May 25, 2018

Dombrowski Discusses Hanley Decision, Which Was Suggested By Cora

Dave Dombrowski, President of Baseball Operations, on the decision to designate DH/1B Hanley Ramirez for assignment:
We were prepared to maybe go in a different direction with our move. [Manager ALex Cora] called me, I remember it was about 11:30 in the morning, I was getting ready to go for a run, and Alex said, "I've got a thought for you about what we're doing." And he said, "This is a move that I would like to make, I recommend making." Ultimately it comes into my final decision, but he said, "I really want to play Mitch Moreland more. He's a good player, he's played very well for us. I don't think that Hanley is a person that [handles sitting] on the bench well. It gives us an opportunity to keep Blake Swihart and also be in a position where Blake can get more playing time." And so he said, "This is something that I'd recommend us doing." And I said, "You're sure?" And he said yeah and he went through some different reasons behind it and his thought process. And what I asked him to do at that point was to make sure that he went to the ballpark to meet with his coaching staff and be in a position where that was what he really wanted to do. I got to the ballpark yesterday, Frank Wren and I drove over, and he said this is what we'd like to do. So we proceeded in that direction. ...

It was a baseball-related move for us. We've been looking at making a move because we knew that this day, where Dustin [Pedroia] would come back. So for us it really is a baseball move, one that I talked to Alex about yesterday. ...

The vesting option had nothing to do with this, because we're in a situation — as you can see — basically we're trying to do everything we can to possibly win. So that would not be an obstacle in that regard.
Alex Cora, on Ramirez:
I think his role was going to diminish. For how good of a player he is, it was going to be difficult. It was probably going to be a platoon, maybe come in and pinch hit late in games, and that's not a perfect role for Hanley Ramirez. He's a guy who he needs his at-bats, and obviously with the versatility that we have with the other players — with Brock [Holt], with [Eduardo] Nunez, and with Blake [Swihart] — as far as managing the game, it's a lot easier with those guys.
Was Dombrowski surprised by Cora's suggestion?
Yeah. Yeah I was. ... I digested it, I made some notes, I was going for a jog, I thought about it while I was jogging. But yeah I was a little bit surprised, because that wasn't the direction we were going to in that particular time. But again, we had talked about so many different thinks — sometimes they're ideas that are trade ideas where you're just kicking things around. So I wouldn't say shocked, but I'd say surprised.

G51: Atlanta at Red Sox, 7 PM

Atlanta - 
Red Sox - 
Julio Teheran / Eduardo Rodriguez
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Holt, 2B
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF
Dustin Pedroia was activated, but he's not in tonight's lineup.

MFY Watch: Angels/Yankees. New York is 1 GB. (Jim Leyritz was not invited to Old Timers' Day and he's pissed off. Possibly relevant: A drunk Leyritz was involved in a 2007 car crash in which a 30-year-old woman was killed.)

Hanley Ramirez Has Been Designated For Assignment

The Red Sox have designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment to open up a roster spot for returning second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

I knew about Ramirez's vesting option for 2019, but this news still comes completely out of the blue. You don't want your President of Baseball Operations to truly understand the word "sentimental", but damn, Dave Dombrowski is nothing if not bold.

Alex Speier, Globe:
The decision to part ways with the 34-year-old Ramirez may avoid a potentially awkward situation related to his $22 million vesting option for 2019. With a total of 497 plate appearances this year, Ramirez would have been guaranteed another $22 million next season. He'd already accumulated 195, putting him on pace to blow past the required number to secure his salary for next season.

The Sox were prepared to let Ramirez stay in the lineup and let the option vest if his production warranted it. But after he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Thursday, he is now hitting .254/.313/.395 for the season, with a .708 OPS that ranks 30th among 44 first basemen with at least 100 plate appearances. ...

Starting with an 0-for-6 game May 1 and continuing through the 0-for-4 night Thursday that extended his hitless stretch to five games (0-for-20), Ramirez struggled to a .163/.200/.300 line this month while seeing his ground-ball rate soar (59 percent of balls in play in May).

