July 28, 2017

G104: Royals 4, Red Sox 2

Royals   - 010 300 000 - 4  8  0
Red Sox  - 000 010 100 - 2  7  0
Rick Porcello (7-6-4-1-5, 111) gave up two home runs - a solo shot to Salvador Perez and a three-run job to Mike Moustakas - and the Red Sox lost for the fifth time in their last six games.

Coupled with the Yankees' 6-1 win over the Rays (Masahiro Tanaka retired the first 17 batters), Boston dropped into second place for the first time in five weeks (0.5 GB). Since July 5, the Red Sox are 7-13.

The Red Sox had only one runner past first base in the first four innings against Jason Vargas (6-5-1-2-2, 99). In the fifth, Rafael Devers doubled with one out. Mookie Betts's two-out single scored Devers. Eduardo Nunez followed with another single, but Dustin Pedroia grounded into a fielder's choice to third.

Down 4-1, Chris Young began the seventh inning against Mike Minor with a triple. After Devers struck out, Sandy Leon grounded to second and Young scored. Peter Moylan came out of the pen and got Betts on an 0-2 grounder back to the mound.

Joakim Soria got three quick outs in the eighth. Kelvin Herrera allowed a two-out infield single to Andrew Benintendi in the ninth. Devers stepped in as the potential tying run, but he grounded the first pitch to second and the Royals forced Benintendi at second.

Nunez had two singles and a walk in his Red Sox debut.

Home plate Bill Miller disgraced himself when he called Hanley Ramirez out on strikes to end the eighth inning. If Ramirez had been allowed to keep hitting (with a 2-2 count), could the Red Sox have begun a rally that might have turned the game around? It's possible, but we'll never know because Miller took it upon himself to declare the Red Sox were finished batting in that inning. Strike three is pitch #4:
AL East
NYY  55  46  ---
BOS  56  48  0.5
TBR  53  51  3.5
NESN can be quite strange. On at least two occasions tonight, Dave O'Brien talked about how Dustin Pedroia called the media round him before the game and spoke about team leadership and how he is "standing right here" as a team leader. Yet neither O'Brien nor Jonny Gomes, his booth partner for the night, said anything about why Pedroia made those statements to the media.

Eckgate is a huge story in Boston, but you won't hear even a peep about it on the station that broadcasts Red Sox games. NESN's refusal to say anything about what David Price has set into motion is beyond baffling. Whether O'Brien is acting on his own and staying mum or whether he is being silenced from above, it's an abdication of his responsibility as the team's most-visible announcer.
Jason Vargas / Rick Porcello
Betts, RF
Nunez, DH
Pedroia, 2B
Ramirez, 1B
Bradley, CF
Bogaerts, SS
Young, LF
Devers, 3B
Leon, C
As the Red Sox begin a 10-game homestand against the Royals, Spiders, and White Sox, their lead in the American League East over the Yankees has been whittled down to one half-game.

Rick Porcello gets the ball tonight, because David Price has been placed on the disabled list with elbow trouble. (Porcello will be on normal rest.) Price underwent an MRI yesterday. Michael Silverman of the Herald reports that Price is dealing with the "same forearm issue" as earlier this season. (No word yet on whether Price has blamed NESN's Dennis Eckersley for his discomfort/injury.)

Speaking of Eckgate, the issue of whether unofficial team captain Dustin Pedroia cheered Price's dressing-down of Eckersley is unclear. Two days ago, CBS Boston's Fred Toucher tweeted that a "source close to Eckersley" told him Pedroia was "cheering aggressively". However, WEEI's Rob Bradford stated yesterday that a source who witnessed the incident on the team plane "insists Pedroia wasn't near [the] group involved and not at all involved" in the players' reaction.

Barring video footage from the team plane, we'll never know what really happened, but these two contradictory reports - zero cheering vs. aggressively cheering - means someone is absolutely lying.

[Update (in comments): Pedroia denies clapping.]

Also, there is this new info from Ron Borges of the Herald:
You all know by now how Price ambushed Eck last month on the team plane, verbally assaulting him as a number of his weak-kneed teammates applauded. Then Price went back to his seat, I was told, and put on a pair of sunglasses as if he was The Terminator. It was midnight.

