If losing the game wasn’t bad enough, the Red Sox narrowly escaped being no-hit as well. In the fourth and final game of the series between the Red Sox and Angels, Los Angeles starter Matt Shoemaker took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, until a 2-out double by Will Middlebrooks ended his bid. While the Red Sox line-up didn’t feature the likes of David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, and Yoenis Cespedes (who was pulled in the 3rd inning due to a family emergency), Shoemaker’s holding Boston to just one hit and one walk, while striking out 9 over 7.2 innings was impressive. The 28-year old doesn’t boast the most dominant numbers, but in his last 5 starts prior to Thursday, he held batters to a measly .219/.248/.344 slash in 26.2 innings pitched. For the Red Sox the only bright spot came from Rubby De La Rosa, who recovered nicely form his start last time out, and tossed 6.2 innings allowing just 2 runs while striking out 8 and walking 3.
- Before Yoenis Cespedes inked a 4-year, $36M deal with the Oakland Athletics in 2012, Cuban position players had not enjoyed very much success in the MLB. Since then, Cespedes has become one of the games most recognizable players through his power and defense. The 29-year old’s success in America swung the door wide open for his fellow Cuban players like Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu, and most recently Rusney Castillo. (Trailblazer: How Red Sox slugger Yoenis Cespedes helped create path for Rusney Castillo)
- Speaking of Rusney Castillo, the Red Sox have reportedly emerged as the frontrunners to sign the 27-year old Cuban defector. The early Friday morning report cites that Castillo has yet to make a final decision, but front office folks around the MLB believe that the outfielder is leaning towards joining fellow Cuban and former teammate, Yoenis Cespedes, in Boston. (Sources: Red Sox seen as favorites to land Rusney Castillo)
- After a short rehab stint in Pawtucket, Allen Craig rejoined the Red Sox line-up on Thursday evening. Craig, who DH’d in his first game back, was originally supposed to play 3 rehab games before rejoining Boston, but his 1-for-3 performance on Wednesday must have convinced the Red Sox medical staff that he was healthy. The outfielder has dealt with various foot injuries over the past year, ranging from a Lisfranc ligament injury last September, to a rolled ankle during his first game with the Red Sox earlier this month. (Craig returns from ankle injury ahead of schedule)
- Unlike their parent club, the Pawtucket Red Sox are in the thick of the International League North standings, and currently lead the AAA Wild Card race by a 3 game margin. However, Pawtucket’s championship run can’t overshadow the importance of responsibly grooming future contributors in Boston. Henry Owens, for example, has enjoyed another solid year in minors between both AA and AAA. However, the Red Sox must be diligent in monitoring the left-hander’s innings count, as he is already well over his innings total from last year. (Managing Henry Owens’ innings over the final month in triple-A Pawtucket)
- After Will Middlebrooks’ 8th inning double ended Matt Shoemaker’s no-hitter on Thursday night, the Angels starter’s wife took to Twitter to tell the world how she felt about her husband coming within 7 outs of glory. The tweet has since been deleted, but it accurately captured the essence of what watching a loved one chase a no-no must feel like. (Matt Shoemaker’s wife does not like Will Middlebrooks)
- Tweet of the day: Well that’s comforting…
The last time Red Sox were 1-hit at Fenway was in 2007 by Felix Hernandez. He starts tomorrow night.
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) August 22, 2014