May 19, 2019

G46: Astros at Red Sox, 1 PM

Astros  - 
Red Sox - 
Wade Miley / Chris Sale
Chavis, 2B
Betts, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, LF
Vázquez, C
Pearce, 1B
Devers, 3B
Núñez, DH
Bradley, CF
Alex Cora considered several possible lineups for today, including one with J.D. Martinez leading off. He decided to go with Michael Chavis at the top of the order.

Christian Vázquez - whose slugging percentage so far this season is nearly double what it was last year (.536 to .283) - is making his sixth career start (in 285 games) batting above the #6 spot.

May 18, 2019

G45: Astros 7, Red Sox 3

Astros  - 510 010 000 - 7 13  0
Red Sox - 101 100 000 - 3  5  1
Saturday's game was decided before a second out had been recorded in the top of the first inning. Hector Velázquez (0.1-3-5-2-0, 30) lasted only six batters. Five of them scored and that was a deep enough hole to bury the Red Sox. It was Houston's 10th consecutive win, the team's second 10-game winning streak of the season.

George Springer crushed Velázquez's first pitch of the game off the wall in center field for a triple. Jackie Bradley leaped at the wall, but came up empty. Alex Bregman walked (after Velázquez was ahead 1-2) and Michael Brantley doubled to deep right. Mookie Betts may have been playing too shallow. He raced back and leapt too early, the ball sailing past his glove and thudding against the short bullpen wall perhaps four inches from the top. Springer scored Houston's first run.

Velázquez got ahead of Carlos Correa 0-2, but eventually walked him. Josh Reddick flied to left and Bregman tagged and scored. Yuli Gurriel singled to left-center. Bradley made a perfect throw to the plate, the ball bounced in at a perfect height, arriving just ahead of the runner, and Christian Vázquez dropped it. It was 3-0 and Alex Cora had seen enough. Colten Brewer gave up a two-run double - on his first pitch - to Tyler White, making it 5-0.

The Red Sox never threatened. They were given a run in the bottom of the first when Corbin Martin (4-5-3-4-0, 74), pitching in his second major league game, walked three men in a row after two were out. A run scored on a passed ball.

Mitch Moreland's double in the third scored Betts, who had walked. Vázquez hit his sixth homer of the year (already a career-high) in the fourth. ... The Astros' bullpen retired the last 14 Red Sox batters.

Brian McTaggert's article at stated that the Astros "are only the third team in Major League history to have two winning streaks of at least 10 games before June 1 of a season, following the 1941 Cardinals and 1955 Dodgers".

Using a calendar date makes no sense since every season does not begin on the same day. The 1941 Cardinals opened their season on April 15. By April 15, 2019, the Astros had played 16 games.
                    Opening Day  First Streak    Second Streak     Games Played/Record
1941 Cardinals      April 15     April 25-May 5  May 21-29           39  (30-9)
1955 Dodgers        April 13     April 13-21     April 27-May 7      23  (21-2)
2019 Astros         March 28     April 5-16      May 8-18            46  (31-15)
The 1941 Cardinals' second streak reached 11 games. In that streak, the Cardinals swept a three-game series from the Cubs (May 26-28), winning all three games on walkoff hits: 12-11 (11), 3-2, 6-5.

The 1955 Dodgers' second streak reached 11 games and after winning the first game of a doubleheader on May 15, they were 25-4.
Corbin Martin / Hector Velázquez
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Chavis, 2B
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
The Red Sox have allowed more than five runs only once in their last 21 games. In that time, they have scored more than five runs 12 times.

OTM's Matt Collins, on last night's game: "If you like being incredibly frustrated during a baseball game, then Friday was the night for you." ... Let's hope Saturday is more pleasant and easy on the nerves.

Sale Battled Toe Injury In Spring Training

Now it can be told ...

Chris Sale had a toe injury during spring training, which was the reason for the Red Sox's plan for a slow build-up to full strength. (So perhaps the team was not clueless when it came to Sale's light spring training load. Maybe they knew exactly what was going on and how to deal with it.)

Pitching coach Dana LeVangie told Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic:
Chris' spring training was different. We tried to do the exact same things we did last year ... [but] he had a little bit of a toe injury that slowed him down a little bit, so there were some things that led up to the early-on stuff. I basically felt like he was going through his spring training, sort of in April.
From The Athletic:
In video from his first start in Seattle [Opening Day, March 28], Sale's arm and elbow appear almost parallel to the ground before delivery.

