Matt Barnes gave the Red Sox three scoreless innings Wednesday night. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

Matt Barnes gave the Red Sox three scoreless innings Wednesday night. (David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

It wasn’t the easiest of situations to come into.

Tommy Layne allowed the bases to be loaded with no outs in the sixth inning with the Red Sox clinging to a 8-7 lead over the Giants and manager John Farrell called for Matt Barnes out of the bullpen.

The UConn product delivered as he was able to get out of the jam with no runs. Barnes got pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco to hit into a 3-2 double play as Hanley Ramirez stepped on first base and fired home to get the runner at home on a close play at the plate. Then, Barnes got another pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie to fly out to first base and get out of the inning with no damage and keep the Red Sox on top.

The inning proved large as the Red Sox scored two runs in the bottom half of the frame on their way to a 11-7 win. Barnes earned the win, his third of the season, which tied a career-high.

“It’s not easy, but it’s kind of fun,” Barnes said. “It’s kind of the excitement of it and knowing that one, you’re coming through for your team and two, you get to pick up another guy in the bullpen.”

Added Barnes: “In a situation like that you have to take it one pitch at a time. You can’t try and do too much or make the second pitch without making the first one. You have to stay relaxed and execute pitch-by-pitch and hopefully the results are in your favor.”

Barnes wasn’t done there as he then pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing just two hits in the three total innings.

Manager John Farrell called it the best relief performance of the season.

“Yeah, I would say it is,” he said. “Given that he comes in in a bases loaded situation and going into tonight’s game, the plan was for him to pitch the eighth. I didn’t think he would pitch the sixth, seventh and eighth. He held his stuff throughout. He’s done a great job with inherited runners and shutting down threats. That three innings or work, given the high stress of the first inning that he pitched, an outstanding effort on his part.”

If not for Hanley Ramirez and his three home runs, the MVP of Wednesday night would been Barnes, but certainly he and the Red Sox will take the win.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Fenway Park erupts after Hanley Ramirez (13) hits his third homer of night in Wednesday's win over Giants.</p>
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It wasn’t the Red Sox debut Drew Pomeranz had hoped for.

After being traded to the Red Sox from the Padres last Thursday, he made his debut Wednesday night at Fenway Park against his former division rivals, the Giants.

It wasn't the greatest of Red Sox debuts for Drew Pomeranz. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

It wasn’t the greatest of Red Sox debuts for Drew Pomeranz. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

It wasn’t the Red Sox debut Drew Pomeranz had hoped for.

After being traded to the Red Sox from the Padres last Thursday, he made his debut Wednesday night at Fenway Park against his former division-rival, the Giants.

It didn’t go as he would have liked as he didn’t make it out of the fourth inning and allowed five runs, but fortunately the Red Sox offense bailed him out as they won the game, 11-7.

Regardless of the team getting the win, Pomeranz wasn’t satisfied with the outing — his shortest of the season.

“I take it one day at a time. By tonight I’ll flush everything out, but that’s not me out there,” he said after the game. “I’ll just kind of think about that next bullpen session and start over from there.”

The left-hander finished the game going three-plus innings, allowing the five runs on eight hits, while striking out two. He didn’t record an out in the third inning, where he faced seven batters and allowed the five runs.

Pomeranz said he didn’t put any extra pressure on himself leading into the start.

“Not really. I don’t think I put too much pressure on myself,” he said. “Just trying to go out there and do the same thing I do every time I take the mound which is give our team the best chance to win.”

Coming into the game, he had solid numbers against the Giants as although he had an 0-2 record in three starts against them this year, he had just a 2.62 ERA.

“I faced these guys four times this year,” Pomeranz. “I was going along pretty good through the first three (innings). Made some bad fastball location pitches and they made me pay for it.”

The Giants really made him pay in the fourth inning with two homers — a two-run homer from Mac Williamson and then Trevor Brown adding a two-run shot of his own later in the frame.

Fortunately for Pomeranz, the Red Sox offense led by Hanley Ramirez’s three home runs, was able to pick him up, something that rarely happened in San Diego.

