Great Baseballs of Fire!

Well it has been one heck of a week for the Boston Red Sox which are currently on record breaking pace to have one of the most electric offenses in MLB history.

The Sox returned to Fenway this past Monday for a 7 game home stand verse the Oakland A’s and Houston Astros.

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Oakland Athletics left fielder Khris Davis walks near the warning track during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Monday, May 9, 2016. Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray gave up six earned runs in the inning. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Image courtesy of MercuryNews.com

They started off with a three game sweep against the Oakland A’s by obliterating Oakland pitching outscoring them 40-15 thanks to excellent hitting from virtually everybody but especially Jackie Bradley Jr. who is well on his way to earning AL player of the week going 12 for 21 for a .571 batting average with 2 doubles, 3 home runs including a grand slam and 14 RBI’s raising his season average 51 points to a whopping .328.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

Boston Red Sox’s Jackie Bradley Jr., center, celebrates after his grand slam during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park in Boston, Monday, May 9, 2016. At right is Oakland Athletics catcher Josh Phegley. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Image courtesy of NewsOK.com

They then welcomed the Houston Astros (14-21) into town to face the struggling 2015 American League Cy Young award winner Dallas Keuchel.

This would be no different.

The Red Sox got to Keuchel early and often starting with a 2 run blast off the bat of Xander Bogaerts in the first inning. Keuchel would pitch 6 innings giving up 10 hits and 8 earned runs while only having 2 shutout innings.

The Red Sox sent lefty ace David Price who happened to finished second last season in the same Cy Young race as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays (he was traded halfway through the season from the Detroit Tigers). Price rebounded after a few rough outings by going 6 2/3rds innings while surrendering only 1 earned run and striking out 12.

It is safe to say the Red Sox are currently at an absolute torrid pace and probably the most dangerous team to be facing right now in Major League Baseball given they have now scored 51 runs in their last 4 games!

Tonight will be no easier where the Red Sox will be sending knuckleballer Steven Wright to the hill with a 3-3 record but a 1.52 ERA. Bear in mind, his ERA worse to only Jake Arrieta (1.13 ERA), Jose Quintana (1.38 ERA) and Jordan Zimmerman (1.50 ERA).

The Sox could use a little help from Detroit though to beat the Orioles so they can take sole ownership of first place in the AL East but for now, the Red Sox look to continue their 5 game winning streak as well as JBJ to continue his 18 game hitting streak.

Yankess v. Red Sox, Round 1

This past weekend marked the beginning of the Yankee/Red Sox rivalry for the 2016 season which featured the now first place Red Sox (15-10) and the team in the AL East basement, the New York Yankees (8-15).

If you are reading this post for an entirely, or even remotely, unbiased opinion on the matter, you should probably look elsewhere.

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Image courtesy of FifthPeriodLunch.com

After a strong start from Yankee Started Masahiro Tanaka pitching 6 scoreless innings, the Red Sox started to put some offense together for the first time all game after a Jackie Bradley Jr. 2-run double in the 7th to tie the game 2-2. Then in the 8th inning, Mr. Clutch, David Ortiz sent a ball over the Green Monster off of Dellin Betances to give the Sox a 4-2 lead where the score would stay to give Boston a win in game 1.

In game 2 of the series, it was the Red Sox who provided a strong pitching performance not only from Rick Porcello who pitched 7 strong shutout innings to improve to 5-0, but from the bullpen as well that led to an 8-0 win for the Sox thanks to another strong showing from the offense.

Game 3 was more of a seesaw game with teams trading leads throughout the game despite Boston’s ace David Price on the hill.Price struggled a bit giving up 8 hits and 6 earned runs but did managed to pitch 7 innings to earn himself his 4th win of the season. It was ultimately a 2-run home run from Travis Shaw off of Dellin Batances that wrapped around the legendary Pesky Pole to give the Sox lead and eventually the win thanks to an excellent save from Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel once again.

Thanks to a strong showing of both hitting and pitching for the Red Sox, and continued struggles for the Yankees, the Red Sox swept the Yankees in their first rivalry set of the season.

The Red Sox head to the Bronx this upcoming weekend from another series against the Yankees but unless something dramatic changes, it does appear that the Red Sox are going to have the upper hand over the last place pinstripes for the majority of the season.

It may be time for the Yankees to consider overhauling their team, and perhaps front office if they want to be in contention in future but in the meantime, the Red Sox will have no problem reaping the reward from playing a weak New York team throughout the course of the 2016 season.

Looks like the competition for the Red Sox this season in the AL East is going lie with the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays.

But it sure is nice to see the Red Sox back atop of the AL East after a miserable 2014 & 2015 season.

Red Sock’n & Rollin’

After my trip this past weekend to see a disappointing loss in Houston for the Red Sox, it would seem the Red Sox have hit their groove winning 4 straight since.

I think it is safe to say the Sox have found their identity and are ready to cruise for another AL East title!

