ANAHEIM, Calif. — Since his last start, there has been a lot of talk concerning what went wrong with Steven Wright when he surrendered eight runs against Detroit.

One of the suggestions to help Wright battle the kind of elements (hot and humid) which has usually plagued the pitcher was the idea of helping limit the moisture on the knuckleballers forearms by wearing sleeves.

Steven Wright is confident he has a solid handle on handling the elements. (David Butler/USA Today Sports)

Steven Wright is confident he has a solid handle on handling the elements. (David Butler/USA Today Sports)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Since his last start, there has been a lot of talk concerning what went wrong with Steven Wright when he surrendered eight runs against Detroit.

One of the suggestions to help Wright battle the kind of elements (hot and humid) which has usually plagued the pitcher was the idea of helping limit the moisture on the knuckleballers forearms by wearing sleeves.

But Wright said Saturday that when he takes the mound Sunday at Angel Stadium, there will be no differences.

“I don’t feel like I need to wear sleeves,” he said. “I haven’t had an issue with sweat.”

Asked if he has talked through the issue with Red Sox manager John Farrell, Wright said he hadn’t. “I don’t think it’s a discussion that needs to be had,” he said.

But Saturday morning Wright did lean on somebody to help keep trending in the right direction for the regular season’s final two months. That came when he met up with former knuckleballer Charlie Hough for breakfast at the Red Sox’ team hotel.

“He’s awesome. I always make it a point to come out to California to get in touch with him,” Wright said of the 68-year-old Hough. “I definitely talk to [Tim Wakefield] more, but I talk to Charlie to hear his opinions, too, because he was so successful, as was Wake. I like both of their opinions because even thoiugh they threw the same pitch, their terminology and mindset are different.”

The brunt of Hough’s message to Wright this time was that all knuckleballers go through rough spots, like the the Red Sox’ pitcher has in two of his last four outings.

It’s not up to Wright to heed Hough’s suggestion and zero in on what went two starts ago, when the Sox pitcher gave up just two runs over eight innings, instead of obsessing over the last outing.

“They expect us to be robots and be perfect, and when you’re not it’s like, ‘Whoa!’ If you’re doing well and you have a bad outing, people are surprised, which is good,” Wright said. “People expect you to go out and do well every time, which is what I expect, too. But we’re only human.

“Every pitcher goes through it. Just like hitters. They’re going to go through they’re time in the season. It’s baseball. You play the whole season and you hope you limit the damage when you’re having a bad outing.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

ANAHEIM, Calif. — As the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, John Farrell is optimistic about what the Red Sox have coming back for the regular season’s final two months.

Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

ANAHEIM, Calif. — As the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, John Farrell is optimistic about what the Red Sox have coming back for the regular season’s final two months.

“You know, I only look at who’s available to us. We’ve got two very important guys who are working their way back from injury and that’s not to take anything away from what guys have done,” Farrell said prior to his team’s game against the Angels Saturday night. “Bryce Brentz has stepped in and given us everything we could have hoped he would do. he’s performed well. Chris Young (hamstring) coming back to us in time will certainly give us that veteran in that spot in that role that accustomed to. We feel like we have a good complement with Brock [Holt] on the left-handed side and Bryce or Chris in that spot. Just look at the guys that are under our control. I feel like we’ve got a good team to not only maintain where we are in this race but to win this division. That’s our thought, that’s our belief and trust in the guys that are here.”

But there was one player Farrell didn’t mention: Blake Swihart.

The catcher/left fielder, who has been out since hurting his ankle June 4, doesn’t appear to be on the same track back as the likes of Young or Josh Rutledge (knee).

“It’s probably too early to tell yet. We felt once we left on the road trip these next seven to 10 days would be pivotal on what his next steps were,” Farrell said in regards to Swihart. “As the intensity ramps up, how he was going to respond physically was going to be the predictor of a rehab assignment and eventual return. I can’t say he’s out of the woods yet with the ankle injury.

The uncertainty surrounding Swihart’s condition is the reason both Young and Rutledge are with the major league team on their current West Coast road trip.

“The fact that the baseball activity for Rut and C.Y. continue here indicates they’re probably ready to go out on a rehab assignment once we get back,” the manager said. “Blake is still in that almost ground-based testing and ramping up of intensity with the cuts and change of direction. That’s been step by step — two steps forward, one step back type of approach.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Saturday night the Red Sox and Angels will meet for the third time at Angel Stadium. This matchup will feature Drew Pomeranz of the Red Sox versus Hector Santiago of the Angels.

Pomeranz is 8-8 in 19 starts this season with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.117 WHIP. Since being traded to the Red Sox from the Padres earlier this month, Pomeranz is 0-1 in two starts with a 7.00 ERA and a 1.778 WHIP. On Monday, Pomeranz pitched six innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. The only two runs Pomeranz allowed came in the sixth inning on a Jose Iglesias two-run home run. Until that inning, Pomeranz had prevented any runners from getting to third base and only three balls had left the infield.

