The Red Sox pushed their loosing streak to an even 8 games over the weekend, after they were swept by the Seattle Mariners. On Friday the match-up of Felix Hernandez and Joe Kelly seemed to greatly favor Seattle on paper, but the contest didn’t come quite as advertised. The two starters tossed 5 scoreless frames before Hernandez allowed 3 runs to score on a 3-run home run by Yoenis Cespedes. Meanwhile, Joe Kelly saw his start come to an end after just 5 innings due to shoulder discomfort. With Kelly gone, the Red Sox bullpen managed to hold the lead, until the 9th inning when Koji Uehara suffered a catastrophic inning, allowing 5 runs on 5 hits. The Red Sox were unable to overcome the 39-year old’s dreadful inning, and succumbed to a 5-3 deficit. Boston looked to quickly put Friday’s loss behind them on Saturday, and jumped out to an early 3 run advantage; scoring individual runs in the first 3 innings. However, Red Sox starter Brandon Workman suffered one of the worst starts of his brief major league career and left after just 3 innings. After cruising through the first 3 frames, the right-hander coughed up the early advantage, and allowed 7 runs to cross the plate on as many hits. Both Workman and Mariner’s starter Chris Young were chased after just 3+ innings, however the Red Sox were unable to chip away at their deficit against Seattle’s bullpen. Four Mariners’ relievers combined to toss 5 innings of shutout baseball, allowing just 2 hits and one walk, while striking out 11 Red Sox. For Boston, rookie reliever Alex Wilson held the Mariners in-check for 3.2 perfect frames, which pushed his scoreless innings streak to 9 innings. Junichi Tazawa and Burke Badenhop also logged clean frames out of the Red Sox bullpen. With a sweep in sight, the Mariners wasted no time getting to Red Sox starter Allen Webster on Sunday, tallying 3 runs in the first inning against the rookie right-hander. Boston, however, quickly responded in the bottom half of the inning, and knotted the score at 3 aside. The Red Sox went on to take the lead in the 3rd inning, thanks to RBI’s from Mike Napoli and Will Middlebrooks. But after scoring a single run in the 4th inning, Seattle took the lead in the 5th on a sac fly by Brad Miller, and never looked back. Seattle completed their 4 game sweep of the Red Sox at Fenway by a final of 8-6.
- While the Red Sox continued to play mediocre baseball on the field this weekend, the front office continued to build towards the 2015 season. After being rumored to be the front runners for his services, Boston finalized a 7 year, $72.5M deal for Cuban defector Rusney Castillo. The 27-year old is expected to add speed, offense, and defense to the the Red Sox order, and projects to assume the lead-off spot once he obtains an American working visa. (Red Sox sign Cuban star outfielder Rusney Castillo)
- Seven years, seventy-two and a half million dollars seems like a lot to shell out for a player who has yet to play in a major league game, but the Red Sox viewed Rusney Castillo as a must for 2015 and beyond. At the age of 27, the Red Sox believe that Castillo is just entering his peak years, and boasts a skill set that will make for an all-around dynamic player to the team. (Why the Red Sox saw Rusney Castillo as a Goldilocks opportunity)
- With playoff aspirations out the window, the Red Sox will use the rest of the 2014 season to evaluate what their current roster can offer the 2015 team. So far, we’ve seen the future of Jackie Bradley come into question, after he was demoted and then seemingly replaced by Rusney Castillo. Also, Boston’s young starters like Allen Webster and Brandon Workman have proven ineffective and/or inconsitent at the major league level. Still, the Red Sox can take solace in their new-look offense, which was finally 100% healthy over the weekend. (Red Sox still trying to learn what they have going into the offseason)
- A little under a month has gone by since Yoenis Cespedes joined the Red Sox after being dealt by the Athletics in the July 31st blockbuster for Jon Lester. With just 21 games under his belt in Boston, the Cuban slugger has fit nicely in the middle of Boston’s order, as well as in the short confines of Fenway Park’s left field. (Yoenis Cespedes making smooth transition to Red Sox)
- Brock Holt has undoubtedly become one of the few good stories that the 2014 Red Sox have to offer. Coming into the season, the 27-year old spent most of his professional baseball career as a middle infielder, but has since emerged as one of the games most versatile defensive assets. Along with playing every position expect catcher and pitcher this season, Holt’s offense has been consistent all season long, as evident by his current .290/.342/.393 slash. However, with the Red Sox outfield logjam, and mainstays at every position except third base, would it be wise for Ben Cherington to sell high on Holt’s breakout season this winter? (Should the Red Sox sell high on Brock Holt?)
- Tweet of the weekend: Let’s hope he does more with it than Grady Sizemore did…
Rusney Castillo gets a No. 38 jersey.
— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) August 23, 2014