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

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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

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Meet your Red Sox ace, Rick Porcello.

While his ERA won’t necessarily dazzle you, and teams will typically manage their fair share of hits against him, Porcello continues to accomplish something better than any other Red Sox starter — he wins.

Rick Porcello notched his 14th win of the season Friday night. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

Rick Porcello notched his 14th win of the season Friday night. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Meet your Red Sox ace, Rick Porcello.

While his ERA won’t necessarily dazzle you, and teams will typically manage their fair share of hits against him, Porcello continues to accomplish something better than any other Red Sox starter — he wins.

The trend continued Friday night at Angel Stadium, with Porcello holding Los Angeles to two runs over nine innings. It resulted in the starter’s 14th win of the season — a 6-2 triumph over the Angels — with the Red Sox now improving to 16-5 when the righty takes the mound.

It was Porcello’s first complete game Aug. 20, 2014. He has also now gone at least five innings in each of his last 28 starts dating back to Aug. 26, 2015, a span in which is tied with Texas’ Cole Hamels for most wins (18).

The performance by Porcello was made even more necessary considering the Red Sox were riding their first four-game losing streak of the season. It also helped the Sox creep within 1 1/2 games out of first-place in the American League East after Toronto pushed to within 1/2 game with its win over Baltimore Friday night.

The only trouble Porcello endured came in the second inning, and that was partly a product of a misplayed Daniel Nava line-drive by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. that put runners on second and third. A ground out and single would give the Angels a quick two-run lead.

But with the struggling Tim Lincecum on the mound for the hosts (he of the 8.70 ERA coming into the game), it seemed like just a matter of time before Porcello would get his runs. Sure enough, the Sox scored a pair in the third, took the lead for good on a Mookie Betts’ sacrifice fly in the fourth, and sealed the deal with Bradley’s solo shot in the sixth.

Just for good measure, Xander Bogaerts’ launched his 13th homer of the season over the left field wall in the seventh inning for two more runs.

For a complete box score, click here.

Dustin Pedroia has now reached base in each of his last 32 games, this time getting on via a seventh inning single.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

– Betts made the defensive play of the game, racing back to make a twisting, leaping catch against the right field wall off an Albert Pujols blast. The grab saved a run in what was a two-score game at the time.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– The Red Sox could never really get to Lincecum like they probably should have, with the righty finishing his five innings giving up four runs.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

ANAHEIM, Calif — The Red Sox have been subtly introducing Yoan Moncada to the world outside of second base.

Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen confirmed that the organization has been working Moncada at third base prior to Portland Sea Dogs’ road games, with the picture posted from @FlattsM on Twitter from Binghamton serving as the latest example.

ANAHEIM, Calif — The Red Sox have been subtly introducing Yoan Moncada to the world outside of second base.

Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen confirmed that the organization has been working Moncada at third base prior to Portland Sea Dogs’ road games, with the picture posted from @FlattsM on Twitter from Binghamton serving as the latest example.

Moncada

Hazen said the plan is to continue the pregame work at other positions other than second base, with a likelihood that the Red Sox will introduce outfield into the practice sessions in the near future.

There is still the possibility Moncada will see game action at one of the alternate positions, although if/when a permanent switch is made it will likely take place in ernest during the offseason.

With Double-A Portland, Moncada entered Friday hitting .270 with a .902 OPS.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Former Red Sox infielder and current ESPN analyst Alex Cora joined the guys to talk MLB trade rumors and spend just a little time goofing on Rob Bradford.

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[0:05:10] ... can't imagine flew back that's. Inquiry into a there here's my problem Nelson Cruz he's played half his games at DH for the last like five years. So you're confident he can be a full time outfielder from now through late October. Yes I think I think you can you know you put Emmitt and in the right situation when you put him left field. Three or three up that and take him out but. You know I was more I was thinking more understand that yeah they're looking for a DH next year whatever I understand all. Market Edwin Encarnacion. Another got them met seal it up well. But Nelson Cruz up fourteen point two million dollars or got a bargain and wouldn't dare you put him in Fenway Park. And that's very ...




ANAHEIM, Calif. — Even though right-hander Tim Lincecum is on the mound for the Angels Friday night, Red Sox manager John Farrell is choosing to defer to history, starting Aaron Hill at third base.

Hill comes into Friday 11-for-22 against the former Giants starter, while Travis Shaw has no history against Lincecum.