The poor numbers aren't isolated. They represent a step down from his 2017 struggles (.242/.320/.429), and likewise hearken to his 2015 season (.249/.291/.426). Over a two-season period beginning last year, Ramirez ranks in the bottom five among big league first basemen in Wins Above Replacement as calculated by Fangraphs.

Despite his promising start to this season, Ramirez has been a below-average player over a significant period.
Chad Jennings, The Athletic:
If Ramirez was to be paid like a star player, he'd have to produce like a star player. ...

For a while, Ramirez was worth it. Through his first 21 games, Ramirez hit .329 with an .879 OPS. He even stole three bases.

But in his past 23 games, since April 27, Ramirez hit just .189 with a .559 OPS. He hit three home runs in a span of four games, but he had no extra-base hits since May 14.

A fresh reading of the situation: If his option was going to vest, Ramirez was going to have to earn it. And if he didn't earn it, the Red Sox were going to move on, which they've done.
Sean McAdam, Boston Sports Journal:
The Red Sox now have seven days to trade or release Ramirez, as it's unfathomable that any team would take on the approximately $15 million he has remaining for this season as part of the final guaranteed year on his deal. Since the Red Sox will be responsible for that if he's not picked up elsewhere, they will likely signal a willingness to take back a good chunk of the remaining money to increase the chances of a deal. ...

If, as expected, Ramirez isn't traded, he'll almost certainly clear waivers. A team could them claim him and pay him the pro-rated minimum salary — while the Red Sox responsible for the remaining $15 million — while also getting out from underneath the vesting option for 2019, since Ramirez will, in effect, be signing a "new contract" with that team. ...

With Ramirez out of the picture, the Red Sox have effectively made Mitch Moreland an everyday player. Moreland has participated in just two-thirds of the team's games to date ... [and he] has the team's third-best OPS at 1.001, behind only Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez.

May 24, 2018

G50: Rays 6, Red Sox 3

Red Sox - 000 000 102 - 3  7  2
Rays    - 230 100 00x - 6 12  1
Rick Porcello threw 63 pitches in the first two innings. He faced 14 batters, giving up five hits, two walk, one HBP, and five runs. Although the Red Sox made some noise late in the game, they never got closer than having the potential tying run on deck in the ninth.

The first four Rays reached base in the first inning on a double, walk, single, and FC/E2. One run scored on the error and a sac fly made it 2-0. Porcello went to a 3-1 or 3-2 count on four of the first five batters. He got off lightly when Mallex Smith grounded into an inning-ending, 1-2-3 double play.

In the second, Wilson Ramos's two-run single and another error put Tampa Bay up 5-0. (No Boston batter had reached base at that point.) Porcello's line: 3.2-8-6-2-2, 92.

Blake Snell (6-3-0-2-8, 101) retired 12 of his first 13 batters and the Red Sox scored only after he left the game.

When Mitch Moreland homered off Matt Andriese with one out in the ninth, Boston still trailed by four runs. Xander Bogaerts struck out, but Eduardo Nunez singled to left and took second on indifference. Rafael Devers doubled to right and Nunez scored. Alex Colome came in and, on two pitches, retired Sandy Leon on a grounder to first.

The Red Sox host Atlanta at Fenway Park tomorrow night and Dustin Pedroia is expected to be in the starting lineup.
Rick Porcello / Blake Snell
Betts, RF
Ramirez, DH
Martinez, LF
Moreland, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Nunez, 2B
Devers, 3B
Leon, C
Bradley, CF
This is the sixth season in which the Red Sox have won at least 34 of their first 49 games (1946, 1978, 1986, 2002, 2007).

Mookie "Mooke" Betts:
Leads MLB in home runs (16), average (.364), slugging (.763), OPS (1.203), runs scored (49), doubles (19), extra-base hits (36), and total bases (132).
Is second in MLB in on-base (.440) and tied for 2nd in hits (63).

His .763 slugging percentage is .104 higher than the #2 hitter (J.D. Martinez, .659). The only players ever to slug .763 or higher over a full season are Babe Ruth (4 times), Barry Bonds (3 times), and Lou Gehrig.

His 1.203 OPS leads all MLB batters by .140 (Martinez is #2 at 1.063).

Is among only 7 hitters since 1940 with 36+ extra-base hits through 49 team games: Edgar Martinez (40 in 1996), Hank Aaron (37 in 1959), David Ortiz (37 in 2016), Willie Mays (36 in 1958), Jeffrey Leonard (36 in 1987), and Magglio Ordonez (36 in 2007).

Leads the AL in average vs RHP, .356.

Leads the AL in average with two outs, .447.

Leads the AL in average in May, .386.

Is batting .390 vs. LHP and .364 with two strikes.

He and Mike Trout are the only players with 10+ home runs and 10+ stolen bases this season.

Has scored at least one run in 10 of his last 13 games.

Fay Vincent, Former MLB Commissioner, Says The "Morality" Of Torture Is Irrelevant

Baseball Ex-Commish's Love Letter To Torturers And His One Percent Pals
Russ Baker, WhyWhatWhy, May 22, 2018
The other day, the Wall Street Journal published a ludicrous and tragically laughable op-ed from former Major League Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent, "Immorality Is Part of the Job." It argues that CIA directors should lie to Congress to protect "our boys." ...

In his essay, Vincent expressed disgust with "moral" considerations around torture in the confirmation hearings for the CIA director nominee, Gina Haspel. He stated that CIA directors are under instruction to lie, and should do so to "protect operations," and that since they're under instruction, that's "the law" — and we should be a nation of laws.

As usual, the background, context, and the "deep politics" to this convoluted thinking are entirely missing, and are just accepted without question ... Vincent does mention his "old friend" Dick Helms, the late former CIA director, who was involved with many CIA abuses. And he excoriates the late Sen. Frank Church, who was one of the few to investigate those abuses, writing:
Dick Helms died in 2002. His portrait hangs in honor at CIA headquarters. There is no portrait of Frank Church.
But Vincent ... doesn't say how he was friends with Helms, who was very much part of the CIA's hard-core, old-style element of democracy's hit men, or why he knew him.

In fact, Helms was not Vincent's only spook friend.

Vincent is an old friend of George H.W. "Poppy" Bush and his late wife Barbara — so old a friend, in fact, that, at age 18, he lived with the then-young couple in their house in Midland, Texas. ...

Knowing now that Vincent has this peculiar affinity for the world of covert intrigue and coups and torture should trigger the question of whether it is normal that a figure heading a beloved institution like major league baseball would be so close with people in the dark arts. ...
Vincent's op-ed is behind a pay wall at the WSJ, but I found a copy elsewhere:

At The CIA, Immorality Is Part Of The Job
Fay Vincent, Wall Street Journal, May 16, 2018
The confirmation hearings for Gina Haspel to head the Central Intelligence Agency became a theater of the absurd, as senators pressed her for an assurance that she would apply "moral" standards to intelligence-gathering, including interrogation of terrorists.

As I watched, I kept thinking of Sen. Frank Church and the disaster his Senate select committee inflicted upon the CIA in 1975. The committee was troubled by the disclosures of various misguided, even bizarre CIA endeavors during the Cold War, including an attempt to kill Fidel Castro. It ultimately adopted a series of proposals to rein in the agency that led the Carter administration to impose broad changes.

The effort to reform intelligence operations to make them moral was a noble one—and the damage it wrought to national security took decades to undo. The new generation of CIA veterans like Ms. Haspel must wonder if anyone in the current Senate has even heard of the Church Committee.

Senators today seem to assume there is agreement on what constitutes moral conduct in spycraft. But recruiting spies is not the work of moralists. The CIA's mission involves persuading others to disregard their deepest moral and legal obligations. It is a dirty yet necessary business, not best examined in open hearings.

In 1977 my friend Dick Helms was prosecuted by the Carter Justice Department for perjury after he denied in an open Senate hearing that the CIA had been involved in the 1973 overthrow of the Allende government in Chile. Helms was bound by his oath as a CIA officer never to reveal classified secrets. Yet before the Senate he was under the perjury threat if he fulfilled his obligation to preserve intelligence secrets. What was the moral thing to do in that situation?

Helms lied because he was operating under longstanding directions he and others at the agency had received from senior senators, including Democrat Richard Russell of Georgia, who worried candid answers in open hearings might risk "the lives of our boys." They instructed Helms to protect intelligence operations in such hearings.

Helms's defense lawyer, Edward Bennett Williams, warned the Justice Department he would have Helms testify in open court to numerous examples of CIA officials lying to Congress to preserve secret agency activities, with the likely exposure of important top-secret operations. The government relented, and Williams arranged for Helms to plead guilty to a misdemeanor with no penalty. In 1983 President Reagan recognized Helms's long service with a National Security Medal as an implicit apology. No CIA director has since been charged with a crime.

Intelligence work can involve complex judgments about morality and even legality. The law must remain our bulwark, morality a sweet frosting. To serve as head of the CIA is to be in charge of vital operations that must be subject to the rule of law, not the moral sensitivities of any one person.

Dick Helms died in 2002. His portrait hangs in honor at CIA headquarters. There is no portrait of Frank Church.

Mr. Vincent, a retired lawyer, was commissioner of Major League Baseball, 1989-92.
Appeared in the May 17, 2018, print edition.

May 23, 2018

G49: Red Sox 4, Rays 1

Red Sox - 000 001 003 - 4  5  0
Rays    - 000 001 000 - 1  3  1
Xander Bogaerts doubled home the go-ahead run in the ninth and the Rays gift-wrapped a couple of insurance runs with a wild pitch and a passed ball.

David Price (6-3-1-3-9, 90) allowed only two Rays past first base, both coming in his final inning. Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, and Craig Kimbrel each pitched a perfect inning of relief.

CC Sabathia imploded in Texas and the Yankees lost 12-10, giving the Red Sox a 1.5-game lead in the East.

The early innings of this game were filled with strikeouts, with Price and Chris Archer (6-4-1-3-6, 95) fanning 14 batters in the first four innings. (Also, the four hits Archer allowed were to the bottom three hitters in the Red Sox order.)

With two outs in the fifth, Eduardo Nunez singled to right. Jackie Bradley lined a ball into the gap in left-center. It rolled to the wall and Nunez tried to score. He went in standing up and was tagged out as he collided with Tampa catcher Jesus Sucre. Christian Vazquez was standing alongside the plate and he seemed to make no indication to Nunez that he should slide.

After he was tagged out, Nunez stared at Vaz as if to say WTF? Relays showed that Vazquez had actually made an early sign to Nunez that he should not slide, so Nunez slowed up on his way to the plate. How Vazquez could not see that there would be a throw to the plate is hard to figure.

Vazquez did his part to atone by leading off the sixth with a line drive single to left. Archer walked both Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi. Hanley Ramirez drove in a run, but he hit into a double play while doing so. J.D. Martinez grounded out to end the inning.

The Rays tied the game right away. Price walked Denard Span and he scored on C.J. Cron's double to deep center. Price got the next three outs, stranding Cron at third.

With two outs in the eighth, Chaz Roe walked Betts and Benintendi, but Ramirez flied to center.

Martinez began the ninth inning against Alex Colombe by grounding to shortstop. Willy Adames, in his second major league game, threw low to first for a two-base error. Bogaerts ripped a 1-2 pitch down the left field line for a double, giving Boston a 2-1 lead.

Colome walked Rafael Devers. Then his 0-2 pitch to Nunez rolled a little ways away from Sucre and the runners reacted immediately, advancing to second and third on the wild pitch. Bogaerts scored on Nunez's sac fly to center. Devers also advanced, to third, and he scored easily when Colome's 0-2 pitch to Bradley got through Sucre's legs to the backstop for a passed ball. It was a highly enjoyable Crooked Cap Crumble. Plus, Colome was not allowed to finish the inning, as Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash brought in another reliever to get the third out.

NESN: Soon after Price was relieved, NESN's Dave O'Brien spoke authoritatively about the lefty's outing, saying he gave up four hits. It was actually three. That might seem minor, but since OB was proclaiming how great Price was, he should get his numbers right. When a new pitcher comes into a game, an announcement is made in the press box, giving the previous pitcher's line. I think everyone has heard these announcements through the TV or radio; the announcer often repeats it even as it is being given. Plus, O'Brien has his own scorecard.

Later, O'Brien said that Rob Refsynder had been thrown out trying to steal second base in the fifth inning "by 20 feet". The play was not close, certainly, but 20 feet? I'll let you decide. Here is Nunez about to put the tag on Refsynder. Is the runner 20 feet from either the fielder or the base? (Or is this like when we hear a home run has been hit "nine miles", but we watch it land in the 10th row?)

I guess when you cannot get it together to show every pitch of a game, the accuracy of what the announcer is saying is a distant afterthought.

Let's just say I'm glad Dave O'Brien is not my tailor. If I told him I needed the cuffs on a pair of pants taken up an inch, he'd likely give me back a pair of shorts.
David Price / Chris Archer

In his last start, Price was in total command, pitching 8.2 shutout innings and finishing with a complete-game, six-hitter against the Orioles. ... Meanwhile, Chris Archer is a douche bonnet.

MFY Watch: Each new, young player is more intangibly magnificent than the last. True greatness is always impossible to measure.

May 22, 2018

G48: Red Sox 4, Rays 2

Red Sox - 003 001 000 - 4  7  0
Rays    - 000 110 000 - 2  6  0
Mookie Betts hit a three-run homer and Rafael Devers added a solo shot. Chris Sale was solid as usual (7.2-4-2-2-9, 112) and Craig Kimbrel escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth. The Red Sox are back in sole possession of first place because the Rangers beat the Yankees 6-4.

Betts hit his MLB-leading 16th home run of the year with one out in the third, after Sandy Leon walked and Jackie Bradley reached on an infield single. With two down, Rays reliever Austin Pruitt loaded the bases by walking Hanley Ramirez and J.D. Martinez and plunking Xander Bogaerts, but Devers flied to center.

The Rays cut into Boston's lead when Willy Adames, making his major league debut, homered in the fourth. Rob Refsynder doubled to open the fifth and came around to score on a passed ball and Daniel Robertson's sac fly to left.

In the bottom of the ninth, Kimbrel gave up a single to Jesus Sucre and struck out Adames; he threw eight pitches to each batter. Denard Span fouled out to the catcher. Brad Miller doubled to right, Sucre stopped at third, and Tampa Bay brought the potential winning run to the plate with two outs. Refsnyder walked. Kimbrel got the final out with his 32nd pitch when Mallex Smith grounded to shortstop and Bogaerts and Eduardo Nunez forced Refsnyder at second.

Bradley (2-for-4) collected more than one hit in a game for the first time since April 17. From April 18 to May 20, JBJ started 22 games and hit safely in only nine of them (batting .120).
Chris Sale / Jake Faria
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Ramirez, 1B
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Nunez, 2B
Leon, C
Bradley, CF
The Red Sox are in Florida for a three-game road trip against the Rays before heading back north to play Atlanta and the Blue Jays.

The third-place Rays - who have won six of their last seven games - have called up shortstop Willy Adames (their #2 prospect). He is batting fifth tonight.

The Rays have been in the news because they had Sergio Romo, a reliever, start two consecutive games, on Saturday and Sunday. ESPN's David Schoenfield offers some background and analysis.

J.D. Martinez was named the American League Player of the Week for May 14-20. Martinez hit .346/.414/1.000 (1.414 OPS) in seven games. He went 9-for-26, with 2 singles, 2 doubles, and 5 home runs.

Also: The Yankees, who have a 0.5-game lead in the East, are in Texas playing the Rangers.

People Writing About Baseball Often Don't Understand How Baseball Works

On April 4, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez each hit a home run and the Yankees beat the Rays 7-2.

Much fuss was made of these three particular hitters going deep in the same game. A sampling:

ESPN: For The First Time Of Many, Yankees' Judge-Stanton-Sanchez Power Trio All Homer:
You can be assured there will be more days like this. Even opponents know there will be more. ...

Who will be the next team to surrender homers to the Big Bomber Three? More important, how long will Yankees fans have to wait to see that?

It might not be too long.
CBS Sports: Judge, Stanton And Sanchez Homer In Same Game For First Of What Should Be Many Times ... Get Used To It:
[T]he sheer volume of home runs these three will hit when in the lineup together says there will be plenty of overlap.
MLB's Cut 4: For The First Time, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez And Aaron Judge All Homered In The Same Game:
With the reigning NL MVP Award winner joining Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, why shouldn't the team be smashing a trio of four-baggers every time around the order?
So ... have those three super-awesome-powerful-never-fail-miracle-causing-too-good-to-be-true batters all hit home runs in the same game since April 4, aka "the first time of many"?

Let's take a look!
April 5  -  No
April 6  -  No
April 7  -  No
April 8  -  No
April 10 -  No
April 11 -  No
April 12 -  No
April 13 -  No
April 16 -  No
April 17 -  No
April 19 -  No
April 20 -  No
April 21 -  No
April 22 -  No
April 23 -  No
April 24 -  No
April 25 -  No
April 26 -  No
April 27 -  No
April 28 -  No
April 29 -  No
April 30 -  No
May 1    -  No
May 2    -  No
May 3    -  No
May 4    -  No
May 5    -  No
May 6    -  No
May 8    -  No
May 9    -  No
May 10   -  No
May 11   -  No
May 12   -  No
May 13   -  No
May 15   -  No
May 18   -  No
May 19   -  No
May 20   -  No
May 21   -  No
The Yankees have played 45 games this season and lead MLB with 72 home runs. But they have hit three home runs on a game only six times, four home runs three times, and five home runs only twice. Eleven games is not many chances for a specific trio of batters to go deep, especially when more than half of those games involve only three long balls.

A nine-year-old Yankee fan can be forgiven for thinking it should happen twice a week, but I expect adults writing about baseball for a living would understand the game a little better than that. I am continually disappointed.

May 21, 2018

Well, Look At That. Yankee Sluggers Are - Surprise! - NOT The Greatest Thing Ever. Betts & Martinez Make ESPN Eat A Bit Of Crow.

David Schoenfield, ESPN:
Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have about 13 inches and 125 pounds on Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, but they don't have anything on them in the power department, at least through May 20. We expected an American League East duo to crush its way through distressed pitching staffs, but it's Betts and Martinez who are tied for the major league lead with 15 home runs each, not the pair in pinstripes.
You sound a bit surprised, David. Anointing a player or players as The Second Coming before the season has even begun is both foolish and almost guaranteed to be wrong. While you may not have done that, numerous writers did, breathlessly fawning over Judge and Stanton to the point where if I saw little hearts drawn around A.J. and G.S. on the writers' spring training scorecards, I would not be surprised. ... But I cut you off. Please continue.
Betts and Martinez not only share the home run lead, but they rank first and third, respectively, in the majors in batting average; first and second in wOBA; first and second in isolated power; first in runs (Betts); and second in RBIs (Martinez). Martinez, with his .343 average and 41 RBIs, has established himself as a Triple Crown candidate.

Despite their long history of explosive offenses, this is the first time the Red Sox have had two players with 15 home runs by the end of May. It's quite the change from last season, when the Red Sox had just one player hit 15 by the All-Star break, when Betts had 16.

The comparison to Judge and Stanton? No contest:
Betts:     .365/.438/.760, .504 wOBA, 15 HR, 32 RBI, 48 R
Martinez:  .343/.397/.680, .459 wOBA, 15 HR, 41 RBI, 31 R

Judge:     .282/.416/.546, .417 wOBA, 11 HR, 35 RBI, 33 R
Stanton:   .263/.345/.526, .378 wOBA, 11 HR, 27 RBI, 32 R
... When Martinez signed with the Red Sox, the minor concern was how his power would translate to Fenway Park. He's the rare slugger who hits the majority of his home runs to the opposite field -- last year, he hit 24 of his 45 home runs to right-center or right field -- which means hitting to the deepest part of Fenway. So far, it hasn't affected his output: He has hit four home runs to center field and eight to right, and he's hitting .365 at Fenway with nine home runs.

May 20, 2018

G47: Red Sox 5, Orioles 0

Orioles  - 000 000 000 - 0 13  0
Red Sox  - 010 040 00x - 5 12  1
The homer-happy Red Sox bashed three dongs for the second consecutive game, with J.D. Martinez clubbing two and Andrew Benintendi, who also went deep last night, hitting one.

The Red Sox have homered in 19 of their last 20 games (38 homers) and have hit 11 in their last five games.

The Red Sox have hit 67 home runs this season, the most in team history through 47 games (the tater-tagging 1977 team had 66).

The Orioles had at least one hit in every inning (112 113 121), but Eduardo Rodriguez (5-9-0-0-7, 110) and three relievers kept them off the board. Buck's Binder Boys also stranded at least one man on base in every inning, and had 14 LOB for the afternoon. (The Red Sox left 12.)

The Orioles have had only one other game in their history in which they had 13 hits and failed to score. But that game lasted 15 innings (May 14, 1961), with Baltimore losing 1-0 to Cleveland.

Excluding extra-inning games, since 1908, there have been only 12 instances of a team having 13+ hits and no runs. Of those 12, the losing team was shutout on 14 hits (the Giants on September 14, 1913 and Cleveland on July 10, 1928).

No team has ever had 15 or more hits in a nine-inning game and failed to score. But ... the Red Sox lost 1-0 in 15 innings to the Senators on July 3, 1913 and Washington's Walter Johnson gave up 15 hits. Boston's National League team had 15 hits on August 1, 1918 and lost 2-0 to the Pirates in 21 innings.

Martinez got the party started with a solo shot on David Hess's first pitch of the second inning. Hess (4.2-8-5-2-4, 87) threw another 34 pitches in the frame, but did not allow another run.

The Red Sox batted around in the fifth. Jackie Bradley doubled on an 0-2 pitch and went to third as Mookie Betts flied to right. Benintendi belted his 5th home run and Boston led 3-0. Mitch Moreland doubled and Martinez blasted his second homer of the day. (JDM and Betts lead the majors with 15.) Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt later singled, but they were left on base.

Rodriguez escaped a jam in the third. With one out and runners at first and second, he got Manny Machado topop to third and Jonathan Schoop to ground to third. Rodriguez left the game with the bases loaded in the sixth, but Heath Hembree got the third out as Trey mancini flied to right.

The Red Sox are off on Monday. They start a three-game series in Tampa Bay - who have won six of their last seven games - and recently pushed the Blue Jays into fourth place - on Tuesday.
David Hess / Eduardo Rodriguez
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Moreland, 1B
Martinez, DH
Devers, 3B
Nunez, 2B
Holt, SS
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF

I'm still a genius!

NESN Presents Red Sox Superstar "Mooke" Betts

The only conceivable way NESN could sink any lower than it did on Saturday night is if it misspelled "Pedro" or "2004". ... Or "NESN".

Thanks to Jere (fellow member of the NESN Non-Appreciation Society):

That is from last night's postgame show.

It cannot be denied: