Wednesday, May 29, 2019

2019 Red Sox Week in Review: 5/20-5/26

I apologize for being a little behind on this week's recap...the Memorial Day weekend was one of much needed rest and relaxation and I've been having a hard time catching up now that it's over. The Red Sox had some bouncing back to do after the previous week where they dropped two series at home to the Rockies and Astros. A long road trip ate up this entire week with four games in Toronto and three in Houston and sitting only 4.5 games behind the first place Yankees, the opportunity was there to gain some ground in the division...if they could take advantage of it. 

(5/20 at Toronto Blue Jays): It was Victoria Day in Canada and so the two teams had an early afternoon start. David Price made his first appearance after being out with a sore elbow and pitched respectably in his five innings of work (it only took him sixty-seven pitches). At the plate, the Sox pounded out sixteen hits to the Jays' three and ended up crushing them in a 12-2 laugher of a game that erased the bad memories of the weekend's series against the Astros. In addition to Michael Chavis and Rafael Devers continuing to heat up, Jackie Bradley hit his first home run of the season which would bode well for the bottom of the order if it means he's about to go on one of his patented hot streaks. 

(5/21 at Toronto Blue Jays): How do you follow up a blowout win against a bad team? Why, by letting them destroy you back, of course! Every time it seems as though the Sox are poised for a winning streak this season, they put up a stinker and this game was no exception. Eduardo Rodriguez was terrible and gave up six runs (including three home runs) in five innings while Toronto starter Marcus Stroman shut the Sox down to the tune of a single run over six (even though he walked six and only struck out four!). The simply awful Tyler Thornburg gave up a few more runs in relief as the Jays shellacked Boston 10-3. If they can't take care of business against the bad teams, how can they hope to compete with the Yankees, Astros, or Twins?

(5/22 at Toronto Blue Jays): A back and forth contest, this game was definitely different than the first two of the series. The Sox took a 4-3 lead into the ninth before the bullpen (this time, Marcus Walden) blew the save and allowed the Jays to tie the game. It looked as though Boston pulled it out in the twelfth inning when Mookie Betts hit a solo home run, but once again the bullpen couldn't seal the deal, allowing Rowdy Tellez to tie the game with his own solo shot. Finally, in the top of the thirteenth inning Michael Chavis hit his tenth home run of the season to put the Sox up 6-5. That's how it ended once the relief corps were finally able to close the door on the Jays. This game was much harder than it should have been and continued a season-long and troubling trend of the Sox playing down to the level of their competition.

(5/23 at Toronto Blue Jays): The series finale featured recent call-up Ryan Weber on the mound for Boston and apart from a lone run he allowed in the second inning, he held the Jays scoreless for six innings while the bats did their work. Boston put eight runs on the board and apart from a meaningless solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, Toronto was quiet for the entire game. The resulting series win and taking three of four in Toronto boded very well as the road trip continued on to Houston. After dropping two of three to the Astros at Fenway Park the previous weekend, it looked like the Sox were ripe to return the favor at Minute Maid Park. 

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(5/24 at Houston Astros): As they so often have done this season, the Red Sox came up small in one of their biggest games. Houston jumped out to a 4-0 lead on only four hits...and three of those runs can on balls that resulted in outs! The Sox seemingly made a game of it by hitting three solo home runs over the last four innings off the bats of Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley, and Christian Vazquez, but it was too little too late as they went down in defeat 4-3. Beyond the disappointment of a poor showing against a quality opponent after taking three of four in Toronto, it continued the troubling trend of Chris Sale pitching well enough to win but not getting any run support. Now 1-6 on the season, there are least three or four of those starts (including the back to back games where he struck out a combined thirty-one batters) that he should've won but didn't. Baseball is a team game and Sale is doing all he's the rest of the team that's letting him down.

(5/25 at Houston Astros): This game was scoreless into the sixth inning and seemed like it could go either way; unfortunately, it once again went against the Red Sox. Houston plated two in the inning but Andrew Benintendi drove in a run in the seventh to make it 2-1. As has happened so consistently this season, though, Houston got a run back the following inning to take a 3-1 lead. Christian Vazquez tied the game in the top of the ninth innings with a two-RBI single and it seemed like we'd be heading to extra innings, but the bullpen must have missed the memo. Matt Barnes walked the bases in the bottom of the inning and then gave up the game-winning single to Carlos Correa. After all of that effort to tie the game, the Sox went down in yet another crushing defeat, 4-3.