“He pitched as we had anticipated at the time of the trade,” manager John Farrell said. “Likely a six-inning pitcher. Chance to go keeper if the pitch count is a little bit shortened from where it was. Don’t want to start him with an inning at over 100 pitches. I thought a very good curveball tonight compared to his last time out. A number of swing-and-miss to it. Unfortunately, the one pitch that cost us was a fastball that stayed up over the plate to Iglesias. He was very good, I thought for the six innings of work.”

In eight career appearances (three starts) against the Angels, Pomeranz is 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.157 WHIP. The 27-year-old southpaw last saw the Angels in August of 2015 in a relief appearance, as a member of the Athetics. Pomeranz retired the final two Angels batters by way of ground out in that contest. In April of 2015, Pomeranz made his most recent start against the Angels. In that outing, he went five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits and one walk with six strikeouts.

Santiago is 9-4 with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.305 WHIP. With the trade deadline approaching, Santiago’s name has been linked to deals involving the Marlins, Orioles and Pirates. On Monday, Santiago pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs, five hits and four walks with five strikeouts in a 6-2 Angels win.

Against the Sox, Santiago is 2-3 in seven games (six starts) with a 2.97 ERA and a 1.376 WHIP. On July 2 of this year, the 28-year-old lefty pitched six innings, allowing one unearned run, four hits and four walks with four strikeouts in a game his team won in a rout, 21-2.

Red Sox vs. Santiago (LHP)

Dustin Pedroia (18 plate appearances): .286 AVG./.389 OBP/.500 SLG, 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

David Oritz (15): .214/.267/.214, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Hanley Ramirez (12): .273/.333/.364, 1 double, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

Xander Bogaerts (11): .556/.636/.667, 1 double, 2 walks

Mookie Betts (9): .222/.222/.444, 2 doubles, 2 strikeouts

Aaron Hill is 1-for-5 with 1 walk and 1 strikeout.

Brock Holt is 2-for-6 with 1 double and 1 strikeout.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is 0-for-5 with 5 strikeouts.

Bryce Brentz is 0-for-3 with 1 strikeout.

Sandy Leon is 1-for-2.

Travis Shaw is 0-for-3.

Ryan Hanigan is 0-for-2 with 1 strikeout.

Michael Martinez is 1-for-1 .

Angels vs. Pomeranz (LHP)

Albert Pujols (12 plate appearances): .083 AVG./0.83 OBP/0.83 SLG, 2 strikeouts

Mike Trout (11): .125/.364/.500, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts

Kole Calhoun is 2-for-5 with 1 strikeout.

Yunel Escobar is 1-for-2 with 1 walk.

Johnny Giavotella is 1-for-2 with 1 home run and 3 RBIs.

Gregorio Petit is 1-for-2 with 1 double and 1 strikeout.

Daniel Nava is 0-for-1 with 1 strikeout.

Blog Author: 
John Hand

Saturday night the Red Sox and Angels will meet for the third time at Angel Stadium. This matchup will feature Drew Pomeranz of the Red Sox versus Hector Santiago of the Angels.

Pomeranz is 8-8 in 19 starts this season with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.117 WHIP. Since being traded to the Red Sox from the Padres earlier this month, Pomeranz is 0-1 in two starts with a 7.00 ERA and a 1.778 WHIP. On Monday, Pomeranz pitched six innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. The only two runs Pomeranz allowed came in the sixth inning on a Jose Iglesias two-run home run. Until that inning, Pomeranz had prevented any runners from getting to third base and only three balls had left the infield.

“He pitched as we had anticipated at the time of the trade,” manager John Farrell said. “Likely a six-inning pitcher. Chance to go keeper if the pitch count is a little bit shortened from where it was. Don’t want to start him with an inning at over 100 pitches. I thought a very good curveball tonight compared to his last time out. A number of swing-and-miss to it. Unfortunately, the one pitch that cost us was a fastball that stayed up over the plate to Iglesias. He was very good, I thought for the six innings of work.”

In eight career appearances (three starts) against the Angels, Pomeranz is 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.157 WHIP. The 27-year-old southpaw last saw the Angels in August of 2015 in a relief appearance, as a member of the Athetics. Pomeranz retired the final two Angels batters by way of ground out in that contest. In April of 2015, Pomeranz made his most recent start against the Angels. In that outing, he went five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits and one walk with six strikeouts.

Santiago is 9-4 with a 4.28 ERA and a 1.305 WHIP. With the trade deadline approaching, Santiago’s name has been linked to deals involving the Marlins, Orioles and Pirates. On Monday, Santiago pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs, five hits and four walks with five strikeouts in a 6-2 Angels win.

Against the Sox, Santiago is 2-3 in seven games (six starts) with a 2.97 ERA and a 1.376 WHIP. On July 2 of this year, the 28-year-old lefty pitched six innings, allowing one unearned run, four hits and four walks with four strikeouts in a game his team won in a rout, 21-2.

Red Sox vs. Santiago (LHP)

Dustin Pedroia (18 plate appearances): .286 AVG./.389 OBP/.500 SLG, 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

David Oritz (15): .214/.267/.214, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Hanley Ramirez (12): .273/.333/.364, 1 double, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

Xander Bogaerts (11): .556/.636/.667, 1 double, 2 walks

Mookie Betts (9): .222/.222/.444, 2 doubles, 2 strikeouts

Aaron Hill is 1-for-5 with 1 walk and 1 strikeout.

Brock Holt is 2-for-6 with 1 double and 1 strikeout.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is 0-for-5 with 5 strikeouts.

Bryce Brentz is 0-for-3 with 1 strikeout.

Sandy Leon is 1-for-2.

Travis Shaw is 0-for-3.

Ryan Hanigan is 0-for-2 with 1 strikeout.

Michael Martinez is 1-for-1 .

Angels vs. Pomeranz (LHP)

Albert Pujols (12 plate appearances): .083 AVG./0.83 OBP/0.83 SLG, 2 strikeouts

Mike Trout (11): .125/.364/.500, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts

Kole Calhoun is 2-for-5 with 1 strikeout.

Yunel Escobar is 1-for-2 with 1 walk.

Johnny Giavotella is 1-for-2 with 1 home run and 3 RBIs.

Gregorio Petit is 1-for-2 with 1 double and 1 strikeout.

Daniel Nava is 0-for-1 with 1 strikeout.

Blog Author: 
John Hand

Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Let’s cut to the chase.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is exceeding everyone’s expectations with the bat, particularly when it comes to hitting the ball out of the ballpark. This was once again put on display Friday night when the outfielder went deep for the 17th time this season, during the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels.

“Tonight was almost a snapshot of it,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell of Bradley’s progress as a hitter. “Early on, he’s aggressive first pitch. They’re throwing some curveballs. In the home run at-bat, he stayed a little more patient. He might have been looking for the same pitch but he got it a little bit later in the sequence and was able to sit on it. I think that’s just speaking to what the attack plan against him is becoming. It’s great to see.”

The manager added, “I thought we always viewed him as a mid- to upper-teens home run capability. That’s what he’s shown the last couple of years. We’re glad he’s on the pace that he’s on. I guess that’s the best way to sum it up.”

Amazingly, since Aug. 9, 2015, 78 of Bradley’s 153 hits have gone for extra-bases. During that span he has hit 26 homers, 10 triples, 42 doubles and 75 singles.

But it was that approach in the at-bat that netted his homer against Angels starter Tim Lincecum that told Bradley’s tale. First-pitch curveball, then two straight fastballs, until he finally got the bender one more time.
 
“I was sitting on curveball,” Bradley explained. “He threw me a first-pitch curveball for a ball, then I took two fastballs — one was a strike, one was a ball. That was probably the first time I sat on an offspeed pitch all year. I took a chance, took a gamble, and I was rewarded for it.”

He had a plan, and he executed. That simply wasn’t taking place during his first few runs through big league pitching.
 
“Pretty confident,” he said of waiting for the offspeed pitch. “At that particular point in the game, I had seen a lot of curveballs, a lot of offspeed pitches. The percentages of me getting one were pretty high, especially since they had gotten me out on it in previous at-bats. Usually when they get you out on it, they feel like they can continually throw it to get you out. I took a calculated risk and was able to put a good swing on it.”

(To watch Bradley’s home run, click here.)

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello after he throws his first complete game as a member of the Red Sox as the Sox beat the Angels 6-2
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello after he throws his first complete game as a member of the Red Sox as the Sox beat the Angels 6-2

[0:01:54] ... second inning they they didn't have any threats and no one thing John Farrell talks about his. Being able to control the game what would Woody go through it in your mind when you approach this ...
[0:03:33] ... so much for joining us in fourteen twos sounds awesome very much Red Sox win it. By the score of sixty to their game and a half behind this the Baltimore Orioles in one game behind second place Toronto. ...




Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Friday night was a pretty good checkpoint for Xander Bogaerts.

With his seventh-inning, two-run homer, the Red Sox shortstop set a career-high for home runs, claiming 13 for the season.

But for Bogaerts, it evidently isn’t about going deep. He has other priorities.

“Stolen bases, yeah,” he said when asked what he was prioritizing. “Seven more. I need seven more. I’ll get it. I’ll probably do it when David is off because we don’t want him to walk.”

With his swipe of second Thursday night, Bogaerts now has as many steals as he does home runs. But even without any steals during the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels, the homer still didn’t take priority.

What really spun the 23-year-old’s wheels was his third-inning double into the right-center field gap.

“It’s been a few weeks probably that I couldn’t go the other way,” said Bogaerts, who ranks second in the majors in hits with 138. “I’m definitely more happy with that hit to right field. The fly ball [home run] was a pretty good one, but that just means I’m staying on the ball longer instead of pulling off.

“I’m definitely more pleased with the line-drive to right field, I’m going to be honest with you. It was something I probably couldn’t have done two weeks ago. I worked a lot in the cage and got it back. Hopefully I can continue to work on it to not lose that feeling.”

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford