The Red Sox evened the series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night, winning by a final of 2-1. In his Red Sox debut, Joe Kelly tossed 7 strong innings, yielding just 1 run on 3 hits, while striking out 2 and walking 4. Similarly, Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller also pitched 7 innings and allowed just 1 run on 4 hits. The Cardinals collected their only run of the game in the first inning, after Matt Carpenter doubled and later scored on an RBI single by Matt Adams. The Red Sox tied the game in the 4th inning on an RBI double by Xander Bogaerts that scored Daniel Nava from first base. With the score tied at 1 in the 9th inning, St. Louis summoned fireballing closer Trevor Rosenthal to preserve the tie. However before Rosenthal even recorded an out, he loaded the bases on two hits and a walk. With the bases full Xander Bogaerts jumped on the first pitch he saw from Rosenthal, and lifted a fly ball to center field that was plenty deep enough to score Yoenis Cespedes from third base and give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Koji Uehara allowed 2 singles, but he manage to escape the inning unscathed and secure a 2-1 Red Sox victory.
- While Jackie Bradley has done a superb job manning center field in his rookie season, the same can’t be said for how the 23-year old has handled the bat. After just one season in the MLB, it would be foolish to assume that Bradley will never figure things out at the plate, but even GM Ben Cherington admitted that the center fielder needs to start showing offensive improvements. Bradley’s minor league numbers suggest that he could be a solid hitter at the major league level, however with Mookie Betts hot on his trail, Bradley’s time as an everyday player could be running short. (Ben Cherington on Jackie Bradley Jr.: “At some point there is going to have to be more offense”)
- Despite dominating the opposition in his triple-A debut, Henry Owens won’t be pitching in the major leagues this season. While his outing on Monday saw the lanky-left hander carry a no-hitter into the middle innings, the Red Sox believe Owens long-term development will benefit from a longer stay in Pawtucket. At the same time, Boston hopes to find roles for long-tenured starting and relief pitchers. (Henry Owens unlikely to pitch in majors this season)
- After Allen Craig re-injured his historically bothersome left ankle in his first game with the Red Sox, some have wondered whether the Cardinals were cutting damaged goods when they dealt Craig to Boston at the deadline. However, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington insisted that Craig’s medical records raised no red flags, and that Boston believes in Craig as a long term asset. (Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington diffuses notion Allen Craig’s ankle injury is a long-term issue)
- Between now and the start of the 2015 season, the Red Sox rotation will undergo a lot of changes. After Boston traded away just about all of their established major league starters (except Clay Buchholz) at the trade deadline, the Red Sox have a lot of areas to address in the offseason. Perhaps the most glaring need for the Red Sox rotation is a staff ace. Boston has already been connected to free agent options like James Shields, as well as trade candidates like Cole Hamels. The team can also use their glut of young starters to help fill out the middle and back end of the rotation. (A semi-educated guess of what the Red Sox’ rotation will look like in 2015)
- Wednesday didn’t just mark Joe Kelly’s first start with the Red Sox, it also marked his first practical joke as a Red Sox. Kelly, who’s sense of humor became notorious during his time with the Cardinals, gave his former fans one last laugh as he strolled to the plate using a song most of us probably haven’t heard since the 90’s. (Joe Kelly uses “Backstreet’s Back” as walk-up song against former club)
- Tweet of the day: I guess you could say they’ve been LOST at the plate with runners on base.