(5/26 at Houston Astros): When I saw that Justin Verlander was starting the series finale (and when I saw that Eduardo Rodriguez was going for the Sox after his last disastrous start), I resigned myself to the Sox getting swept in Houston. Instead, they surprised me by playing their best game of the series. Carlos Correa got the Astros in the scoring column with an RBI single in the first inning, but that would be it for them. Benintendi tied it up in the third with a sacrifice fly and Boston took the lead for good off of Rafael Devers' solo home run in the fourth. They tacked on two more and won this game 4-1 to escape Texas with a win and avoided the sweep. The Red Sox finished the season series against the Astros 2-4 (similar to last season's 3-4 mark), but the most maddening thing about this year's games was that of the four they lost, most of them were there for the taking if the Sox had just made one or more two plays. With their margin for error razor thin after their putrid start to the season, things like that can (and will) come back to haunt you later in the season.

Quick Hits: In going 4-3 this past week, the Red Sox failed to gain any ground on the Yankees and in fact lost two games in the standings. They flat out blew a game against Houston and had a poor showing in one of the games in Toronto, both of which only highlight how inconsistent and undisciplined the team has been in 2019. One week the offense will pound out runs like crazy, and then next they'll struggle to score (as they did this past week). Likewise with the pitching which will veer between horrible and excellent (which it was this past week). Until they can consistently play solid baseball in every phase of the game and put together a winning streak longer than four or five games, they're going to find themselves hovering right around the .500 mark. It's only going to get more difficult this coming week with a home series against the struggling but still talented Indians and four games in New York against the Yankees. The Yankees series in particular may very well make or break the season: it's a prime opportunity to gain some ground on them, but also a chance for New York to bury the Sox in the division. As to which Red Sox team will show up, I have no idea.

28-25 record, 3rd in AL East (6.5 GB the Yankees)

If you love the Red Sox as much as I do, you'll enjoy my book A Win For Every Stitch which chronicles their historic 2018 season from Opening Day to the end of the World Series. It will remind you of how great the team was last year while we figure out why they haven't been this year. Click below to check it out and read some reviews...every Sox fan will love it!

Monday, May 20, 2019

2019 Red Sox Week in Review: 5/13-5/19

The Red Sox got a bit of a break this past week with two days off and only five games total. However, this will be their last lull until the end of June when they head to London for two games against the Yankees. They had a two-game series against the Rockies bookended by off days, but beginning with this weekend's series against the Astros the Sox will play thirty-four games in thirty-four days with only one day off (there's a doubleheader in there). Riding a five-game winning streak, Boston looked to keep it going against a talented but scuffling Rockies team before the big bad Astros came to town.

(5/14 vs. Colorado Rockies): This game almost perfectly summed up the frustration that has been the 2019 Red Sox thus far. Chris Sale flirted with history when he struck out seventeen batters (without walking a single one!) over seven innings. The only blemish was a two-run homer he gave up to Nolan Arenado, but the Sox had scored three so they should've been all set, right? Tell that to the bullpen which has gotten a bit more erratic in recent weeks. Brandon Workman gave up a brutal two-run homer to Charlie Blackmon that gave Colorado the lead and erased Sale's chance for the win. That means that in his last two starts, Sale has struck out a combined thirty-one batters and gotten no decisions in both. Beyond that, I was hoping that Alex Cora would send Sale out for the eighth to see if he could tie Roger Clemens' single-game record of twenty strikeouts (yes, he was over a hundred pitches but he was still throwing great). Mitch Moreland tied the game up with an RBI in the eighth inning, but the Rockies got another one in extra innings to slip by the Sox with the 5-4 win. It was a really irritating way to lose a game, snap the winning streak, and see Sale's incredible night go for naught. There was nothing to do but get back at it the following night.

