The Red Sox played their first of three games against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on Monday. Coming off his first win in a Red Sox uniform in his previous start, Joe Kelly toed the rubber for Boston in the series opener. After tossing a clean top of the first, Kelly allowed 3 straight singles to lead off the second inning, as Baltimore took an early one run lead. Later in the game, the Orioles took advantage of two defensive miscues by Boston, and added three more runs to their total. The Red Sox’ defensive woes began after Baltimore loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning. Orioles’ middle infielder Ryan Flaherty chopped the ball to first baseman Mike Napoli, who threw to second to get the force out. However, as Xander Bogaaerts tried to complete the double play, he thew a short-hop back to first base that the covering Joe Kelly was unable to corral, and Baltimore pushed their lead to 3-0. An inning later, the Red Sox defensive blunders continued, as Boston handed Baltimore their fourth run of the night. With a runner on third and two outs, Yoenis Cespedes was unable to haul in a lazy fly ball in the left centerfield gap. The ball clanged off Cespedes’ glove, which allowed the runner from third to cross the plate with Baltimore’s fourth run. Meanwhile, Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez kept the Red Sox offense at bay over 6.1 innings. While he did average a hit per inning, the right-hander was able to hold Boston to just one extra base hit, and only surrendered one hit when pitching with runners in scoring position. Following Gonzalez’ lead, Baltimore’s bullpen tossed 3 innings of one hit baseball. With their 4-0 victory on Monday, Baltimore now holds a 10 game advantage in the American League East standings.
- The Red Sox continued to exploit the September roster expansion on Monday, and promoted right-handed pitcher Matt Barnes to Boston’s bullpen. In 2011 the Red Sox selected Barnes with the 19th overall pick in the first year player draft. A former University of Connecticut Huskey, Barnes has endured his fair share of struggles and set backs over his 3 year minor league career. However, after a rough first half of the season in Pawtucket, the 24-year old has since enjoyed great success after discovering how to effectively use his arsenal of pitches. (Red Sox promote pitcher Matt Barnes to big-league bullpen)
- Red Sox fans looking forward to next season can finally do so with some substance. While Opening Day won’t be around for another 7 months, the Red Sox released their schedule for the 2015 season on Monday. Oddly enough, Boston will begin their attempt at another worst-to-first season against the Phillies in the City of Brotherly Love. Then after a 3 game stop in New York, Boston will open up Fenway Park on April 13th against the Washington Nationals. (Red Sox 2015 schedule released: home opener April 13th vs. Washington Nationals)
- Usually no one expects a high school football team’s water boy to amount to anything athletically, unless of course that water boy is Mookie Betts. A standout athlete in baseball, basketball, and even bowling, Mookie was forbidden to participate in the rough-and-tumble of football. But Mookie still wanted to be with his friends, and volunteered to be the teams water boy. However, Betts’ run as a water boy didn’t take the stereotypical route that most would think of. (How Mookie Betts went from water boy to weightlifter)
- Ever since the Red Sox traded Jon Lester at the deadline, all fans can think about is whether Boston will resign the free agent to be this winter. However, another left-handed arm traded away by Boston this summer, also deserves to be discussed. Currently pitching for the Baltimore Orioles, Andrew Miller was solid out of the Red Sox pen during his stay in Boston. A starter turned reliever, Miller embraced his relief role and developed a dominating arsenal of pitches. While Miller has said that he would be open to a return to the Red Sox, he also understands that this winter might be his best shot at a lucrative deal. (Andrew Miller enjoyed time in Boston, realistic about economics of free agency)
- Since coming over from the Cardinals at the trade deadline, Joe Kelly has shown his ability to be a solid piece of future Red Sox’ rotations. Like most occasions Kelly’s win/loss record is not a proper indication of how well the 26-year old has thrown for Boston over 7 starts. In his first 41 innings with the Sox, Kelly holds an ERA of 3.95, while limiting batters to a .210 average. Kelly, along with Clay Buchholz, figures to already hold a rotation spot for the 2015 Red Sox. (Joe Kelly shows he belongs)
- Tweet of the day: I’ve been wearing this expression since July…