“This team is amazing,” he said. “Being apart of that and these guys put up eight runs pretty quick on them — it’s exciting.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

Things don’t appear all that great for Koji Uehara.

After being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right pectoral strain earlier in the day on Wednesday, the 41-year-old had an MRI, which confirmed the is a strain, but there’s some uncertainty on the significance of the injury.

Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

Things don’t appear all that great for Koji Uehara.

After being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right pectoral strain earlier in the day on Wednesday, the 41-year-old had an MRI, which confirmed the is a strain, but there’s some uncertainty on the significance of the injury.

“At the time of the injury we knew it was significant and we put him on the DL before the MRI,” manager John Farrell said after Wednesday’s game. “It obviously confirms a strain. To what extent? We’re still getting our arms around that. This is a unique injury for a pitcher. I guess the best thing I can tell you is the MRI does confirm the strain.”

Farrell did say it isn’t any more significant than originally thought, given he was placed on the DL before the MRI.

“No, it was significant enough for us to put him on the DL without the MRI,” he said. “That’s the best I can tell you right now.”

As for a timetable for when Uehara could return to the mound, there is no answer yet.

“We knew it was going to be a minimum of two weeks with the 15 days right away,” Farrell said. “I think it’s still too early to tell the entire length this could be.”

The reliever was not made available with a translator following the game.

Uehara suffered the injury Tuesday night in the ninth inning up 4-0 against the Giants when he was removed after just seven pitches and felt the discomfort in his right shoulder area.

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

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable
Fenway Park explodes after Hanley Ramirez blasts his third homer of the night Wednesday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Fenway Park explodes after Hanley Ramirez blasts his third homer of the night Wednesday against the Giants. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Hanley Ramirez gave the Red Sox a night to remember on an evening Drew Pomeranz hopes to forget.

Ramirez delivered the first three-homer game of his career and made a trio of outstanding defensive plays to overcome an absolute implosion by Pomeranz in his debut as the Red Sox claimed a wild 11-7 victory over the Giants in a possible World Series preview.

Ramirez hit homers to right, center, and left while driving in six runs. His final homer came two innings after he appeared to vow, “I’ll get you back,” to Giants reliever Albert Suarez, who drilled him in the fourth. He also made the defensive play of the game, starting a 3-2 double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning of an 8-7 game.

This one had a little bit of everything. The Red Sox raced to an 8-0 lead on Ramirez’s first two homers and a two-run blast by Travis Shaw.

Pomeranz, who was clean through the first three innings, fell apart in the fourth. He failed to retire any of the seven batters he faced and was lifted after allowing a three-run homer to Mac Williamson and a two-run shot to Trevor Brown.

The Red Sox bullpen did just enough from there, though it wasn’t easy. Robbie Ross, Heath Hembree, Tommy Layne, Matt Barnes, and Brad Ziegler combined to allow seven hits but only two runs over the final six innings, helped immensely by some huge defensive plays, none bigger than Ramirez’s with the bases loaded and Barnes pitching in relief of Layne.

The game was played before a raucous crowd of over 38,000, split seemingly 50-50 between Red Sox and Giants fans.

Closing Time note

Brock Holt continues to make an impact. He recorded two hits as the Red Sox improved to 31-13 in games he has appeared in, and 28-11 in his starts.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— Hanley Ramirez played one of the games of his life. He not only hit three home runs for the first time in his career, but he made two diving plays at first base and also converted a first-to-home double play with the bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth to help the Red Sox maintain an 8-7 lead. He then blasted his third homer in the bottom of the frame to give the Sox a 10-7 lead.

— Reliever Matt Barnes escaped a huge jam in the sixth, entering with the bases loaded and no outs of an 8-7 game. He induced a first-to-home double play by Gregor Blanco, and then popped Conor Gillaspie to Ramirez in foul territory. Barnes went three scoreless innings with two strikeouts and was awarded the win on the discretion of official scorer Mike Shalin.

— Travis Shaw blasted his 11th homer of the season and fourth in last 15 games with a mammoth shot to right off of Matt Cain. He also made a nice catch battling a fan for a foul ball to end the fifth with two on.

— Slumping shortstop Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-5 to record just his second multi-hit game of the month and third since June 23.

— Sandy Leon is a monster. He tripled and homered to raise his average to .435.

— Right fielder Mookie Betts recorded at least three hits in a game for the ninth time this season.

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Not sure what that was from Pomeranz in his Red Sox debut, but it was ugly. After three relatively clean innings to open the game, Pomeranz imploded in the fourth. Staked to an 8-0 lead, he allowed all seven batters he faced to reach, served up two home runs, and got yanked with the Red Sox leading 8-5. It was his shortest and worst start of the season.

— Relievers Heath Hembree and Tommy Layne combined to allow five hits and a walk while recording just one out between them. They were lucky only to be charged with one run, mainly because Barnes saved Layne with the double play started by Ramirez.

— Red Sox pitchers allowed 15 hits.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase
Fenway Park explodes after Hanley Ramirez blasts his third homer of the night Wednesday. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Fenway Park explodes after Hanley Ramirez blasts his third homer of the night Wednesday against the Giants. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Hanley Ramirez gave the Red Sox a night to remember on an evening Drew Pomeranz hopes to forget.

Ramirez delivered the first three-homer game of his career and made a trio of outstanding defensive plays to overcome an absolute implosion by Pomeranz in his debut as the Red Sox claimed a wild 11-7 victory over the Giants in a possible World Series preview.

Ramirez hit homers to right, center, and left while driving in six runs. His final homer came two innings after he appeared to vow, “I’ll get you back,” to Giants reliever Albert Suarez, who drilled him in the fourth. He also made the defensive play of the game, starting a 3-2 double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning of an 8-7 game.

This one had a little bit of everything. The Red Sox raced to an 8-0 lead on Ramirez’s first two homers and a two-run blast by Travis Shaw.

Pomeranz, who was clean through the first three innings, fell apart in the fourth. He failed to retire any of the seven batters he faced and was lifted after allowing a three-run homer to Mac Williamson and a two-run shot to Trevor Brown.

The Red Sox bullpen did just enough from there, though it wasn’t easy. Robbie Ross, Heath Hembree, Tommy Layne, Matt Barnes, and Brad Ziegler combined to allow seven hits but only two runs over the final six innings, helped immensely by some huge defensive plays, none bigger than Ramirez’s with the bases loaded and Barnes pitching in relief of Layne.

The game was played before a raucous crowd of over 38,000, split seemingly 50-50 between Red Sox and Giants fans.

Closing Time note

Brock Holt continues to make an impact. He recorded two hits as the Red Sox improved to 31-13 in games he has appeared in, and 28-11 in his starts.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

— Hanley Ramirez played one of the games of his life. He not only hit three home runs for the first time in his career, but he made two diving plays at first base and also converted a first-to-home double play with the bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth to help the Red Sox maintain an 8-7 lead. He then blasted his third homer in the bottom of the frame to give the Sox a 10-7 lead.

— Reliever Matt Barnes escaped a huge jam in the sixth, entering with the bases loaded and no outs of an 8-7 game. He induced a first-to-home double play by Gregor Blanco, and then popped Conor Gillaspie to Ramirez in foul territory. Barnes went three scoreless innings with two strikeouts and was awarded the win on the discretion of official scorer Mike Shalin.

— Travis Shaw blasted his 11th homer of the season and fourth in last 15 games with a mammoth shot to right off of Matt Cain. He also made a nice catch battling a fan for a foul ball to end the fifth with two on.

— Slumping shortstop Xander Bogaerts went 2-for-5 to record just his second multi-hit game of the month and third since June 23.

— Sandy Leon is a monster. He tripled and homered to raise his average to .435.

— Right fielder Mookie Betts recorded at least three hits in a game for the ninth time this season.

WHAT WENT WRONG

— Not sure what that was from Pomeranz in his Red Sox debut, but it was ugly. After three relatively clean innings to open the game, Pomeranz imploded in the fourth. Staked to an 8-0 lead, he allowed all seven batters he faced to reach, served up two home runs, and got yanked with the Red Sox leading 8-5. It was his shortest and worst start of the season.

— Relievers Heath Hembree and Tommy Layne combined to allow five hits and a walk while recording just one out between them. They were lucky only to be charged with one run, mainly because Barnes saved Layne with the double play started by Ramirez.

— Red Sox pitchers allowed 15 hits.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase
We discuss the state of the Sox with manager John Farrell.

[0:00:00] ... I'm not a talk with a manager of the Boston Red Sox are weekly conversation with John Ferrell is brought you by our belly insurance and by North Shore bank. John joins us here ...
[0:05:37] ... get a player to learn who he is for you when the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Well the one thing we can't speak to is how does he react to certain situations inside. A game ...
[0:08:15] ... 44 days. Our depth and are wrecked our bench this is where Aaron Hill Mike Martinez. In the end Kenny timely. In this of the of the trade to Dave just made. That's gonna be put to test so we're in the thick of things we've got a couple of West Coast trip coming up. I think even bigger reason why we've got to take advantage of homestand that wrong currently. John how do you balance sort of riding the momentum of David Ortiz in the way he can carry an offense width. You have a tough stretch coming he's an older guy he has foot ...





Drew Pomeranz will unveil his knuckle curve with the Red Sox on Wednesday. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Drew Pomeranz will unveil his knuckle curve with the Red Sox on Wednesday. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Since the Red Sox acquired left-hander Drew Pomeranz from the Padres last week, we’ve heard a lot about his best pitch. So let’s take this opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about the knuckle-curve.

First off, it’s not a knuckleball in any way, shape, or form. It is 100 percent a curveball, with the “knuckle” in the name simply signifying the way it’s gripped.

The traditional curveball is held with the index and middle finger resting horizontally across the ball, which rotates over them to produce spin. With the knuckle-curve, the grip is the same, except the index finger is either pressed vertically against the ball at the fingertip, or tucked back in at the knuckle.

We’ll let Red Sox assistant pitching coach Brian Bannister explain.

“It’s really just for some guys to feel like they have a more solid pressure against the ball, so it doesn’t slip up out of their finger,” Bannister said. “For some guys, for extra force against the ball, they feel like they can throw it a little harder and still have control.”

The tucked knuckle provides an opposing force to the motion of Pomeranz’s delivery, giving him a tighter grip. Whereas a traditional curve could conceivably fly out of a pitcher’s hand halfway through his delivery, a knuckle-curve isn’t going anywhere.

The grip doesn’t impact movement in any general way. Pomeranz throws a big curve that’s shaped like a 12-to-6, but with more tilt, whereas closer Craig Kimbrel, who also uses the grip, throws a hard curve that moves more side-to-side like a slider.

“You look at Kimbrel or A.J. Burnett or other guys around the league, Cody Allen, that throw the harder curveball, quite a few of them use the fingertip or the knuckle because they feel like they can just hold onto the ball a little firmer and it just gives them a little more confidence to get more aggressive with it,” Bannister said. “They throw it almost with the intensity of a slider, just because there’s a firmer grip there.”

It’s worth noting the existence of a separate knuckle-curve that’s much rarer. Former Phillies right-hander Tyler Green threw a curveball with a knuckleball grip and a fastball delivery in the early-90s, though injuries curtailed his career.

Bannister notes that in the Kansas City area, high schoolers are learning a grip that’s a true knuckler-curve hybrid. He said that fourth overall pick Riley Pint of the Rockies throws the pitch.

“It’s almost like a knuckleball-curveball,” Bannister said. “So it’s got a unique movement to it.”

In any event, when Pomeranz starts throwing his knuckle-curve with the Red Sox, don’t be surprised when it just looks like a really good curveball.

“It just means you’re pushing back into the ball somehow with your index finger vs. just holding it with your two fingers flat against the ball,” Bannister said. “That’s the only difference.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase