last year against the Cleveland Indians he did not pitch well. Yesterday Price changed the narrative and saved the Red Sox season.

So far in this series against the Astros the Red Sox starting pitching has gotten destroyed. That didn’t change yesterday as the Red Sox starter Doug Fister only lasted one inning. Price entered the game in the fourth inning after two scoreless innings of relief from Joe Kelly and stunned the Fenway faithful. Facing the most potent offense in baseball Price delivered four innings of scoreless relief. The Sox bats followed suit as they came alive for the first time of the series and scored ten runs. The offensive explosion included homeruns by Jackie Bradley  and rookie Rafael Devers. The Red Sox needed some sort of jolt and it came from Price.

Many people have been critical of the starter this year. He needed a defining moment in a Red Sox uniform and he got that yesterday. Price may never pitch again this series depending on if the Red Sox can complete a comeback and win this series. Regardless of how this series ends Price stepped up when the Sox needed him the most and finally began to justify the contract Boston gave him.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#MLB #RedSox

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Red Sox Make a Statement

Killer B's

Photo Credit: Billie Weiss/ Boston Red Sox/ Getty Images

Yesterday was the trade deadline for Major League Baseball and while teams such as the Yankees and Dodgers added high impact pieces the Red Sox made one move. They acquired set up man Addison Reed from the New York Mets to improve the bullpen. The Red Sox did not add any offensive pieces other than Eduardo Nunez who they acquired last week. While many people wanted the Sox to acquire a high impact bat the improvement on offense needs to come within. The Sox young core has struggled this season which is why the Red Sox rank near the bottom of almost every offensive category. A return to form from their young core Is better than any possible trade the Sox could have made at the deadline. Last night the Sox rewarded Dombrowski’s faith as they broke through in one of the biggest games of the year.

Last night the Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians in a rematch of last years playoffs. The sox sent Doug Fister to the mound who has struggled mightily in a Red Sox uniform. Yesterday  when the Sox needed Fister to step up he did exactly that. No one was expecting him to give this team a chance to win and he did exactly that and more. Fister held the Indians scoreless for seven innings before giving up two runs in the eighth. His terrific start was backed by the awakening of the Red Sox offense. The Sox were lead by Mookie Betts who appears to have broken out of his mini slump. Betts was the runner up for the AL MVP last year and showed why last night as he drove in three of the Sox six runs. The Sox offense was also fueled by the rookie Rafael Devers who had four hits. Devers was the Sox top ranked prospect and is showing why the team was against involving him in any trade. Devers has ten hits in his first twenty four at bats in the majors including two homeruns. Eduardo Nunez continued his hot start in a Red Sox uniform as he had three hits raising his average with the Red Sox to .317.

Last night the Sox showed the offensive team that they’re capable of being. In order for the Red Sox to be successful they need to consistency play like they did last night.  The Red Sox have all the pieces to be a contender they just need to show it. If the Sox can play up to their capabilities then a deep playoff run is in store and the only thing stopping them from that possibility is themselves.

Written By: Jamie Gatlin

#RedSox

Bogaerts Becoming Truly Elite

Xander

Photo Credit:  Dan Orencole

Xander Bogaerts is becoming one of the best players in baseball. The young shortstop came into the league with lofty expectations and struggled early on. In Bogaert’s first two years in the majors he failed to hit above .250.  Bogaerts followed that with a breakout 2015 campaign in which he hit .320. Bogaerts followed that up with an even greater campaign in 2016 in which he hit a career high 21 homers but only hit .290. This year Bogaerts is of to a tremendous start as he is hitting .319 and already has set a new career high in triples with 4.  Bogaerts is becoming one of the best shortstops in baseball not only because of his offense but his defense as well. This young superstar  is not without his faults.

Scouts have always seen Bogaerts as an elite hitter with good pop. He was not expected to hit 30 homeruns every year however 20 homeruns a year would not have surprised people. Bogaerts currently has four homeruns on the season and in his first four years in the majors he has hit more than ten homeruns only once.  This year the young shortstop is showing why that may not detrimental.  This year the Red Sox offense hasn’t been as potent as it was last year. This a result of all the young studs the Red Sox have finding their way and the fact that they are playing their first season without their franchise icon  David Ortiz who retired last year.

Bogaerts may not be the power hitter many envisioned but that may be okay. Even without his power your left with a shortstop who will drive in eighty runs while hitting over .300 and playing stellar defensive. The Red Sox are a team full of young stars in the form of Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Jackie Bradley Jr. to name a few. Bogaerts is showing why scouts have  always been so high on him regardless of the lack of power: he just can’t stop getting on base.

Written By; Jamie Gatlin

#RedSox #Boston

Red Sox Injuries Starting To Mount

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Photo Credit: Elise Amendola

So far this season the Red Sox offense has yet to get into a rhythm and the team seems to be suffering an injury every night. In the Sox game against the Orioles two night ago infielder Marco Hernandez was removed from the game due to a shoulder injury. Hernandez was filling in for Pablo Sandoval who is on the DL and has no set return date. The Sox also lost starter Steven Wright, an All-Star last year, for the remainder of the season due to a troublesome left knee. The Sox have options to replace Wright including starter Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick got the opportunity to hold down Wright’s spot but he gave up six runs in four innings of work against the Baltimore Orioles. The Sox also opened the season with two critical parts of their bullpen on the DL in Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg. The Red Sox will also be without starter David Price for at least another month. It will be critical for players to step up as this team battles injuries to these key players.

Entering this season the Red Sox were chosen by many to win it all after a blockbuster trade with the Chicago White Sox in which they acquired Chris Sale in exchange for a package of top prospects including infielder Yoan Moncada. Pitchers such as Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez have stepped up amid the injuries after an inconsistent 2016 season for both. They will both be counted on heavily until Price returns from his injury. The Sox still have arguably the best outfield in baseball and a above average infield even without Pablo Sandoval. If the Sox can battle these injuries then they will be a scary team when everyone is healthy, a team that many predicted to win it all.

Written by: Jamie Gatlin

#RedSox

Will Chris Sale Solve The Red Sox Jinx?

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins

Photo Credit: Jason Lowenthal

The Red Sox attract high-profile players; however, there has been a recent disturbing trend. Going back to Josh Beckett, high profile pitchers who sign or are traded to the Red Sox tend to underperform in their first year in Beantown. Pitchers included in this trend are Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Rick Porcello, and David Price. All of these pitchers had success before being traded or signed by the Sox and then struggled mightily in their first years in Boston. Beckett was coming of at season in which he finished 15-8 before being traded to the Red Sox with third baseman Mike Lowell. Beckett won 15 games in his first year in Boston, however he had an ERA of 5.01, well above his career norm. Lackey was coming off five years of a sub-four ERA before signing with the Sox and was seen as the ace of the Angels. In his first year in Boston, Lackey finished with an ERA of 4.40.  Porcello was coming off a career year in which he won 15 games for the Detroit Tigers before the Red Sox acquired him in a deal for slugger Yoenis Cespedes. The Sox also gave Porcello a 82 million dollar contract before he even threw a pitch for them and then his first year turned out to be a disaster. Price did not have a disastrous first year in Boston; however, he hardly seemed like a pitcher who had been considered the best in the game behind Clayton Kershaw. There is hope for Price if he looks at how these pitchers fared after their first year in Boston.

Even though they all struggled mightily, they all rebounded. Beckett won 21 games in his second year in Boston as the Sox won their second title in four years. After battling back from injuries, Lackey proved to be key for the Red Sox in their 2013 championship run and Porcello rebounded in 2016 by winning the AL Cy Young. Chris sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball. With that he brings high expectations to Boston especially considering the players the Red Sox gave up for him. The Red Sox faithful expect him to put up big numbers and will accept nothing less than that. This jinx or curse as some would say  must end at some point and there’s no reason to think Sale won’t be the one to do it.

Written by: Jamie Gatlin

#RedSox #Boston

Thank You Big Papi

 

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Credit: John Angelillo

Even though David Ortiz’s last game at Fenway will come during the playoffs in the regular season’s final series the Sox took the time to honor their retiring icon. The Red Sox pulled out all the stops including naming  a bridge after the slugger and revealing that next season number 34 will be retired. This broke a Red Sox rule as the previous players who got their number retired were first elected  into the Baseball  Hall Of Fame and long after their first year of retirement. This shows just how much Ortiz has not only meant to the franchise but also Boston. Not only has he come up with clutch after clutch hit but his impact can be seen in the community far and wide. His wide smile is not only a symbol for the Red Sox but all of baseball. No one will ever have the effect he has had as he is a once and a lifetime player. In an era when it is not the norm for a player to spend most of his career with one team Ortiz did that. Ortiz will retired having played nineteen major league seasons only six of those without the Red Sox. He’s been with the Sox through the highs including three championships and lows when the Sox finished in last place. Through all the change and the heroes on those championship teams one thing has remained constant and that’s Ortiz. When people are asked what is your favorite Papi moment there are so many to choose from its hard to pick one .Through all the criticism and people who said he was done after 2009 his drive never wavered but only increased . That is why fans love him so much. This man never quits no matter the deficit. Just look at his postseason stats as justification.

He single handily carried the Sox on his back as they did the impossible in 2004 and came back from a 3-0 series deficit to beat the Yankees en route to the Sox first championship in 86 years. He did the same in the  2013 playoffs  as the Red Sox offense was dead until he  brought it back to life with one swing. There’s also the countless other clutch hits however this post would be ten pages long if I included them all. Ortiz did not just lift fans with his bat. After the Boston Marathon bombings Ortiz’s speech at Fenway gave the city a source of strength after its darkest hours. He embraced the city of Boston as his home and it embraced him right back. The Red Sox  will forever be thankful to Pedro Martinez for convincing the Sox to sign him when the Twins designated him for assignment after the 2002 season. It’s hard to think where the Red Sox would be as since Papi joined the team the Sox have been one of the most successful teams in Baseball. It’s hard to picture a Red Sox lineup without 34 in it or that wide smile in the dugout. He will be remembered in highlight reels and the record books as they are stained with his accomplishments. From the many homeruns and to having one of the best final hoorahs in baseball and sports history. Next season there will be no Ortiz or number 34 in the Red Sox lineup. He however will never be forgotten as he is not only a hero but a legend and legends never die. As Red Sox fans and fans around the world watch the playoffs this year take some time and take in Big Papi’s last at bats. There will never be another big Papi both as a baseball player and person. Although its bittersweet it’s been a pleasure to watch this man change Boston and Baseball in more ways that a person can count.

#RedSox #BigPapi