This is not the guy major league hitters want to be facing at the end of a game right now.
Red Sox flamethrower Craig Kimbrel has been pitching insanely good to start 2017, and the numbers don’t lie. As of May 31, his 0.39 WHIP, .079 BAA, and 2.35 hits-per-nine are all tops in the majors among the 113 pitchers who’ve tossed at least 20 innings without making a start.
For Kimbrel, just three of those qualifiers have a better ERA than his 0.78 mark, one (Tommy Kahlene) surpasses his 16.43 Ks-per-nine, and one (Kenley Jansen, no walks yet) has a higher Ks-to-walk ratio than his current mark at 14.
Needless to say, Kimbrel has been lights out at the back end of the Boston bullpen. It’s especially been the case against right-handed hitters, who are a combined 0-43 with 23 strikeouts against him. Yikes.
Since issuing back-to-back walks to Ian Kinsler and Nicholas Castellanos on April 9, RHHs were retired in 34 straight plate appearances (19 strikeouts) against Kimbrel until Todd Frazier drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch against him on May 30.
Other than Kinsler, Castellanos, and Frazier, the only other RHHs in baseball to reach base against Kimbrel in 2017 are Jody Mercer (error) and Andrew McCutchen (fielder’s choice) on April 3.
With the way Kimbrel’s going, he’s on pace to do something he’s accomplished twice in his career—have an ERA below 1.50, a WHIP below 1.00, at least 13 Ks-per-nine, and at least 50 innings pitched. Only six other relief pitchers have had such a season, all since 2003.
Two outings in particular this season for the Boston closer have been especially notable. On May 11 at Milwaukee, Kimbrel pitched the 85th immaculate inning in baseball history and joined Pedro Martinez (2002) and Clay Buchholz (2012) as the only Red Sox pitchers to accomplish the feat. Exactly two weeks later on May 25, Kimbrel recorded four strikeouts in the ninth inning vs Texas—also the 85th occurrence it’s been done—joining Tim Wakefield in 1999 as the only other Red Sox pitcher to do that.
The two overpowering appearances put Kimbrel in his own company as the only pitcher to record both such innings in a single year. He also became the third pitcher (Burnett, Greinke) to record a 4-strikeout frame in both leagues. Lastly, just six other pitchers have tossed an immaculate and 4-strikeout inning in their career (Gibson, Hernandez, Burnett, Delabar, Masterson, Jansen).
Overall on the season, Kimbrel’s 14 saves are tied with four relievers for second most in MLB. His only blown save came on April 20 at Toronto as Kendrys Morales took him deep for a solo shot in the ninth. The Red Sox went on to win in 10 innings, as Kimbrel retired the final three batters in the game. He has not allowed an earned run since (16 innings) while converting his last eight save opportunities.
May has been especially dominant for the 29-year-old, as he’s allowed just one hit all month—an infield single to Jonathan Villar on May 11.
Obviously Kimbrel has figured it out in Boston. After a first season which saw him struggle with control (30 walks, 4 HBP in 53 innings), it appears those problems are all but solved as he’s regained the status of a truly elite closer—if not the best in baseball.
Red Sox Take Game 2 in 2018 MLB World Series
Last night in the 2018 MLB World Series, it was game 2 between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. After 9 1/2 innings, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2.
it was David Price (BOS) going up against Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD) on the pitching mound.
In six innings of the world series, David Price had an ERA of 3.00 with 3 hits and 2 runs and zero home runs.
On the LA Dodgers side, Hyun-Jin Ryu was the pitcher for the Dodgers. He only lasted 4.2 innings with 6 hits and 4 runs but zero home runs.
Game 3 is set for Friday, October 26, 2018 at 8:06 on Fox
Yankees, Red Sox Negotiating London 2-Game Series
The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox are closing in on an agreement to play a two-game series in London in June 2019, according to Bloomberg’s Janet Perkins and Scott Soshnick.
Reportedly the games will be held at London Stadium, which played host to several events at the 2012 Summer Olympics, if a deal is made official.