"We just had a conversation about what his arm path was doing, and how it was maybe affecting his release point, his pitch mix and all the above," LeVangie said. "We wanted a cleaner line going back, rather than straight behind him and it didn't allow him to work more back to front in his delivery."

By his 17-strikeout performance, his arm path had been tweaked slightly.

"Now his momentum is working toward the catcher in the best possible way, his extension is back, pitch mix is far better and it doesn't allow the hitter to see the ball for so long," LeVangie said.

According to The Athletic's analytics guru Eno Sarris, Sale improved his extension (how close to the plate he releases the ball) by an inch. While that doesn't seem like a whole lot, in baseball terms it's significant. ...

After posting an 8.50 ERA in those first four starts, when batters were hitting .311 with a .943 OPS against him, Sale slowly implemented the adjustments suggested by LeVangie, assistant pitching coach Brian Bannister and bullpen coach Craig Bjornson. Over the next five starts, he posted a 1.91 ERA and limited batters to a .157 average and .537 OPS. In three starts this month, he's struck out 41 batters and walked one.

May 17, 2019

G44: Astros 3, Red Sox 1

Astros  - 000 000 030 - 3  6  0
Red Sox - 000 001 000 - 1  9  0
Two nights ago, Eduardo Rodriguez had pitched six solid innings and the Red Sox had a 5-2 lead. Rodriguez had retired six of his last seven batters, but had also thrown 99 pitches. Manager Alex Cora decided to send Rodriguez out for the seventh. It was a very bad idea. In seven pitches, Rodriguez had loaded the bases on two singles and a hit batter. All three baserunners eventually scored. The Red Sox won that game in extra innings, but that did not make Cora's decision a good one.

After a day off (the second of the week), the Red Sox played the Astros on Friday night. Rick Porcello cruised through seven innings. He had allowed only one hit to his last 19 batters and was at 91 pitches. After what happened on Wednesday, I expected to see a reliever in the top of the eighth. But Cora tried the same thing again, sending his starter out for another inning, this time with a 1-0 lead. Houston's #9 hitter, Jake Marisnick, smoked a 1-1 pitch to left for a double, the ball bouncing twice before hitting the wall near the AL East standings. Ryan Brasier (a poor choice these days as the first guy out of the pen) started warming up. As he did, George Springer launched Porcello's next pitch one row beyond the bullpen in right-center for a 2-1 Astros lead. (Springer is now 10-for-19 with three homers against Porcello lifetime, including postseason games.)

Brasier came in and walked two batters and threw a wild pitch and allowed another run. (He has allowed seven runs in his last five innings.) Trying to sneak your starter through another inning in a 5-2 game is one thing, but in a 1-0 game, it's a different matter. Cora should have had a reliever ready as soon as Porcello allowed a baserunner. And I'm baffled as to why Brasier was the first man up instead of Brandon Workman or Matt Barnes.

After the game, Cora accepted the blame:
That was a bad decision. ... He goes seven, and every pitch is high-leverage. He did his job, you know? ... I just made a bad decision, put him in a bad spot, and we paid the price. ... Should have taken him out after seven. It's not because of what happened. I just put him in a bad spot there. ... [H]e did an outstanding job for seven against the best lineup in baseball.
Cora made another error in the bottom of the ninth. After Christian Vazquez doubled with one out, Cora allowed Eduardo Nunez to bat against Roberto Osuna. I would have taken my chances with Jackie Bradley or Steve Pearce (even against a righty). I blinked and Nunez's at-bat was over (I read online he grounded the first pitch to third). Andrew Benintendi drew a four-pitch walk. Mookie Betts had a chance to win the game, but he lined out to left. (Betts had a single and four hard-hit outs, as the indifferent BABIP gods turned their backs on him.)

The Red Sox were frustrating to watch at the plate all evening. Mitch Moreland left J.D. Martinez at second base in the first inning, Nunez stranded men at second and third in the second, and a leadoff double by Xander Bogaerts in the fourth was followed by two strikeouts and a grounder to second. After singles from Benintendi and Betts with one out in the fifth, Astros starter Gerrit Cole (5-6-0-1-7, 99) struck out Martinez and Moreland, both swinging.

Bogaerts (3-for-4) opened the sixth with a single. Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis struck out, but Vazquez (3-for-4) lined an opposite-field single to right (the team's only hit in 11 AB with RATS).

Porcello (7-6-2-1-3, 95) was stingy (until he wasn't). Through seven innings, he allowed only three hits (a one-out single in the first, two hits in the second (one of which probably should have been ruled an error on Chavis), and another infield hit in the fifth) and one walk (with two outs in the fifth). Only three Houston runners got as far as second base.

