People have officially taken notice that Hanley Ramirez is having a really good year.

Not only has Ramirez proved himself as a viable first baseman, but the offensive production he had displayed while with the Marlins and Dodgers has once again been put on display.

Hanley Ramirez. (Steve Mitchell/Getty Images Sports)

Hanley Ramirez. (Steve Mitchell/Getty Images Sports)

People have officially taken notice that Hanley Ramirez is having a really good year.

Not only has Ramirez proved himself as a viable first baseman, but the offensive production he had displayed while with the Marlins and Dodgers has once again been put on display.

Heading into Saturday, Ramirez was hitting .286 with an .858 OPS, 26 home runs and 102 RBI. Of American League first basemen, the Sox righty hitter has the third-best OPS, only trailing Miguel Cabrera (.946) and Mike Napoli (.858).

Asked prior to Saturday’s game when he first started seeing the evolution of Ramirez, who only played 105 games in 2015, Red Sox manager John Farrell pinpointed a moment in the offseason.

“I think there was a noticeable change in the couple days spent with (Ramirez) back in January down in south Florida,” Farrell said.

“Going through a 2-1/2 hour workout with him and watching all that was being done with him at that time from a physical standpoint, the commitment that was being made, the workout environment – there were probably 12 big-leaguers in there so that competitive element was there in that workout environment in January so the foundation he laid back then is to me one of the prime reasons he’s been able to be on the field as frequently as he’s been this year, he got himself in much better shape, the athleticism returned. He was big and bulky and it didn’t play well for him. On his part, the understanding and maybe the recognition that he needed to be more approachable, a little bit more engaging as a person. And you know what, to his credit, he’s doing all that.”

This month, Ramirez has seven home runs, while hitting .327 with a 1.121 OPS.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

It looks like the Rays have changed their minds.

David Ortiz

David Ortiz

It looks like the Rays have changed their minds.

On Friday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported the Rays weren’t planning any special ceremony for David Ortiz’s last game there next weekend, rather just a short video tribute to be shown prior to the second inning in next Sunday’s series finale.

Now, it looks like that won’t be the case.

“We have the outline of a plan for next Sunday, and we’re waiting for the players to come home so that we can get their input before finalizing the details,” team president Brian Auld said to Topkin later on Friday.

Evan Longoria seems to be one player who would like there to be more than just a small video tribute, as every other team has had a small pregame ceremony and presented him with gifts, or donations to his charity.

“Obviously we would like to do something for (Ortiz),” Longoria said. “I have no answer if that means something monetarily as a donation to his foundation, if that means a gift, I don’t know yet.

“I guess we will get together with Brian and see what makes the most sense. The players want to do something for him. We’ll figure out the best way to accomplish that so we feel like we’ve done it the right way.”

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Saturday afternoon’s Red Sox-Yankees matchup will feature the streaking David Price opposite right-hander Bryan Mitchell.

Price is 16-8 with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.167 WHIP in 31 starts. Over his last seven starts Price has been dominant, going 7-0 with a 2.16 ERA.

“He’s thrown much more consistent quality starts,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said (via MLB.com). “He’s on a run right now that might be the best run of his career inside not only these seven consecutive wins he’s recorded, but the second half of the season. He continues to increase his power, he’s maintained his direction through the lane in which he’s intending to execute pitches.”

On Monday, Price went eight solid innings, giving up just two runs, two hits (both home runs) and no walks with nine strikeouts in a 12-2 win over the Orioles.

“A guy like David is pitching as well as anybody in baseball is right now,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “That’s why he can command those type of commitments they made to him. That’s a great example of how important those guys are.”

Against the Yankees, the southpaw is 14-9 with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.340 WHIP in 34 games (33 starts). This season against New York, Price is 1-2 with a 7.79 ERA and a 1.788 WHIP in three starts. His last outing against the Yankees came in July when he pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, 11 hits and one walk with one strikeout in a 3-1 Yankees win.

Mitchell is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.909 WHIP in two starts. The 25-year-old right-hander was expected to make the Yankees’ Opening Day roster, but he fractured his left big toe in his final spring training appearance and missed most of the season because of the injury. In his last start on Monday, he lasted just 2 1/3 innings, giving up six runs (two earned), eight hits and no walks with two strikeouts in an 8-2 Dodgers win.

Against the Red Sox, Mitchell has yet to record a decision. In four games (7 1/3 innings), he has posted a 6.14 ERA and a 1.773 WHIP. His last appearance against Boston was in September of last year. In two innings of relief work, he allowed two runs, two hits and two walks with two strikeouts.

Yankees vs. Price (LHP)

Mark Teixeira (77 plate appearances): .214 AVG./.286 OBP/.386 SLG, 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 9 RBIs, 6 walks, 10 strikeouts

Jacoby Ellsbury (75): .357/.400/.543, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, 6 RBIs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts

Brett Gardner (48): .211/.326/.211, 3 RBIs, 7 walks, 8 strikeouts

Brian McCann (30): .345/.367/.655, 3 home runs, 7 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Chase Headley (28): .370/.393/.519, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Didi Gregorius (17): .400/.438/.533, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Billy Butler (16): .231/.313/.231, 1 RBI, 2 walks

Austin Romine (10): .250/.333/.375, 1 double, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts

Starlin Castro is 4-for-8 with 1 double, 1 RBI and 1 walk.

Eric Young is 2-for-4.

Rob Refsnyder is 0-for-3 with 1 strikeout.

Ronald Torreyes is 1-for-3.

Red Sox vs. Mitchell (RHP)

Xander Bogaerts is 1-for-3 with 1 double.

Mookie Betts is 0-for-2.

Jackie Bradley Jr. is 2-for-2 with 1 RBI.

Brock Holt is 0-for-1 with 1 walk.

Deven Marrero is 0-for-2.

Travis Shaw is 1-for-2 with 1 strikeout.

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

Bryan Holaday is 0-for-1.

Dustin Pedroia has 1 plate appearance and 1 walk.

Christian Vazquez is 0-for-1 with 1 strikeout.

Blog Author: 
John Hand
Clay Buchholz has pitched well of late. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

Clay Buchholz has pitched well of late and could be making a case to start in the postseason. (Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports)

It’s been a roller coaster of a season for Clay Buchholz.

His past three outings have been his fourth stint in the starting rotation as because of performance and injuries, Buchholz has gone back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen.

As the Red Sox continue to search for a dependable No. 3 starter, Buchholz is the only pitcher pitching like he wants it.

Buchholz was solid on Friday night to earn the win in the Red Sox’ 7-4 victory over the Yankees. He went six innings, allowed two runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out two. He picked up his first win at Fenway Park since May 9.

“Not as many walks – the two walks that I did have, found a way to minimize them, had a couple of double plays that helped out,” Buchholz said. “Defense played really good behind me again tonight. It was a grind.i felt like they put up some really tough at-bats together. With that win, its a big win given the situation that we’re in.”

Although he didn’t have a clean inning all night, his ability to pitch out of jams was what made him so effective.

“I thought he did a very good job with men on base,” manager John Farrell said. “He created a couple of jams for himself, but to the left-handers he was able to go to a couple of changeups to get some soft contact. I thought he made a couple of really good fastball pitches in to [Gary] Sanchez for a couple of groundball double plays early on. He’d bend a little bit, but stayed away from the big inning.”

Besides his rough outing in Toronto last Sunday, Buchholz allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings against the Padres on Sept. 6 and then was good again Friday. Prior to the Padres start, he allowed one earned run in each of his prior two starts, so he’s been solid as a starter for well over a month.

Over his last five starts he has an ERA of 3.94, which includes the six runs over three innings against the Blue Jays.

Looking at the back end of the rotation, Buchholz just may be the No. 3 guy as of now. Steven Wright is no lock to pitch at all again this season because of a shoulder injury. Eduardo Rodriguez couldn’t make it out of the third inning in his last outing, and over his last four starts he has an ERA of 4.57. Given his inconsistency, he could be an issue in the postseason.

Lastly, Drew Pomeranz is on a pitch limit given his career-high number of innings, so while he’s been effective besides his last start (five runs in two innings), he could too be hard to depend on in the postseason.

Given Buchholz finding his groove at the right time, past playoff experience and the performances from the other starting pitchers, Buchholz could be the guy to follow David Price and Rick Porcello in October.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Hanley Ramirez is the hottest hitter in the Red Sox lineup and also one of the hottest in all of baseball at the moment.

Except don’t tell him that.

Hanley Ramirez has homered in back-to-back games. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Hanley Ramirez has homered in back-to-back games. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Hanley Ramirez is the hottest hitter in the Red Sox lineup and also one of the hottest in all of baseball at the moment.

Except don’t tell him that.

“I haven’t got hot yet,” Ramirez said Friday. “I think we’ve got to keep forward. We’ve got to keep forward and push it to the limit. Grinding every day, give everything we’ve got as a team, and keep playing how we’ve been playing.”

This came after going 2-for-3 with a home run in the Red Sox’ 7-4 win over the Yankees.

After his walk-off homer on Thursday, he’s homered on back-to-back days and has hit homers in six of his last nine games, nine in his last 16 and 10 in his last 19. Ramirez leads the majors with 40 RBIs since Aug. 11 and is batting at a .417 clip over that span with runners in scoring position.

“We’ve just got to keep rolling,” Ramirez said. “You cannot be really comfortable with yourself. You got to keep pushing to the limit and see how far you can go.”

It’s no surprise that the Red Sox are playing some of their best baseball of the season at the same time Ramirez is on such a hot streak. The team has won the last 10 games Ramirez has recorded a RBI in and 20 of its last 26.

Ramirez’s homer on Friday went to just about the same spot in dead-center field as his walk-off the night before did and the first baseman had a definitive answer when asked which ball he hit harder.

“Both of them,” he said with a smile.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Clay Buchholz went six innings on Friday, but he wasn't exactly sharp in a win over the Yankees. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)Symmetry is a beautiful thing in synchronized swimming, or an Escher, or Kate Upton's face.



Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox starting and winning pitcher Clay Buchholz about his 6 innings and adjusting back to the rotation from the bullpen

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