The stadium can hold up to 65,000 fans for sporting events and if a deal is made official it will continue MLB’s trend of playing regular season games in other countries such as Japan, Mexico, Australia and Puerto Rico over the years.
The Yankees and Red Sox are easily among the top MLB franchises in terms of global recognition and their storied rivalry and rosters of elite players will be an easy draw for the series as MLB looks to penetrate the European market.
It could also present quite the online betting opportunity for both US and European betting sites, especially as the series kicks off. When it does, this LVbet bonus code could come in handy, especially if it will be the first time you try your hand at something like this.
“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make,” Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.
Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics. MLB has not played any games in Europe before, however, the Red Sox have played overseas in the past, including to Japan before the 2008 season.
“It’s a shorter trip than to California, right?” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone, who has never been to London, commented. “Let’s get the royal family out there. Maybe the queen can make an appearance.”
“It’s following the leader — the N.F.L.,” said Allen Adamson, a branding expert and an adjunct professor at N.Y.U. “It’s good for the Yankees, it’s good for Boston, and an attempt to inject some topspin into the sport, but I don’t think it mitigates the need to revitalize baseball in the United States.”
Adamson added: “It would be more interesting to play in Havana.”
The Yankees are in a business partnership with Manchester City F.C, so they are very familiar with the European sports landscape and the audience, and fans, that attend events across the pond.
MLB is trying to follow in the NFL’s footsteps, as both are chasing the NBA who have spearheaded the efforts to globalize their game.
The Waiting Game Continues For The Red Sox And JD Martinez
The Boston Red Sox haven’t made any significant roster moves this offseason with Spring Training less than a month away. Sure, they’ve revamped their coaching staff and have a new manager, but as far as players go? No new names; essentially the same roster as 2017.
A good way to describe Boston’s offseason would be the sound of crickets chirping.
However, things could change at any moment for the Red Sox and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. He’s waited this long; he can wait a little longer. Everyone knows that there’s only one man Dombrowski’s after; and that is- of course- free agent slugger JD Martinez.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney this afternoon, the Red Sox have offered Martinez a deal “in the range” of five years at $100 million.
Source: Boston's offer to J.D. Martinez is in the range of five years, $100 million.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 17, 2018
At the start of the offseason, Martinez’s asking price was reportedly in the range of $200 million; Boston’s offer is half of that.
Boston needs a power bat in their lineup, and Martinez fills that void. The Red Sox finished fourth-to-last in the majors and last in the American League with 168 homers in 2017, a year that saw MLB set a new record with 6,105 dingers; it was also the first time since 1993 that the Red Sox finished last in the AL in homers. A total power outage!
Long story short, Dombrowski needs to acquire Martinez. Considering he’s yet to make a move to respond to the New York Yankees landing Giancarlo Stanton, the pressure is starting to build up for Dombrowski to show Martinez the money.
Martinez, 30, recently said he’s willing to wait until Spring Training to sign a deal with a new club.
The 6’3” Martinez bashed 45 homers in just 432 at-bats in 2017- one every less than 10 at-bats to go along with 104 RBIs. Not even a full season! His slash line was .303/.376/.690 split between the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks. Had Martinez finished with enough plate appearances to qualify, he all but certainly would’ve finished first in MLB in slugging percentage and OPS.
Those type of numbers in a contract year? Nothing but basic economics; that’s how you get PAID!
If Dombrowski doesn’t land Martinez- and assuming no blockbuster trade will be made before the season starts- it will be a wasted offseason for the Red Sox. They’ll have the same mediocre lineup which isn’t good enough to win in October. There will be no Stanton, no Carlos Santana, or no Eric Hosmer for that matter. Those three weren’t good enough for Dombrowski this offseason, and so Martinez is what’s left- not counting other current free agents like Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Todd Frazier- none of whom are on Dombrowski’s radar.
The time is now for Dombrowski to make a move. And by move, I mean sign Martinez. He’s in the prime of his career, made for Fenway Park, and made to give a lackluster Red Sox offense a spark that it so badly needs.
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