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GIF courtesy of MLB.com

After a shut down performance Monday with Rick Porcello hurling a 1-0 shutout, and a dominant outing Tuesday from David Price who struck out 14, The Red Sox trounced the Braves back at Fenway Wednesday night 9-3 with another strong performance by the knuckleballer Steven Wright. Not to mention Big Papi’s 3 double night and Dustin Pedroia’s two home run night including a Grand Slam off the Pesky Pole!

It is clear that not only as the American League’s most dominant offense with 111 runs, 206 hits, 59 doubles, 7 triples and a .278 batting average through 21 games, but also have a rotation that is really starting to show the league how dominant it really can be.

The Red Sox pitching staff is currently leading the MLB with 220 strikeouts led by the MLB leader in strikeouts, David Price, with 46 strikeouts.

The Red Sox are striking out on average 10 batters a game! David Price is K’ing 1.5 batters an inning! He has pitched 7 1/3 innings less than Clayton Kershaw who has only 40 strikeouts on the season!

It is safe to say the Red Sox are starting to truly click with this team that was fantastically put together thanks to Dave Dombrowski, President of Baseball Operations and Mike Hazen, Senior Vice President and General Manager.

The two biggest deals done in the offseason was finally getting the Red Sox that reliable Ace they have missed since trading Jon Lester in 2014 in David Price who dominated the second half of the 2015 season with Blue Jays on their historic run all the way to the American League Championship Series. The Red Sox also went out and traded for one of the most dominant closers in baseball over the past 5 years from the Padres, Craig Kimbrel.

One of the more rockier sides to the season however has been the questionable bullpen. A few guys that have really stepped up to the plate however are Matt Barnes and without a doubt, Heath Hembree who in 3 games and 7 2/3’s innings is still posting a 0.00 ERA.

One of the biggest and most pleasant surprises however has been the incredible play that Hanley Ramirez has been showing in his first season at first base. That guy looks like he has been playing that position for 10 years! And his ability to show how well he can hit to the opposite field, in my opinion, makes me believe that he is going to be a very dangerous hitter to pitch to throughout the course of the season.

With all that being said, I also believe it has been an absolute blessing not to only have John Farrell back, and healthy, but to also have Torey Lovullo, who has interim manager last year in Farrell’s absence going 28-21, back in the dugout as well. Some day Torey will make an excellent manager in this league but we are more than happy to have him on our side in the mean time!

With the Yankees coming into town this weekend who are currently at the basement of the AL East with an 8-12 record thus far, this should be a fun and exciting 3 game series that can hopefully propel the Red Sox back into first given they are currently 1/2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles.

Hopefully there will be a lot more dancing in the dugout to come from Brock Holt!

On the road again…

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As a Red Sox fan, there is simply no greater place to watch a game than at the 104 year old Fenway Park.

However, the second greatest place to watch a Sox game is anywhere on the road.

There is nothing like watching my boys from Beantown go into someone else’s house to shut up 40,000 fans like a David Ortiz Homer or a Web Gem by the Laser Show (Dustin Pedroia for those who are not familiar with our nicknames).

This past Saturday, I took full advantage of catching a Sox game down in Houston for their only trip to H-Town all season and what could quite possibly be the last time I may ever see Big Papi before his inevitable retirement at the end of the season.

The stage was set: The Astros are one of the worst teams in the league, the Red Sox, at this point, rank among not only one of the best offensive teams in the league but defensive as well. Not to mention, the Sox were coming off a 6-2 victory from the previous night against the Astros.

It was an absolute gorgeous day for a baseball game with the roof open at the beautiful Minute Maid Park. The temps didn’t get higher than 82° F with a phenomenal breeze while sitting in the comfortable shade in the upper deck where we could view every square inch of the field.

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The Sox were off to a fast start in the first after a lead off single for Mookie Betts, followed by an errant throw to first moving him up to second which eventually lead to a David Ortiz single to give the Sox a 1-0 lead right out the gate.

Clay Buchholz was on the hill mowing down Astro’s hitters inning after inning while keeping a low pitch count.

That was until the bottom of the 5th with 2 outs in the inning and the bases loaded for the dangerous Colby Rasmus. Buchholz hurled a pitch low but in Colby’s wheelhouse where Rasmus would ultimately turn that pitch around and launch it into the right field stands for Grand Slam to give the Astros a 5-1 lead.

The Sox never did really mount any sort of comeback the rest of the game while our bullpen continues to struggle maintaining leads or keeping opposing hitters in check.

The Astros would go on to eventually win 8-3 but on a day like that, it was hard to be upset. It is an absolute joy to be surrounded by Astro’s fans that can truly make it a great baseball experience.

It was an absolute beautiful day for a baseball game and an even greater pleasure to see my all time favorite baseball team on the road in my new home state.

If you are ever in the neighborhood, please go to a game at this incredible ball park and see everything it has to offer.

When all said and done, at least the Red Sox took the series winning 2 out of 3 and are certainly in prime position at dethroning the Blue Jays from their AL East Crown.

Best of luck to the BoSox for the rest of the year, it should be fun to watch all that is left of Big Papi’s amazing career and farewell tour.