(5/15 vs. Colorado Rockies): Before this game started, I tweeted out that "if the 2019 Red Sox are true to form, a night after giving Chris Sale no run support, they'll score a ton for Eduardo Rodriguez." It didn't end up being a ton, but they did race out to a 5-0 lead over the first few innings and even though Colorado picked up a couple runs of their own, Boston looked to be in complete control. E-Rod whiffed ten over the first six innings and seeing as his pitch count was getting up there (and this is 2019), it seemed as though his night was over. For some inexplicable reason, though, Alex Cora sent him out for the seventh inning. Mind you, this is only one night after he didn't send Sale, who was in the same situation and pitching even better, back out for the eighth inning to try and tie the strikeout record. For (almost) everything that Cora did right last season, he's been wrong more often than not this year. E-Rod loaded the bases with no outs before being lifted for Matt Barnes. The Rockies proceeded to score three runs and tie the game which, for the second straight night, went into extra innings. Mercifully, this time it went the Red Sox way when Xander Bogaerts led off with a double. After Rafael Devers was intentionally walked, Michael Chavis hit the first pitch he saw up the middle for a game-winning RBI single. Winning this game felt a lot more important than it probably was for two reasons: because they needed to avoid a second-straight blown game to the Rockies and because this kind of sloppy baseball isn't going to cut it when the grueling stretch of games that's about to unfold begins, especially against a great team like Houston.

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(5/17 vs. Houston Astros): And so it begins. This was a very tight, evenly contested game for the first six innings. Rick Porcello pitched really well and Christian Vazquez gave the Sox a 1-0 lead with an RBI single. The wheels fell off the cart in the eighth inning when the red-hot George Springer hit a two-run homer to give Houston the lead. Another run tacked on later in the inning was all they'd need to snatch a 3-1 victory away from the Red Sox. It was a disappointing way to start off the series but given how talented both of these teams are, no one thought it was going to be easy.

(5/18 vs. Houston Astros): If the first game was defeat snatched from the jaws of victory, this one was an embarrassment from the very beginning. Yet another bullpen game, this time Hector Velazquez didn't even last an inning as Houston put up a five spot in the top of the first and never looked back. Every the time the Sox chipped away and got a run, the Astros answered with another of their own. The lone bright spot for Boston was Christian Vazquez setting a new career high for home runs when he hit his sixth of the season. The already overworked bullpen just tried to get out of this one without too much damage...the end result was a 7-3 loss that gave the Astros their tenth straight win and dropped the Red Sox to a single game over .500.

(5/19 vs. Houston Astros): The Sox avoided the sweep by gutting out a 4-3 win in this getaway day game. Chris Sale again hit double-digits in strikeouts with ten, but he also walked five and seemed to struggle with his control (getting squeezed by the home plate ump didn't help). The Sox took an early 1-0 lead but the Astros came back and held a 3-1 lead heading into the fifth. Luckily, things started going Boston's way from there on out. Michael Chavis clubbed his eighth homer of the season and Xander Bogaerts was assisted by the afternoon sun on a bloop single that dropped in and drove in the tying run. Knotted at three runs apiece, Xander smoked a double to center field that allowed Mookie Betts to absolutely fly around the bases from first base and score the go-ahead run. The bullpen took care of the rest and the Sox got a big 4-3 win, snapping Houston's winning streak and allowing them to head on the road this week with some positive momentum. Chris Sale picked up yet another no decision, but overall he was pretty good. 

Quick Hits: After the way the Sox stormed through last week, this week was a bit of a letdown. They went 2-3 and didn't take advantage of the homestand nearly as much as I had hoped. Dropping a game by blowing a late lead to the Rockies was ugly and they very well could have and should have taken two of three from Houston, but that's why games are played on the field and not on paper. The offense that went on a rampage last week was also strangely quiet, with the Sox very visibly and tangibly struggling to score runs in every game this week; you could almost feel how much they had to scratch and claw to get runners home. The pitching was also a bit shaky, mainly because the overworked and worn out bullpen, which has pitched a lot more already this season than anyone expected, was taxed to the limit. With injuries to rotation mainstays like David Price (due back this week in Toronto) and Nathan Eovaldi as well as emergency/sixth starter Brian Johnson, there have been way too many bullpen games and innings asked of the relievers and it's starting to catch up to them. It doesn't get any easier this week: after four in Toronto, the Sox have three in Houston against Astros before hosting Cleveland for three and then going to the Bronx for a four game set. That's a brutal stretch of games that could very well determine how the rest of the summer goes. With the Yankees on a roll and now in first place in the AL East and the Rays not going anywhere, the Sox need to take advantage and beat up on Toronto and then try to win the three series that follow if they want to stay in the hunt. This is what happens when you have a dismal start like they did back in April; there's no margin for error and every game has huge importance, even in May.

