Game 121: Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies (August 14, 2018)

Both the Red Sox and I had rest days yesterday. For them, it was a much needed break in the middle of a long season; for me, it was the first official day of my vacation and my first day back in my native New Hampshire in over a year. Being back in the heart of Red Sox Nation meant I was surrounded by like minded Sox fanatics so after the day off, I couldn't wait for the team to get back in action with this short two game series against the Phillies. While I hate interleague play (I think I've mentioned that once or twice, no?) I was curious to see how the Sox would fare. The last two games against Philadelphia that were played in Boston back in July ended in a series split with two low scoring games. I wanted to see if those were just flukes or if there was more to Philly than I  had previously thought.

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With Rick Porcello on the mound the Red Sox had as good a chance as ever to win this game. It was scoreless until the third when Sandy Leon hit his fifth homer of the season to put Boston up 1-0. It looked like Porcello was going to cruise through the game and for the most part he did, only surrendering a solo shot to Rhys Hoskins in the fifth. It seemed a shame that he may not get the decision in this one, so he must be thanking Brock Holt because his pinch hit homer in the eighth put the Sox up 2-1 which was enough for Craig Kimbrel. He picked up save thirty-six on the season and preserved the win for Porcello, who earned his 15th. Rick went seven strong innings only giving up two hits, the single run, and struck out ten without walking any. It was as dominant an outing as Chris Sale had two days ago and helped the Sox to yet another win against a good team. They outhit Philly 6-2 in another low scoring affair: in three games against the Phillies this season, Boston and Philadelphia have each scored five runs. They're either evenly matched or (more likely) Philly is just a tough match up for Boston. One last thing: buried in those six Boston hits was a 1-2 day at the plate for Porcello, who looks to be a decent hitting pitcher (remember his bases-clearing double in Washington in early July?).  What can't this guy do?

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The Yankees loss on Monday dropped them to ten games behind Boston in the AL East and that's how the standings remained with both teams winning Tuesday. The Sox will go for the sweep of Philly on Wednesday when Nathan Eovaldi takes the ball and looks to atone for his horrific start in Baltimore last week. That will set the team up for another off day Thursday (two in a week...strange, huh?) before starting a series at home against the tough Tampa Bay Rays. With only six weeks left in the regular season and some challenging series coming up over the next month, the best part of the major league baseball season has just begun. The Red Sox are 86-35 and are chasing history while giving us one of those seasons to remember. Make sure to savor every moment because seasons like this don't come around very often, if ever.