While most of the baseball world tuned in to Derek Jeter’s historic final game at Yankees Stadium, the Red Sox were busy routing the Tampa Bay Rays for the second straight night. Similar to Anthony Ranaudo on Wednesday, Allen Webster ended his season on a high note by holding the Rays to just one run on seven hits, over 7 innings pitched. While the 24-year old collected 10 punch-outs in his outing, he also used his heavy sinker to induce 10 ground ball outs. On the other side of the field, Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson lasted just 2.1 innings before he was forced to turn the game over to the bullpen. For the second straight night, Red Sox rookies lead the charge against Tampa Bay arms. Christian Vazquez had a career night at the plate, collecting 4 hits in 4 trips to the plate, including his first major league home run. Newcommer Rusney Castillo also enjoyed a terrific night at the dish, as he drilled his first major league homer, and tallied his first big league double. Keeping with the trend of major league firsts, outfielder Bryce Brentz drove in his first career run on his second hit of the game. Mookie Betts remained hot at the plate as he grabbed 3 hits and an RBI, including his tenth double of the season. All told, the Red Sox scored 11 runs for the second straight night, and ended their season series against the Rays with a dominant 11-1 victory.
- With the recent influx of quality outfielders, it wouldn’t be hard to lose Shane Victorino in the mix. After playing injured through last season’s postseason run, the 33-year old has spent the bulk of the 2014 season on the disabled list with back problems. But even though Victorino may have slipped on the outfield depth chart, he remains focused on entering spring training healthy, and contributing to the 2015 club. (‘Fuel to the fire’: Shane Victorino eyes 2015 return with Red Sox)
- In order to maximize Rusney Castillo’s value to the Red Sox, hitting coaches Greg Colbrunn and Victor Rodriguez must first learn what kind of hitter the 27-year old is. Therefore, the coaches have used the final weeks of the season to get down to the nitty gritty of Castillo’s swing. After the season is over, Castillo will play with fellow major league rookies and prospects in the Arizona Fall league, and continue to learn major league pitching. As an added bonus, Castillo will play just a half-hour away from Victor Rodriguez offseason abode. (Red Sox hitting coaches getting to know Rusney Castillo)
- This week just keeps getting worse for Mike Napoli fans. On Tuesday we were introduced to some beardless imposter claiming to be Napoli, only to find out that it actually was our first baseman. Then on Thursday, John Farrell admitted that the 30-year old will probably miss the remainder of the season, and may need surgery in the offseason. Although this shouldn’t come as a surprise considering he’s been banged up all season, knowing we won’t see Napoli against until March is depressing. It gives him more time to regrow his beard though. (Napoli’s lingering finger injury is a big issue)
- In case you haven’t heard by now, this weekend’s Red Sox, Yankees series at Fenway Park will be the last stop on Derek Jeter’s farewell tour. Similar to how the Boston sent off Mariano Rivera last season, the team is planning to shower the Yankee captain with a gift and a sizable donation to Jeter’s “Turn 2 Foundation”. (Red Sox ready to give Derek Jeter the boot…and more)
- Over the last few seasons, you’ve probably seen C.J. Matsumoto in the Red Sox dugout, but never really thought about who he was or what he was doing there. But as it turns out, the sports writer, turned information technology employee, turned translator, has been partly responsible for the Red Sox recent success. After getting his career as a translator started with the Diamondbacks, Boston brought Matsumoto aboard to translate for Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara. (For interpreter C.J. Matsumoto, a wild ride and an uncertain future)
- Tweet of the day: That’s a good send off
The Orioles honored Derek Jeter with 2 home runs in the first 2 batters of the game.
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) September 25, 2014