24-22 record, 3rd in AL East (4.5 GB the Yankees)

If you love the Red Sox as much as I do, you'll enjoy my book A Win For Every Stitch which chronicles their historic 2018 season from Opening Day to the end of the World Series. It will remind you of how great the team was last year as they start to look good this season. Click below to check it out and read some reviews...every Sox fan will love it!

Monday, May 13, 2019

2019 Red Sox Week in Review: 5/6-5/12

The 2019 Red Sox continue to look like the team we all expected after their disastrous first few weeks. They've been creeping ever closer to .500 and ripped off a 6-1 record the week before while finally starting to hit and pitch the way we all knew they could. This week saw them finishing their road trip with three games in Baltimore before welcoming the Mariners to Fenway Park. The time to make up even more ground was during this stretch because the schedule is going to get a lot tougher the deeper they get into May.

(5/6 at Baltimore Orioles): The series opener saw the continuation of a couple of things I haven't liked so far this season. The first was the team as a whole playing down to the level of their competition and the second was Alex Cora managing as though the Sox were ten games up in the division instead of needing every win they can get right now. Some pitcher named Josh Smith got the start for the Red Sox and the results were as predictable as it gets. Smith surrendered an early grand slam to Jonathan Villar and only a sacrifice fly from Eduardo Nunez in the fifth inning kept the Sox from getting shut out in this 4-1 loss. A forgettable game. It was especially frustrating because had the Sox won this game, they would've hit .500...instead, they slipped two games below.

(5/7 at Baltimore Orioles): We were treated to much more fun game than the previous one and for a variety of reasons. JD Martinez hit his 200th career home run in the first inning to put the Sox up 2-0, but this game ended up being a somewhat crazy back-and-forth affair until Mitch Moreland crushed his team-leading tenth homer of the season to give them some breathing room, breaking a 3-3 tie to put Boston up 6-3. They put up a couple of insurance runs later in the game and it was a good thing they did since the O's notched two more off of Ryan Brasier in the eighth inning to make it a bit close for comfort. Still, the Sox held on and atoned for their disappointing game the night before.

(5/8 at Baltimore Orioles): I think it's safe to say after this game that we've finally seen the Chris Sale we've been waiting for all season. He'd been trending in the right direction over his last few starts, but he was absolutely dominant in this game. He went eight innings and struck out fourteen batters (including an immaculate seventh inning) without walking a single one. The only run he surrendered was on Trey Mancini's RBI double which tied the game after Mookie Betts had hit a solo home run. It remained tied after nine and the real drama unfolded in extra innings. Mancini hit what appeared to be a game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the eleventh, but Jackie Bradley made a spectacular leaping catch at the wall to rob the homer and save the game for the Sox. It worked out really well, because in the top of the twelfth Andrew Benintendi hit a solo homer to put Boston up 2-1 which would be the final margin of victory after Heath Hembree struck out all three batters he faced in the bottom of the inning (I know, I couldn't believe it either!). With the dramatic win, the Sox took the series from the O's and finally hit .500 (at 19-19) for the first time since they were 1-1 on March 29th.

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(5/10 vs. Seattle Mariners): The Sox started mashing early in this game and jumped out to a 10-0 lead before the shutout was spoiled guessed it, Tyler Thornburg. This guy is only good enough for Alex Cora to put him in during blowouts and even then he can't help but give up runs. I'm ready to move on from him, but for reasons I've mentioned in weeks past it probably won't happen this season. The Sox tacked on four more for good measure and blew the M's out 14-1 to open up this series with a win. Rafael Devers continued to stay red hot at the plate and Mitch Moreland hit his team-leading eleventh homer of the season. That made it three straight wins for the Sox, tying their longest streak of the season and at 20-19, marked the first time all season that they were over .500.