Also: NESN almost missed the first pitch of the game because the Astros' lineup was on screen for so long. (Hard to believe, and yet ...)

The Yankees moved into first place after scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth and beating the Rays 4-3. The Red Sox are 4.5 GB.

After losing on April 6, the Red Sox were 4.5 GB with 152 games to play. But making up ground is not always so easy. Since then, the Red Sox have gone 21-13 (.618, a 100-win pace) and, after losing on May 17, are still 4.5 GB, now with 118 games to play.
Gerrit Cole / Rick Porcello
Benintendi, LF
Betts, CF
Martinez, RF
Moreland, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Chavis, 2B
Vázquez, C
Núñez, DH
Since April 27, the Astros (13-4) and Red Sox (12-4) have been the best teams in baseball. (The Cubs are also 12-4.) The Astros have also won eight games in a row and 11 of their last 12.
                                  RS  RA   AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS  2B  HR   BB   K
Astros (since April 27)  14-4    121  58  .291  .356  .554  .909  31  41   63  128
Red Sox (since April 24) 14-5    131  61  .282  .379  .478  .858  36  31  104  155
                                  IP     H    R-ER  BB    K  HR   ERA   BF
Astros (since April 27)  14-4    160.0  115  58-58  49  176  20  3.26  643 
Red Sox (since April 24) 14-5    175.1  123  61-57  52  212  17  2.93  700
Roster: Sandy Leon is on paternity leave and catcher Oscar Hernandez has been called up from Pawtucket. Pitcher Chandler Shephard was designated for assignment to make room for Hernandez on the 40-man roster.

David Price is scheduled to come off the IL and start in Toronto on Monday. ... The rehab assignments of Dustin Pedroia and Brock Holt have begun again, with Pedroia playing second and Holt DHing for Pawtucket tonight. ... Nathan Eovaldi will throw a bullpen session next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Marcus Walden has a 0.54 ERA over his last 20 appearances (10 appearances since April 20), with 19 strikeouts and one walk. The one run he has allowed in those 20 games (16.2 innings) was a solo home run.

Andrew Benintendi is 2-for-32 (.063) in the first inning this season. With four walks and one HBP, his first inning on-base percentage is .189. ... Jackie Bradley has yet to come to the plate in the first inning this season.

May 16, 2019

Same As It Ever Was On WEEI And NESN

I missed the games on Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday because friends were visiting from Ontario. Watching and listening on Wednesday night, I learned that the goings-on at WEEI and NESN had not changed in my short time away.

Lou Merloni, sitting alongside Joe Castiglione in the WEEI radio booth, seemed to be impersonating NESN's Dennis Eckersley in the top of the third, calling a strikeout by Eduardo Rodriguez "a beautiful thing" and then referring to a "changeup piece". Later on, Merloni seemed to be confused about what time zones were and how they worked.

In about the third inning, Merloni explained (as though he was revealing top secret information) that the Red Sox were not the only team to do something (that everyone knows every team does every day), like adjust their plan at the plate depending on who is pitching. At home, I was going to make a joke about Merloni saying something else blindingly obvious, such as "The Red Sox aren't the only team that has scouting reports, you know" but I kept quiet. Then, in the top of the seventh, Merloni said almost those exact same words about scouting reports. (Was I surprised? No. I was not.)

Joe Castiglione continues to make numerous mistakes about pitch location. One lowlight was a fourth-inning pitch to Rafael Devers that was allegedly "sinking low and away" when it came in above his waist. LOOK at your monitor, Joe, for god's sake!

With Mookie Betts on first in the opening inning, Rockies starter German Márquez threw over to first and Castiglione said what he almost always says ("throw to first, runner back standing"; if he doesn't say that, it's "runner back with a hand tag"), but Betts was actually diving back on his belly as Castiglione said it this time. He did not correct himself.

In the next inning, Castiglione said the count on Devers was "quickly 0-2", when it actually took the same number of pitches every 0-2 count does: two. The count was neither quickly nor slowly 0-2.

Over on NESN, an on-screen graphic in the top of the second stated that the 24 strikeouts by the Rockies on Tuesday night tied both a "franchise high and a season high". Note to NESN: If the 24 strikeouts were the most in any game the Rockies have ever played, then it is unnecessary to also state it was the most strikeouts in a Rockies game in 2019. (Similarly, if you say someone is the first guy in major league history to hit five home runs in a game, you do not need to add that it was also the first five-homer game of his career.)

