We normally don’t do individual MLB game recaps on here simply because there’s too much to cover. But tonight’s game between the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians deserves to be an exception, because it was the game of the year to this point.
The game was absolutely nuts for lack of a better term. If you don’t believe me, look at the final stats; 22 runs scored, 28 hits, six home runs, four blown leads, two blown saves and a walk-off.
Expected to be pitcher’s duel between Boston’s Cy Young favorite Chris Sale and Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco, the game wound up being the exact opposite.
The Indians jumped all over Sale, tagging the Boston ace for seven earned runs and five in the first two innings. Despite being given a 5-0 lead, Carrasco too was smoked and gave up the lead in just an inning and a third before getting pulled. After the Red Sox tied it at five, noted Red Sox killer Edwin Encarnacion belted a two-run shot to give the Tribe the lead back, 7-5 in the fifth. That was it for Sale as well.
Hanley Ramirez almost made it 7-6 in the bottom of the frame with a long drive to dead-away center, but was robbed by Austin Jackson. The center fielder flipped over the wall into the Boston bullpen to make a jaw-dropping catch, shades of Jackie Bradley Jr. on Aaron Judge a few weeks ago.
Boston once again warred back and took a 9-7 lead in the sixth courtesy of a bases-clearing double by newcomer Eduardo Nunez. However, the Red Sox other newbie, reliever Addison Reed, had a tougher time, surrendering a bomb of a homer to the first batter he faced with his new team. Carlos Santana’s shot in the eighth made it 9-8. But Reed hammered down, and the one run lead was in the capable hands of Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.
However, the wackiness continued when Francisco Lindor hit a solo shot to lead off, tying the game at nine. Boston’s normally unflappable closer got into even more trouble by loading the bases and then throwing a wild pitch, allowing Jose Ramirez to score, 10-9 Tribe. In the blink of an eye, Cleveland went from three outs from losing to three outs from winning.
With Andrew Miller already having been used, Indians setup man Cody Allen came on for the save. He started it well by striking out Bradley, but then allowed a single to red-hot youngster Rafael Devers. Xander Bogaerts then flew out, leaving it up to Mitch Moreland. Moreland struck out on a wild pitch, but catcher Yan Gomes couldn’t corral it and Moreland reached to keep the inning alive. Up came Christian Vazquez.
After working to 3-1, Vazquez forced Allen to serve up a fastball, and he hit it over the centerfield wall to give Boston an unbelievable 12-10 win and send Fenway Park into a fracas.
In one of the wildest and most entertaining contests of the season and maybe even MLB history, Boston and Cleveland elevated their underrated rivalry to a new level. It was an especially sweet win for the Red Sox and their fans considering this was the team’s first meeting with the Tribe since they were unceremoniously swept in last year’s ALDS by the eventual AL champs.
With the win and Yankees loss to Detroit, Boston is back atop the AL East. Cleveland’s lead over Kansas City in the AL Central is now two games. Boston goes for the sweep tonight in a rematch between Trevor Bauer and Rick Porcello from the opening game of the ALDS last year.
Hats off to both teams on an incredible showing. The Red Sox won the contest, but the fans were the real winners.
Red Sox Sam Kennedy Says Keeping Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez ‘Difficult’, But There is a Way
After a disappointing 2019 campaign following a 2018 World Series championship, the Boston Red Sox are looking to trim payroll and revamp for the 2020 season.
Red Sox president Sam Kennedy spoke Monday about the team’s future and stated that there is a way for the team to keep superstar outfielders Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez and stay below Major League Baseball’s competitive balance tax, but it won’t be an easy task to perform.
“There is a way, but obviously it will be difficult given the nature of the agreements and the contracts we have in place,” Kennedy said, according to ESPN.
“We have a very targeted and strategic plan that we’re building now. Some of the dates related to contract decisions come right after the World Series. So we’ve had some time in September to focus on the offseason given where we were in the standings,” he said. “It is going to be a challenging offseason, but we’re ready to attack it head-on and do everything we can to put a competitive team out there not just for next year but 2021, 2022.”