(5/11 vs. Seattle Mariners): Rick Porcello looked like it was still early April when he gave up four runs in the top of the first inning, but after that he settled down to shut out the Mariners for the rest of his outing. Also unlike the beginning of the season, this time it didn't seem insurmountable for the Sox to come back from. Moreland hit yet another home run to make it twelve on the season and even Sandy Leon (no, really) hit a three-run bomb. Apart from a harmless solo homer late in the game, Seattle couldn't do anything but go down in defeat again to the score of 9-5. That made it four straight wins for the Red Sox as they continued to score runs in the ways we expected to from the start of the season. It really seems as though they were about a month behind in spring training and are now where we expected them to be in early April. Better late than never, right?

(5/12 vs. Seattle Mariners): Having won the first two against Seattle, I was greedy and wanted the sweep and it looks like the Red Sox did, too. Playing on a cold and drizzly Mother's Day, they put a beating on the M's that would make any mother proud. After giving up a single run early in the game, the Sox put the game out of reach by scoring nine runs over the next six innings. For good measure they tacked on a couple more late to run away with an 11-2 victory and a series sweep. JD Martinez hit two home runs (a solo shot and a two-run blast), Devers continued to stay hot and upped his average to .336, and Michael Chavis broke out of his slump with a five RBI day. Even the fact that this was a bullpen game started by Hector Velazquez didn't matter; he pitched five strong innings and picked up the win. With their fifth win in a row and the Yankees beating up on the Rays over the weekend, the Red Sox gained some ground in the division and look poised to gain more as the month progresses. 

Quick Hits: The Sox went 5-1 this week and finally got over the .500 hump. They've in fact won five in a row and at 22-19, sit just three games behind the Rays for first and 2.5 games behind the Yankees for second. Building off of their strong last couple of weeks, the pitching has continued to be strong but the real revelation has been the hitting. We'd been waiting all season to see the potent league-leading offense that we saw in 2018 and it seems to have finally arrived this past week. The Sox put up thirty-four runs against Seattle over three games and came back from early deficits in two of those games. Whereas those early holes seemed too much to climb out of earlier in the season, nothing seems to be too much for this team now. They're starting to show the swagger and confidence that we saw all of last year and that's very bad news for the rest of the American League. Getting back to the pitching, Eduardo Rodriguez has thrown a few excellent starts over the last couple of this finally the year where he puts it all together and does that consistently? As for Chris Sale, his eight inning/fourteen strikeout/zero walk performance in Baltimore was jaw-dropping and hopefully shows that he's fully back and in fine form going forward. If that Sale, the REAL Chris Sale, is anchoring this rotation going forward, then things are going to get really fun. Looking at the upcoming week, the Sox have a short two-game series against the Rockies sandwiched by a pair of off days before they host the Houston Astros over the weekend. Those won't be easy games, but the Houston series marks the beginning a stretch of seventeen games in a row without a day off, so after the Rockies leave town the Sox need to be ready to play some of their best baseball of the season. It's going to be a tough end to the month but I'm now confident, for the first time all season, that these guys will do just fine.

22-19 record, 3rd in AL East (3 GB the Rays)

If you love the Red Sox as much as I do, you'll enjoy my book A Win For Every Stitch which chronicles their historic 2018 season from Opening Day to the end of the World Series. It will remind you of how great the team was last year as they start to look good this season. Click below to check it out and read some reviews...every Sox fan will love it!

Monday, May 6, 2019

2019 Red Sox Week in Review: 4/29-5/5

After a somewhat disappointing and yet improved stretch of baseball last week, the Red Sox faced a fairly tough stretch of games. First was a three game set at Fenway Park against an Oakland A's team that took three of four from them back in early April, followed by four games in Chicago against a mediocre yet pesky White Sox team. We'd been fooled into thinking the Sox had figured everything out after their sweep of the Rays in Tampa before they disappointed us...would the same thing happen hot on the heels of being swept by those same Rays at home last week?

(4/29 vs. Oakland Athletics): As they've done far too often so far this season, the Sox went down into an early hole. It was 4-0 Oakland after two innings and I was ready to throw my hands up in disgust until they inexplicably came back and put six runs up in the next inning, taking the lead for good. Even better, they didn't let up and plated a few insurance runs later in the game to finish it off and win 9-4. This one was led by JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and the kid (Michael Chavis) who keeps on showing that he belongs with the big club. Eduardo Rodriguez had a bit of a disappointing start after his previous one, but it was enough to get the job done. It was a nice way to bounce back after an ugly weekend against the Rays, but the question on my mind was whether this team could finally find some consistency this season and repeat it the next day...

(4/30 vs. Oakland Athletics): ...and it looks like the answer, at least for another day, was yes. Mookie Betts continued to heat up at the plate when he belted his sixth homer of the season to get his team on the scoreboard first. After Chavis knocked one in, Mitch Moreland hit his team-leading eighth roundtripper of the season to make it 4-0. Behind Rick Porcello's stellar night (eight shutout innings with eight strikeouts) and one more RBI off the bat of Rafael Devers, the only thing that could ruin the night would be to lose the shutout, which Tyler Thornburg did in typically brutal fashion by giving up a solo homer in the ninth. I'm utterly that convinced he's only still on the team because they can't bring themselves to admit they lost that trade 100%. There's no other explanation because he does nothing to help the team and usually ends up hurting them every time he makes an appearance. Still, I'm nitpicking here as the Sox won 5-1 and assured themselves a series win. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a fiercely competitive person, though...I wanted them to go for the sweep and win them all.

(5/1 vs. Oakland Athletics): Maybe the Sox heard me or maybe not (probably not), but going into this getaway day game they seemed to finally starting to show some signs of the swagger we saw all season in 2018. The one thing that had me a little concerned that this was the regular turn of the bullpen game in the rotation in the continued absence of Nathan Eovaldi. Alex Cora stated before the game that he hoped to get four innings out of starter Hector Velazquez and while he only got half of that, it ended up working out for them. The Sox stormed out to a 7-1 lead and were in total control of the game, so much so that it seemed safe enough to put Thornburg in to close it out in the ninth. Instead he gave up three straight doubles and two runs which necessitated Matt Barnes getting up to warm up in the bullpen. Finally, Thornburg got the final out for the win and the series sweep was secure. It was another maddening appearance for a guy who I'd love to see off of the team as fast as possible (but which will never happen for the reasons I already mentioned above...I can dream, though, can't he?).

This post contains affiliate links which means that at no additional cost to you, I may receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This helps me keep this site going to bring you more great content. Thanks and enjoy!

(5/2 at Chicago White Sox): After the way in which the Red Sox seemed to score runs fairly easily in their previous three games, it was a bit jarring to see them claw and scratch their way to only four runs over the course of this game, but baseball is an unpredictable sport. It was back and forth between the two teams until JD Martinez put the Sox ahead 4-3 in the seventh inning. Combined with another quality start from David Price, everything was set up for the Sox to keep their winning streak going and extend it to its furthest extent of the season. Instead, it all collapsed in the ninth inning. First, Rafael Devers made a brutal error on a routine play at third base that extended the inning and then, with two men on Ryan Brasier gave up a walk off three-run homer to Nicky Delmonico which snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and sent the Crimson Hose to a 6-4 loss at the hands of the Pale Hose. Stupid losses like this to bad teams are losses this team absolutely cannot afford given the hole they dug for themselves in April. They've left themselves no margin for error so to lose in this fashion showed me that they still weren't out of the wood yet.

(5/3 at Chicago White Sox): The biggest thing I needed to see in this game was how the team would bounce back mentally after such a dumb loss like the night before. Thankfully for the first time in 2019 they did what a defending champion should do and that was to put a hurt on their inferior opponent. It was a game of firsts, as Devers finally hit his first home run of the season and Chris Sale finally earned his first win of the season (while pitching the way we've all expected him to). Whether Sale is over whatever mental or physical ailment he had, or whether he's only now finally in game shape after a too-light workload in spring training, he pitched six innings of spectacular ball, fanning ten and only walking one en route to a 6-1 Red Sox win.

(5/4 at Chicago White Sox): If the previous game was the redemptive win (on more than a few levels), then this game was the cathartic beatdown. After spotting the White Sox an early run in the first, the Red Sox scored nine runs in the third to put this game out of reach early. For good measure, they scored six more over the course of the final six innings to win a laugher 15-2. Chavis hit two home runs, everybody got in on the fun for Boston, and Eduardro Rodriguez had another solid start (although this kind of run support always helps!).

(5/5 at Chicago White Sox): The series finale went much the same way as the prior game except for the difference that the Red Sox struck first. Mitch Moreland drove in the first run and JD the second run a bit later on to make it 2-0. There it stood at before Porcello gave up a pair of solo homers such that when he left the game after the sixth, the score was tied at two runs apiece. It wasn't until the eighth when Boston worked their magic again, putting up seven runs in the inning capped off by Xander Bogaerts' grand slam. It all added up to a 9-2 win, their third win in a row, and another series victory.

Quick Hits: The Red Sox went 6-1 this week and are one bad Ryan Brasier pitch away from being 7-0 in that span. The team is finally starting to look like what we expected coming out of spring training and while it's taken them a month into the regular season to work the kinks out the way they should've in Ft. Myers, they now sit one game under .500 and in third place in the division. The coming week has a road series against the lowly Orioles before they welcome the Mariners to Fenway Park next weekend. From there the second half of May only gets tougher, so the time to make some hay is now. Everything seemed to be better this past week, especially the starting pitching and hitting. The only two areas of concern remain third base defense (where Devers is on pace to shatter his error total from last year) and some of the bullpen arms (chief among them Thornburg). However, if the Sox get back to consistently putting up 5+ runs every game, they should be able to paper over those deficiencies (at least in the short term). The real test will be in seeing how they build upon this past week and how they handle the good teams they're going to start seeing after the Baltimore series.

17-18 record, 3rd in AL East (5 GB the Rays)

If you love the Red Sox as much as I do, you'll enjoy my book A Win For Every Stitch which chronicles their historic 2018 season from Opening Day to the end of the World Series. They're starting to heat up and remind us of how they played last year, so why not relive that season while watching this year unfold?. Click below to check it out and read some reviews...every Sox fan will love it!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Reader Praise for A Win For Every Stitch

I love getting feedback. We all do, especially when it's positive. As anyone who has written a book will tell you, one of the most nerve-wracking moments in the life of an author is right after it's been released. It may seem counter intuitive, but for as thrilling and exciting as it is to finally see your book in print, it's also incredibly stressful knowing that now the rest of the world has the chance to read it. The scariest thing of all is getting feedback once it's been out long enough for people to digest it: will people like it? Hate it? Will they like your writing or think you're a hack? All of this runs through your mind and even though A Win For Every Stitch is my third book, I still had these fears when it was released in December.

However, in the same way that negative feedback can be hurtful (although beneficial from a learning standpoint), getting positive feedback about something you've written is one of the greatest feelings in the world. A Win For Every Stitch has been out for nearly five months now and I feel truly blessed that I have received nothing but positive feedback from readers who have purchased and read the book. While I have all 5-star reviews for the book on Amazon, I thought it would be fun to post some of the feedback I've been sent on social media because A) I enjoy speaking directly with my readers and B) it's a bit more personal and direct than Amazon.

(For the record, I've decided to block the names and profile photos of the people who sent me messages simply to protect their privacy. Even though they made no effort to hide their identities when they spoke with me online, I figured I would extend them the courtesy)

Below are comments I've received on Facebook and Twitter since December:

I've actually had many readers in the Netherlands enjoy my book...I never knew there were so many Red Sox and baseball fans there!
In fact, here is another one of the books that ended up in the Netherlands...a reader kindly sent me this picture of his copy when it arrived.

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One reader bought the book and then had the title of the book stitched onto a Red Sox cool is that?!

Once again, a heartfelt and sincere THANK YOU to everyone who has bought the book and enjoyed it. If you're interested in it and haven't gotten it yet, maybe these comments will sway you. If you like baseball (and especially the Red Sox), I know you'll love my book. And please keep the feedback coming, I really do appreciate it!

If you love the Red Sox as much as I do, you'll enjoy my book A Win For Every Stitch which chronicles their historic 2018 season from Opening Day to the end of the World Series. It's available as both a paperback and a Kindle ebook and it may even help take your mind off of how weird this season has been so far. Click below to check it out and read some reviews...every Sox fan will love it!