In the eighth inning, NESN's high-home camera operator thought Rafael Devers hit the ball about 975 feet. ... It was caught in the middle of the warning track.

The members of the Fenway Park grounds crew who update the standings on the left field wall have figured out how to show that a team is 0.5 games out of first place. Usually (always?), the 1/2 would be placed directly above the "4" and "9" and "11" rather than over to the right (where the other fractions always go). ... Now if they could remember that when New York and another team each have the same record, New York should always be listed below the other team, all will be well. (Why don't people who work for the Red Sox know this?)

May 15, 2019

G43: Red Sox 6, Rockies 5 (10)

Rockies - 000 200 300 0 - 5 11  0
Red Sox - 203 000 000 1 - 6 13  0
A ground ball single up the middle by Michael Chavis gave the Red Sox their second walkoff win of the season. Rockies reliver Chad Bettis threw two pitches and got the loss. His first pitch was crushed to deep center by Xander Bogaerts, who played it safe and stopped at second with a double. After Rafael Devers was walked intentionally, the Ice Horse knocked Bettis's second pitch into center, salvaging a night in which the Red Sox blew a 5-0 lead and were in danger of losing in extra innings for the second consecutive night.

Boston wasted no time in getting on the board in the first inning. The first three hitters - Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and J.D. Martinez - singled for a 1-0 lead. Mitch Moreland's GIDP scored a second run. Benintendi tripled with one out in the third (only the second Red Sox triple of the season) and scored when Betts went to the opposite field on an 0-2 pitch. Martinez then deposited his ninth home run of the year into the Red Sox bullpen.

Edward Rodriguez (6-9-5-1-10, 106) struck out two batters in each of the first three innings. He stranded runners at first and third in the second and ran into trouble in the fourth. With one on and one out, Ian Desmond doubled to left. David Dahl's sac fly scored Raimel Tapia and Tony Wolters's double down the right field line scored Desmond.

Rodriguez threw only seven pitches in the seventh and was pulled after loading the bases. Ryan McMahon singled to right-center, Wolters hit a ground-rule double to right, and Charlie Blackmon was hit by a pitch. Matt Barnes allowed all three inherited runners to score. He gave up a two-run single to Trevor Story. After Nolan Arenado struck out, the Rockies tied the game on Daniel Murphy's groundout to second. Marcus Walden came in and fanned Tapia for the third out. Walden also pitched a clean eighth and ninth.

The Red Sox had chances to grab the lead in the late innings. Singles from Chavis and Christian Vázquez gave Boston runners on first and second with one out in the seventh. But Mike Dunn struck out Benintendi and Carlos Estevez got Betts to foul out to the catcher. Scott Oberg walked two men with one down in the eighth, but Devers flied out to deep right (NESN's cameraman thought the fly ball was going to travel about 850 feet and truped the hell out of everyone) and Chavis grounded out catcher-to-first.

In the ninth, Bryan Shaw walked Benintendi with two outs. Betts's popup down the left field line fell safely and bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. It was Mookie's 200th career double. Shortstop Story and left fielder Tapia collided on the play (their knees crashed together) and Story left the game. JDM was walked intentionally and Eduardo Núñez (who had pinch-run for Moreland in the previous inning) grounded into a fielder's choice.

Heath Hembree allowed a leadoff double off the top of the left field scoreboard to Arenado in the tenth. He got two popups, but then walked Desmond. Brandon Workman was called in and he struck out Dahl.
German Márquez / Eduardo Rodriguez
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Chavis, 2B
Bradley, CF
Vázquez, C
Eduardo Rodriguez:
First 2 starts of year: 11 earned runs
Subsequent 6 starts: 11 earned runs
Rodriguez has not allowed a home run in his last four starts, matching the longest streak of his career. He has faced 114 batters since giving up a dong.

Since April 24, the Red Sox are 13-5 stretch and have the American League's lowest team (ERA 2.83) and MLB's lowest opponent average (.188) and lowest opponent OPS (.584). In that same 18-game stretch, Boston's hitters lead the AL in runs per game (6.94) and lead all MLB teams in OBP (.377).

Since April 12, the Red Sox have the fourth-lowest starters ERA in MLB (3.16). The starters have allowed four earned runs or fewer in all 29 games and three earned runs or fewer in 25 of 29 games.

Since April 14, the Red Sox are 14-0 when scoring 5+ runs. (From March 28 to April 13, they were 4-5.)

Yesterday's game was the 16th in history (since at least 1908) in which a pitcher struck out 17 or more batters and did not get a "win". Over all, it happened to Randy Johnson four times and to Nolan Ryan three times (including twice in two months in 1974, 19 strikeouts in games of 11 and 13 innings). Chris Sale's effort is one of only eight games in which the pitcher threw nine or fewer innings.

As noted, Sale is the only pitcher in baseball history to have 17+ strikeouts in an outing of fewer than eight innings. ... Randy Johnson had two eight-inning starts in which he struck out 17 and 18 batters, Johan Santana and Anibal Sanchez each struck out 17 in eight innings, and Corey Kluber struck out 18 in eight innings.

Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic reported:
Sale has at least 14 strikeouts and no walks in each of his past two starts. Since 1893, when the mound moved to its current distance, the only other pitcher in baseball history with two straight starts of this type was Dwight Gooden in September [12 and 17,] 1984, with 16 strikeouts in each of his outings.

Sale is the second Red Sox pitcher ever to post back-to-back starts of at least 10 strikeouts and zero walks. The other is Cy Young (September 19 and 23, 1905).

Sale tied Randy Johnson (April 21, 2002) for the most strikeouts by a starting pitcher against the Rockies in a single game in franchise history. [Johnson walked one batter.]

The 17 strikeouts are tied for second-most in Red Sox history with Pedro Martinez (September 10, 1999 at New York and May 6, 2000 vs. Tampa Bay) and Bill Monbouquette (May 12, 1961 at Washington).

May 14, 2019

G42: Rockies 5, Red Sox 4 (11)

Rockies - 000 000 220 01 - 5  6  2
Red Sox - 012 000 010 00 - 4  9  0
Ryan Brasier walked two batters in the eleventh and one of them scored on Mark Reynolds's two-out single to center. Boston put a man on first with two outs in the bottom of the eleventh, but Andrew Benintendi flied out.

Chris Sale (7-3-2-0-17, 108) became the first pitcher in major league history to strike out 17 batters in seven or fewer innings. The 17 Ks were also a career-best.
1:  Kc   Ks   Ks
2:  Ks   Ks   Kc
3:  43   Kc   Ks
4:  53   Kc   PF5
5:  2B   L7   Ks   Ks
6:  Kc   Kc   Kc
7:  1B   HR   Kc   Ks   Ks
Sale is the first Red Sox pitcher to fan as many as 17 opposing batters since Pedro Martinez had 17 punchouts on May 6, 2000.

Sale struck out the first six Rockies, one shy of the American League record to start a game and two short of the major league record. Sale became the first Red Sox pitcher to strike out eight in the first three innings since Josh Beckett on April 27, 2008.

Last 3 starts: 21 innings, 9 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 41 strikeouts. 1.29 ERA, 17.6 K/9

Last 5 starts: 33 innings, 18 hits, 7 earned runs, 6 walks, 59 strikeouts. 1.91 ERA, 16.1 K/9
Boston pitchers (Sale, Brandon Workman, and Matt Barnes) had 21 strikeouts in the first nine innings. The only other time that has happened in major league history was when the Red Sox did it against the Rays on September 25, 2016.

Michael Chavis hit his seventh home run of the year in the second. J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers both went deep in the third. After losing the lead, Boston tied the game at 4-4 on Mitch Moreland's pinch-hit single in the eighth.

Kyle Freeland / Chris Sale

Chris Sale's last four starts: 1.73 ERA. 26 innings, 15 hits, 6 walks, 42 strikeouts.

Rafael Devers leads the American League in batting average (.336), and he's fourth in OBP (.408).

Trump: "I Am The Reason The Red Sox Are Winning"

Trump is an addled moron, of course, and he must be the hero of any story he tells. (If he cannot twist the facts enough to make himself the supreme center of attention, then that story doesn't get told.)

But it should be noted (again) that a majority of the Red Sox's starting lineup - Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, Rafael Devers, and Christian Vázquez - as well as Alex Cora, the team's manager - refused to visit the White House. Four additional players - David Price, Hector Velázquez, Eduardo Núñez, and Sandy Leon - also had better places to be.

Well, at least someone told him how to spell "Red Sox".

h/t to johngoldfine

May 12, 2019

G41: Red Sox 11, Mariners 2

Mariners - 100 010 000 -  2  4  1
Red Sox  - 310 020 32x - 11 12  1
J.D. Martinez hit two home runs, Michael Chavis and Rafael Devers both went 3-for-5, with Chavis driving in five runs, and Xander Bogaerts walked four times and scored three runs. Hector Velázquez (5-2-2-2-3, 63), Marcus Walden (2-1-0-0-3, 29) and Josh Smith 2-1-0-0-1, 41) held the Mariners to four hits.

The Red Sox swept the three-game series, beating Seattle by a combined score of 34-8. Boston scored more runs in each game (14, 9, 11) that the Mariners did in the entire series. With the Rays losing to the Yankees 7-1, the Red Sox are only 3.0 GB.

In four of the five innings in which the Red Sox scored - the first, second, fifth, and eighth - the rallies started with Two Outs and the Bases Empty (TO/BE).

In the first, Martinez hit a solo shot with two outs. Bogaerts walked and Rafael Devers singled, loading the bases. A run scored on Chavis's single and another run scored on a passed ball.

Andrew Benintendi walked in the second and scored when right fielder Jay Bruce committed a two-base error on Mookie Betts's drive (4-1).

Bogaerts walked and Devers doubled in the fifth, and they both scored on Chavis's single (6-2).

Dan Altavilla walked the bases loaded with no outs in the seventh, handing out free passes to Betts, Martinez, and Bogaerts. Mookie scored on Devers's groundout (7-2), and JDM and X scored on Chavis's single to right (9-2). Altavilla also walked Christian Vazquez before being pulled.

In the eighth, Betts doubled and Martinez homered (11-2). Bogaerts and Devers both singled, but Chavis struck out.
Marco Gonzales / Hector Velázquez
Benintendi, LF
Betts, CF
Martinez, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Chavis, 2B
Vázquez, C
Pearce, 1B
Núñez, DH
The Red Sox remain four games out of first place, but they are now only 2.5 games behind the second-place Yankees. Based on each team's runs scored and runs allowed, the Yankees' expected record is 22-17, with the Red Sox at 22-18.

The Blue Jays traded for pitcher Edwin Jackson. When he pitches for Toronto, he will set a major league record of playing for 14 teams. Jackson and Octavio Dotel currently have each played for 13 teams. Jackson has pitched for the Dodgers (2003-2005), (Devil) Rays (2006-2008), Tigers (2009), Diamondbacks (2010), White Sox (2010-11), Cardinals (2011), Nationals (2012), Cubs (2013-15), Atlanta (2015), Marlins (2016), Padres (2016), Orioles (2017), Nationals (2017), Athletics (2018).

Rob Bradford, WEEI:
To say that the organization was a bit uneasy about the conversations leading up to the [White House visit] would be an understatement. ...

The one misstep made wasn't difficult to decipher: many key contributors to the World Series win weren't mentioned at all. It was no shock that Trump didn't bring up those who chose not to visit the residence, but somebody from the Red Sox should have absolutely used the platform to acknowledge the likes of Alex Cora, Mookie Betts, David Price and Xander Bogaerts. It was a big miss.

May 11, 2019

G40: Red Sox 9, Mariners 5

Mariners - 400 000 001 - 5  6  0
Red Sox  - 018 000 00x - 9 10  1
Rick Porcello (6.2-5-4-1-5, 107) allowed four runs and five hits in the first inning. But from the final out of the first, he tossed six no-hit innings, walking only one. Porcello retired 14 straight batters at one point. And the Red Sox responded quickly with nine runs, including eight in the third inning.

Mitch Moreland led off the second with his 12th homer of the year. Then came the third:
Andrew Benintendi lined out to right.
Mookie Betts walked.
J.D. Martinez singled to left, Betts to second.
Mitch Moreland singled to center, Betts to third, Martinez to second.
Xander Bogaerts singled to left, Betts scored, Martinez to third, Moreland to second. 2-4.
Rafael Devers singled to center, Martinez and Moreland scored, Bogaerts to third. 4-4.
Devers stole second.
Michael Chavis walked.
Roenis Elias relieved Felix Hernandez (2.1-6-7-3-3, 68).
Jackie Bradley singled to center, Bogaerts and Devers scored, Chavis to third. 6-4.
Sandy Leon homered to left-center, Chavis, Bradley, and Leon scored. 9-4.
Benintendi struck out swinging.
Betts grounded out to second.
Rafael Devers went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs.
Felix Hernandez / Rick Porcello
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Chavis, 2B
Bradley, CF
León, C
Rick Porcello has a 2.45 ERA over his last four starts. In his last two outings, he's allowed only two runs in 14 innings, while walking two and striking out 15.

Felix has not been Felix on a regular basis since the middle of 2016. He's allowed 11 runs in his last 11 innings.