Rob Bradford is joined by both Lou Merloni and Curt Schilling to discuss the recent controversy involving Manny Machado, Dustin Pedroia, Matt Barnes and their respective teams. The two former major leagues offer insight to how baseball handles (and should handle) hitting batters as an act of revenge, with their own stories of involving similar situations as the one that unfolded in Baltimore. They also break down the decision to take Chris Sale out of his last start after eight innings. The former pitcher and batter cover it all from every angle.

Manny Machado’s hard slide into Dustin Pedroia on Friday night continues impacting the Red Sox.

Pedroia was out of the lineup for a second straight day with the Sox preparing to face the Orioles in Baltimore, and manager John Farrell told reporters at Camden Yards that the second baseman is sore with a little bit of swelling in his ankle and knee.

Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia

Manny Machado’s hard slide into Dustin Pedroia on Friday night continues impacting the Red Sox.

Pedroia was out of the lineup for a second straight day with the Sox preparing to face the Orioles in Baltimore, and manager John Farrell told reporters at Camden Yards that the second baseman is sore with a little bit of swelling in his ankle and knee.

“When we get back to Boston, he’ll go through some further imaging tomorrow just to rule anything out,” Farrell said. “So with some of the swelling that still exists, he’s not available for today.”

Pedroia was injured Friday when Machado, the Orioles third baseman, spiked him in the side of the left knee while sliding into second on a force play. Farrell was asked if he’s any more concerned.

“No, I wouldn’t say more of a concern, there were was legitimate concern in the moment it took place,” Farrell said. “But the fact that he still has the symptoms he does, we’re going to rule everything out. His importance to us speaks for itself and with any of our players, you get into a situation like this, you give it a 24-48 hour period to see how it responds, and at this point it warrants a further look.”

With Pedroia out, Marco Hernandez will play second. Here’s the lineup:

SS Xander Bogaerts
LF Andrew Benintendi
RF Mookie Betts
DH Hanley Ramirez
1B Mitch Moreland
CF Jackie Bradley
C Christian Vazquez
3B Pablo Sandoval
2B Marco Hernandez

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez gets the start.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

David Ortiz emerged Saturday night at a fundraiser for the Charmed Foundation at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. He talked about Chis Sale, and he talked about his former team.

Steven Wright (Patrick McDermott/USA Today Sports)

Steven Wright (Patrick McDermott/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz emerged Saturday night at a fundraiser for the Charmed Foundation at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. He talked about Chis Sale, and he talked about his former team.

“Unbelievable man, unbelievable,” Ortiz said when asked about Sale. “Unbelievable. But I know it was coming. I knew it was coming. That’s why I got so excited when we got him. He’s an unbelievable pitcher, he’s going to help us out a lot. 

“You know, [David] Price, whenever he gets back. It’s just the beginning of the season. … Everybody’s going to be fine, we’re going to start winning ball games. Sale’s going to continue striking out 20 per game. It’s fun to watch man.”

But right now, it’s not that much fun for Red Sox fans to watch.

It’s just 18 games into the season, and John Farrell’s team is still two games above .500, but this has been far from how they drew it up. And the Red Sox’ 4-2 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards during Ortiz’s appearance was the latest example of the unexpected uneasiness. (For a complete recap, click here.)

Steven Wright was supposed to be good. Maybe not as good as he was when earning his All-Star berth, but not that far off. For the first three innings Saturday, he was. Then came the fourth inning, which Wright couldn’t even finish, ultimately giving up four runs on six hits in the frame before being replaced by Heath Hembree.

Wright has now pitched in four games and has an ERA of 8.66. The Red Sox starters not named Chris Sale now have a combined ERA of 5.97. That, my friends, was not part of the plan.

“Yeah they’re pretty large totals,” Farrell told reporters after the loss in reference to Wright’s outings. “I will say this, I thought tonight, the way the game got underway, he’s in pretty good shape. I thought he executed a number of quality pitches. But they bunched them together and it happened quick tonight. Coming off an outing where I thought he was solid against Tampa, not the case here tonight, particularly in the fourth inning.”

“It’s just not really moving,” Wright told reporters. “It’s just moving down. It’s been a consistent movement, going down and in to guys, and that’s pretty much it. It’s not as unpredictable as it was last year before I got hurt. It’s something I definitely have been aware of. I’ve been trying to work on it and get the violence back to the pitch.”

Then there is the offense.

After Jackie Bradley Jr. supplied the visitors with their only extra-base hit of the night with a mammoth home run onto Eutaw St., the Red Sox now have a total of three extra-base hits in their last four games.

Perhaps the most concerning piece of the lineup at this moment is Hanley Ramirez.

The designated hitter doesn’t have any home runs, and just three doubles. After going 0-for-4 in the latest loss, his batting average stands at .211 with an OPS of .537. The only full-time designated hitter with worst production is Detroit’s Victor Martinez.

After the initial two-run surge by the Red Sox against rookie Jayson Aquino, the whole night fell into the abyss Farrell’s club has seemingly been digging themselves out of too many times. In the last four games, the Sox are just 3-for-26 with runners in scoring position.

Ironically, the thing that has been helping making things interesting (besides Sale) has been the one piece of this team folks were most concerned about. This time, Hembree was stellar in his 3 1/3 innings after coming in for Wright, allowing just one hit. Robbie Ross Jr. added a scoreless inning (while executing a very anti-climatic possible retaliatory hit-by-pitch when facing Jonathan Schoop).

There have been injuries, sickness and slow starts. It happens. But with a bunch of games coming up against the first-place Orioles and second-place Yankees, it would behoove the Red Sox to start sticking to the script.

Shattering Perceptions Game Note Image

After his hot start, Sandy Leon has cooled off in a big way. The catcher went 0-for-4 and is now 2-for-28 over his last four games, dropping his batting average to .205 with a .540 OPS.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

The day after leaving the Red Sox’ game with the Orioles in the eighth inning after a hard slide by Baltimore’s Manny Machado, Dustin Pedroia was downplaying the play … along with everything else.

Pedroia told reporters at Camden Yards that his knee was sore, as was his ankle, but didn’t think he would need to go on the 10-day disabled list.

PedroiaargueThe day after leaving the Red Sox’ game with the Orioles in the eighth inning after a hard slide by Baltimore’s Manny Machado, Dustin Pedroia was downplaying the play … along with everything else.

Pedroia told reporters at Camden Yards that his knee was sore, as was his ankle, but didn’t think he would need to go on the 10-day disabled list.

When asked about the text sent by Machado after the game, Pedroia told the assembled media, “He reached out to me. Do you want me to add you to the text? This isn’t a group chat, man.”

Asked to elaborate, Pedroia added, “He said he hopes I’m OK. … You want me to add you to the text now? This isn’t a group chat. I just said thanks for reaching out. That’s it.”

Regarding the slide itself, the second baseman said, “We’re trying to get one out. I just put my foot on the back part of the base to try to get that out. If he just slid into the part of the base that I gave him, he would’ve been safe. Luckily he didn’t, we got the out.”

And when asked about any controversy surrounding the incident, Pedroia passed this along to the reporters, “I don’t have an issue with anything. My job is to play baseball and win. This isn’t seventh-grade man. I just play baseball. That’s it. I care about our guys. I don’t care about anybody else. We just play the game.”

Pedroia is not in the starting lineup for the second game of the three-game set at Camden Yards, with Red Sox manager John Farrell noting that he would be available only in an emergency situation.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

It isn’t a surprise, but it is noteworthy.

A day after leaving the game in the eighth inning after injuring his knee on a slide by Baltimore’s Manny Machado, Dustin Pedroia is out of the Red Sox’ starting lineup Saturday.

Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia

It isn’t a surprise, but it is noteworthy.

A day after leaving the game in the eighth inning after injuring his knee on a slide by Baltimore’s Manny Machado, Dustin Pedroia is out of the Red Sox’ starting lineup Saturday.

Pedroia, who was getting treatment on his surgically-repaired knee after the Red Sox’ 2-0 loss to the Orioles, is replaced in the batting order by Marco Hernandez. Xander Bogaerts replaces the second baseman in the leadoff spot against Baltimore lefty Jason Aquino.

Here is the Red Sox lineup with Steven Wright on the mound for the visitors:

Xander Bogaerts SS, Jackie Bradley Jr. CF, Mookie Betts RF, Hanley Ramirez DH, Mitch Moreland 1B, Chris Young LF, Sandy Leon C, Pablo Sandoval 3B, Marco Hernandez 2B.

For all the Red Sox news, go to the team page by click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Dustin Pedroia wasn’t a mystery before Friday night. But what the Red Sox’ 2-0 loss to the Orioles did was offer a pretty powerful reminder of the second baseman’s reality. (For a complete recap of the game, click here.)