The comments come off the heels of a Friday media session with team owners John Henry and Tom Werner where the two stated that they were prepared to cut payroll to get under the luxury-tax threshold next season.
The Red Sox have had baseball’s highest payroll for two consecutive seasons, exceeding the competitive balance threshold of $208 million in each of those seasons.
Doing so for a third straight season would see an astronomical rise of the taxes.
“We need to be under the CBT,” Henry said on Friday.
“We will continue to demonstrate a willingness to go over the CBT,” Kennedy said. “It is going to be a challenging offseason, but we are going to attack it.”
“We absolutely love Mookie Betts as a player, as a person,” Kennedy said. “We’ve gotten to know his family. You hope that he’s a guy that is here for the long term.”
Kennedy also added that he took no offense at the idea of Betts testing the free agent market this upcoming winter.
“I think it speaks to Mookie’s confidence and how special of a player he is,” Kennedy said of Betts’ potential testing of the market.
“He really does love it here. He told me he loves it here. … You can see with the joy and energy and enthusiasm in which he approaches playing baseball at Fenway Park — the fans love him.”
Kennedy also lauded the performance of Martinez, while also pointing out his importance to the team’s success.
“You want J.D. Martinez in the middle of your lineup,” Kennedy said. “He’s a world champion and was a key part of last year’s success, so we will see where it goes in the future.”
The Red Sox have a lot of work to do this offseason, and it may include losing Martinez, or Betts, or potentially both as they look to drop payroll.
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Red Sox Fire Dave Dombrowski
The Boston Red Sox have fired president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski one year after winning the World Series, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
The Red Sox fired Dombrowski, 63, on Sunday and they will elevate senior vice president Raquel Ferreira and assistant general managers Eddie Romero, Brian O’Halloran and Zack Scott to jointly lead their baseball operations department for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Dombrowski was hired back in August 2015 and was the architect of the World Series Championship team in 2018.
Dombrowski made some major moves during his tenure, such as trading for Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrell, signing J.D. Martinez and David Price, and hiring manager Joey Cora.
“This is a guy that gave me a chance to come here and be a big league manager,” Cora said. “It’s one of those things that caught me. They just told me, so I’m not ready to talk about it.”
An excessive payroll and getting this team back on track will be just some of the tasks that Dombrowski’s successors will have to do.
For all that Dombrowski had accomplished in Boston, he came under scrutiny this season for some of the big moves he missed on, as well as the team’s poor season that has them well out of the division race and 8 games back from the wild card.
Red Sox David Price Blasts Dennis Eckersley
Some feuds just refuse to die, and that seems to be the case with Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, who is a TV analyst for the team, whose feud kicked off around two years ago.
It all started when Eckersley made a comment about Boston lefty Eduardo Rodriguez on air, leading to Price confronting him on the team plane, blocking his path, mocking, and cursing at him as some players applauded.
A few years after the incident, Eckersley made comments about Price during an interview with the Boston Globe that ran on Tuesday.
“I didn’t know how to deal with that. I don’t plan on saying a word to him, I don’t plan on seeing him, never,” Eckersley said. “I don’t really give a — one way or another. I don’t think he really cares one way or the other.”
Price made some not-so-subtle comments, in response, on his Twitter account via some emojis on Wednesday, but unloaded on Eckersley when speaking to the media at Fenway PArk on Wednesday.
“Honestly, I just think it’s trash. He had an unbelievable career and he’s a Hall of Famer,” Price said (h/t ESPN). “I saw his special on MLB Network. It was cool. The one thing that stood out to me was that he had zero former teammates in that interview. Not one talking about him. It was him talking about himself.
“If anybody ever does a special on me after baseball, I won’t need to go on that interview. I will have former teammates. I will have former coaches. He didn’t have that. To me, that’s all you need to know. That tells the story right there.”
It seems that this feud is far from being over.
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