Guys who wear sunglasses at midnight are either beaten fighters or morons. Price has never been in a fight in his life, so there you go.
And from Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal:
A wave of Price-bashing has dominated talk radio all week and you have to wonder just how this bright, Vanderbilt-educated, nine-year veteran could be so short-sighted.

Stunningly, some important people in the Red Sox organization see little problem with a star pitcher treating a Hall of Famer with such disregard. ...

Price's approach of Eckersley was hardly direct. Instead he tried to bully a legend, a move that only makes him look small. Farrell is praised for "handling" his clubhouse in a professional manner but Price seems like a loose cannon. Maybe that's why Boston is his fourth team in five years. ...

What Price needs to realize is he has no equity in Boston. Last October he embarrassed himself in a playoff (3.1 IP, 5 runs) loss to the Indians ... He showed up to spring training in February with an arm injury ...

Price may be the highest-paid Red Sox, but if he is propped up as a leader of this nine, the franchise is heading in the wrong direction.
AL East: The Yankees are 0.5 GB and the Rays are 3 GB. ... TB/NYY.


allan said...

In the NESN booth: Jonny Gomes!

allan said...

Christopher Smith (@SmittyOnMLB):
"Source: Red Sox' Brian Johnson in town to see team doctor, shoulder is acting up again but likely will not land on DL."

allan said...

Pedroia Denies Clapping, Says Price Will Meet With Eckersley One-On-One (CBS Boston)

Dustin Pedroia had an animated conversation with reporters in the Red Sox clubhouse on Friday, returning to Boston amid a wave of criticism that has permeated the team regarding a now-infamous incident between David Price and NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley.

One of Price's teammates that faced added criticism in the wake of the confrontation is Dustin Pedroia, who was reportedly one of the players participating in a mock cheer directed toward Eckersley. Pedroia denied that he was involved in the applauding during the incident, which happened back on June 29. He added that he has spoken one-on-one with Eckersley about the incident and that Price is waiting for an opportunity to do the same.

The second baseman, by far the team's longest-tenured player, has faced some criticism for a perceived lack of leadership in the clubhouse. He responded to that in a pointed manner.

"Whatever people say from the outside – 'We don't have a leader.' I'm standing right here. Been here for a long time," said Pedroia. "And we're in first place. Write what you guys want. Here I am. You don't see anyone else standing up here doing this. Do you? Nope. Fact. There's your source, from the mouth."

He also said he spoke with Price after the incident, and that the message was that the Red Sox have two rules: be on time and be professional.

(Video clips at link)

allan said...


@alexspeier: Pedroia says he talked one on one with Price about Eck incident; he said Price will talk face to face with Eck when he sees him.

@EvanDrellich: Dustin Pedroia said he's not a referee. He did talk to David Price one on one. Expects Price and Eck to speak face to face.

@MikeSilvermanBB: Pedroia just said he is leader of Red Sox. And that he loves David Price. And that Price is waiting for opportunity to speak 1-on-1 w Eck.

@IanMBrowne: Dustin Pedroia said that David Price has been waiting for an opportunity to peak with Dennis Eckersley.

@EvanDrellich: Pedroia said there is a leader in the Red Sox clubhouse and told the assembled media they were looking at him.

@alexspeier: Pedroia fired back at suggestion Sox lack leadership: "I'm standing right here...I've been here a long time."

@bradfo: When Pedroia asked about team looking for leader: "He's standing right here"

@IanMBrowne: Pedroia said Price is one of his all time favorite teammates, made it clear Price would try to make it right with Eck when there is chance.

@alexspeier: Pedroia on being implicated in Price/Eck incident: "It bothers you when it's not true. ... we've moved past this. It was a month ago."

allan said...

Wow. Now THIS is a steaming pile of shit trying to act like a professional sports column.

Headline: Gary Tanguay: I officially hate the Red Sox

It begins:

"I hope the Red Sox lose every game the rest of season, except when Chris Sale pitches, and have no shot at the post season.

"I hate them, I hate them, I hate them. What a bunch of babies!"

It doesn't get much better.