Rubby De La Rosa

Rubby De La Rosa

BALTIMORE — Rubby De La Rosa is sputtering toward the finish line.

The Red Sox starter had yet another subpar outing, this time allowing four runs on six hits over just four innings in the Red Sox‘ 7-2 loss to the Orioles, Saturday night in Camden Yards.

Coming into the start against the O’s, De La Rosa had gone 0-3 with a 6.91 ERA and .352 batting average against in his previous six outings.

Before the game, Red Sox manager John Farrell said that De La Rosa would make one more start before the end of the regular season. The righty has, however, seemingly hit a wall already, having thrown a career-high 160 innings (between the minors and majors).

De La Rosa isn’t alone in having to fight through unchartered territory when it comes to  workload, with Allen Webster (174 combined innings), Anthony Ranaudo (170) and Brandon Workman (148 1/3) all reaching career highs.

Here is a look at how De La Rosa’s stuff has waned (courtesy BrooksBaseball.net):

(BrooksBaseball.net)

(BrooksBaseball.net)

This time De La Rosa ran into trouble the second time through the lineup, giving up two runs in the third and fourth innings. Coming into the game, the righty had allowed a .340 batting average after throwing his first 25 pitches.

The lone bright spot for the Red Sox was David Ortiz‘ 35th home run, giving him his highest HR total since 2007.

Rusney Castillo also extended his career hitting streak to three games, claiming his first non-infield base-hit in the ninth on a line-drive to center field off of Tommy Hunter.

For a complete box score, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

The Red Sox will play the second game of their three-game series against the Orioles on Saturday night, as Rubby De La Rosa will face off against Chris Tillman.

Rubby De La Rosa

Rubby De La Rosa

De La Rosa’€™s last two starts have not gone exactly as planned. Against the Royals last Saturday, the right-hander (4-7, 4.31 ERA) was charged for two runs in the first inning and then allowed three more in the fifth. De La Rosa’€™s final four-inning line included six hits and two strikeouts.

Manager John Farrell said after De La Rosa’€™s last start that the team plans on restricting the pitcher’€™s innings because of the amount he’€™s pitched in both the major and minor leagues this season.

“We are limiting his innings pitched, but we don’t want to shut him down,” Farrell said. “There’s some benefit to be had by continuing through his work routine through the end of the season, and that’s a primary goal right now.”

His start vs. the Blue Jays on Sept. 7 was almost identical to his one against Kansas City. De La Rosa lasted four innings and gave up three runs on seven hits. The big blow in the game came when Jose Bautista hit a three-run home in the fifth inning, ending Dela Rosa’€™s afternoon.

Since the second half of the season began, De La Rosa has struggled to have any consistency. In 11 starts since the All-Star break, he has an ERA over five and a 2-5 record. Hitters have feasted on him with a .325 batting average. By the time De La Rosa reaches the 26-pitch mark in a game, players are hitting .340 with a .894 OPS against him.

De La Rosa made one start vs. the Orioles back on June 11. He was roughed up for three runs in the first inning, but recovered to pitch 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs.

“I thought tonight was an important learning experience for him, the way in which he needs to use his fastball,” Farrell said after the game. “Quickly the word spreads around this league on what an individual pitcher will go to. I thought once he started to use his fastball more from the third inning on, he forced some swings and made his changeup and his breaking pitches that much more effective.”

Tillman’€™s strong season (12-5, 3.29 ERA) is one of the reasons the Orioles claimed their first American League East title since 1997. His ERA, WHIP (1.22) and strikeouts (139) lead the team. The 26-year-old last threw 6 2/3 innings against the Yankee on Sunday and was charged for just one earned run and struck out six, but he did not factor into the decision.

The outing against the Yankees followed a win against the Red Sox on Sept. 9 at Fenway Park. In the start, Tillman threw five innings of one-run ball. The lone Boston run came courtesy of a Xander Bogaerts home run.

This season against the Red Sox, Tillman has compiled a 2-1 record in four starts. The one loss came at Camden Yards back in June when he gave up just one run.

Daniel Nava is hitting .250 against Tillman and has four doubles against the right-hander.

Red Sox vs. Tillman (RHP)

Daniel Nava (33 career plate appearances): .286 average/.333 OBP/.343 SLG, 4 doubles, 5 walks 9 strikeouts

David Ortiz (29): .083/.241/.083, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (26): 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, 4 walks, 9 strikeouts

Will Middlebrooks (18): .000/.000/.000, 4 strikeouts

Xander Bogaerts (13): .182/.308/.455, 1 home run, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

Jackie Bradley (8): .429/.500/.571, 1 double, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Yoenis Cespedes (8): .125/.125/.125, 3 strikeouts

Brock Holt (5): .600/.600/.600, 1 RBI, 2 strikeouts

Mookie Betts (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Ryan Lavarnway (3): .000/.000/.000

David Ross is 0-for-2 against Tillman, while Christian Vazquez and Jemile Weeks have each reached base once in two plate appearances against him.

Orioles vs. De La Rosa (RHP)

Jonathon Schoop (4): .667/.750/.667, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Nelson Cruz (3): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

J.J. Hardy (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

Adam Jones (3): .333/.333/.667, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout

Nick Markakis (3): .000/.000/.000

Steve Pearce (3): .500/.667/.500, 1 walk

Alejandro De Aza and Kelly Johnson both are 1-for-2 against De La Rosa. Nick Hundley has not reached base against the right-hander in two plate appearances, and Steve Clevenger is 0-for-1 vs. De La Rosa.

Blog Author: 
Andrew Battifarano

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez was dominant after the Red Sox acquired him at the 2014 trade deadline.</p>
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BALTIMORE — Decades from now, assuming that baseball does not hurtle towards a clockless extinction, David Ortiz will remain a reference point in Red Sox history, a necessary landmark and point of comparison for

BALTIMORE — Decades from now, assuming that baseball does not hurtle towards a clockless extinction, David Ortiz will remain a reference point in Red Sox history, a necessary landmark and point of comparison for any slugger in the team’s uniform.

Ortiz slammed a pair of homers — the 33rd and 34th of his season — while driving in three runs, not only propelling his team to a 5-3 victory over the Orioles in 10 innings but also eclipsing 100 RBIs, in the process, crossing the 30-100 threshold for the eighth time in his Red Sox career. He now stands alone in team history for the most such seasons in Sox history, leaving behind Ted Williams, who had seven in his illustrious career.

The volume of seasons Ortiz has produced while reaching recognizable slugging plateaus is impressive enough in its own right. The fact that he is still producing at this level as a 38-year-old qualifies as astonishing and historic. Ortiz became the sixth player in big league history at the age of 38 (or older) to reach 30 homers and 100 RBIs, joining Babe Ruth, Fred McGriff, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro and Frank Thomas.

How?

“They call me Super Papi,” Ortiz grinned. “That’€™s right. Put it down like that.”

Manager John Farrell, however, suggested that there was a bit more to it than that.

“The one thing we’€™re fortunate to see is the way the guy keeps himself in great shape: The way he works out, the way he prepares, in addition to [being] talented and one hell of a hitter,” said Farrell. “I don’€™t know if you can say enough positives and accolades for what David Ortiz not only did tonight but what he’€™s done over an incredible career. He comes up big twice again for us tonight, no bigger than in that 10th inning and considering how many RBIs, how many home runs he contributed this year, I’€™d hate to think where we’€™d be without him.”

While the Sox’ 67-87 record and last-place standing somewhat mitigate the sense of accomplishment, Ortiz nonetheless recognized the significance of surpassing Williams.

“Too bad we are in the situation we are in but just like I always say, just a compliment when your name is attached to a legend like Mr. Williams,” said Ortiz. “[It's] something that is based on a lot of consistency and work.”

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier
Joe and Dave talk with David Ortiz after he hits two home runs to propel the Red Sox to an extra-innings win over the Baltimore Orioles.
Joe and Dave talk with David Ortiz after he hits two home runs to propel the Red Sox to an extra-innings win over the Baltimore Orioles.

[0:00:27] ... wonderful achievement thirty homers -- hundred RBIs. The eighth time in your Red Sox career you've done that more times and Ted Williams did -- you're number one Red Sox history in that category how does that make you feel. It was good fifth you know on me but I would say ...
[0:01:59] ... to back do you get excited about the potential of next year's Red Sox seem to score more runs. Definitely different way back I would say off and stuff and it's been a fluke because -- that's the reason why you got my brother. I'm going to go about about the game district everybody to. Comb through last year we won the World Series we have everybody. The possibly something you don't know. What a while way you gonna get hurt because they were it was. ...
[0:03:33] ... much congratulations. Are so happy for you think he gets the the Red Sox win 53 David Ortiz 34 homers on with two RBIs. ...





(For the final month of the regular season, ‘€œClosing Time’€ will be called ‘€œWhy you should have cared,’€ looking beyond the final score ‘€” at a time when losses are arguably more valuable to the Sox than wins (for draft and waiver position) ‘€” for either meaningful signs for 2015 or simple aesthetic considerations.)

(For the final month of the regular season, ‘€œClosing Time’€ will be called ‘€œWhy you should have cared,’€ looking beyond the final score ‘€” at a time when losses are arguably more valuable to the Sox than wins (for draft and waiver position) ‘€” for either meaningful signs for 2015 or simple aesthetic considerations.)

David Ortiz keeps adding to his resume as one of the greatest Red Sox hitters ever. (Getty Images)

David Ortiz keeps adding to his resume as one of the greatest Red Sox hitters ever. (Getty Images)

BALTIMORE — Reality check: The Red Sox offense has been little better than atrocious this year. The team entered Friday with the fewest runs (583) and runs per game (3.81) of any club in the American League. And so, when a player proves capable of delivering run production within that group, it commands notice.

In an otherwise forgettable year, David Ortiz has commanded plenty of notice. The slugger continued to do just that in the Sox’ 5-3, 10-inning victory over the Orioles on Friday night, slamming a pair of homers — his 34th and 35th of the year — and driving in three runs — his 100th, 101st and 102nd of 2014 — to further distinguish his place in Red Sox history.

He now has eight 30/100 seasons with the Red Sox, breaking a tie with Ted Williams for the most such years in franchise history. He is the sixth player ever to produce a 30/100 season at the age of 38 or later (joining Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Fred McGriff and Babe Ruth) His 34 homers are his most since hitting 35 in 2007. He is in the top five in the American League in both homers and RBIs.

On a team that has had a shortage of even average performances to buttress him, Ortiz has remained elite.

OTHER REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE CARED ABOUT FRIDAY’S GAME

Mookie Betts, in his first exposure to the big leagues, has proven capable of delivering excitement. Friday night at Camden Yards offered a glimpse of what increasingly looks like a player with game-changing offensive abilities.

Against a pitcher considered one of the top young talents in the game in Orioles starter Kevin Gausman, Betts had three tremendous at-bats in an eventual 2-for-5 game. He drilled a 2-1 fastball for a long flyout to the warning track, about 400 feet from home plate, to open the game, spit on a pair of sliders before smoking a 95 mph 2-0 fastball up the middle for a single in the third and then navigated an 11-pitch at-bat that included six two-strike foul balls (three on splitters, three on fastballs) before ripping a liner up the middle for a single.

But what he did after reaching first in that second single was what truly commanded notice. When David Ortiz lined an 0-2 pitch off the warning track in right, Betts never hesitated. While Ortiz could advance no further than first given the proximity of the right field scoreboard in right at Camden Yards, Betts pushed the envelope with two outs and, though beaten to the plate by the relay throw, kicked the ball out of the glove of catcher Caleb Joseph for a run scored from first.

While most of the Red Sox look like they are running on fumes, Betts is showing another gear. In 31 games since the Red Sox recalled him in mid-August to be an everyday player, he is now hitting .302 with a .391 OBP and .448 slugging mark.

His ability to see a lot of pitches, work counts and impact the game while on the bases suggests that, while the Sox remain in a period of evaluation with Rusney Castillo, they already quite clearly possess a player with top-of-the-order skills. Barring a trade, the Sox will not enter 2015 with the same riddle at the top of their lineup that they encountered in 2014.

– Though he was facing a skeletal Orioles lineup that was without most of its regulars, Allen Webster made his third straight solid start, permitting one run on seven hits (five singles, two doubles) in 5 2/3 innings. He walked just one — the second straight outing in which he issued but one free pass — and struck out three. Over his last three starts, Webster now has a 3.18 ERA with four walks and 10 strikeouts in 17 innings.

– Rusney Castillo offered a bit of a defensive showcase, getting good breaks on a pair of liners in the bottom of the first inning (making one catch on the run and another with a sliding catch just off the ground) and also recorded his first big league assist by throwing out Alejandro De Aza, attempting to score from second on a single, with a one-hop seed to the plate.

– The promising defensive glimpses from Castillo stood in contrast to the performances by other members of the Sox. Daniel Nava failed to haul in a long fly ball to right center, which clanged off his glove for a run-scoring triple. Xander Bogaerts made a bad throw to first on a routine grounder that permitted the tying run to score. Garin Cecchini once again sailed a throw to first (though Allen Craig managed to extend just far enough to bring it in for the out). Craig struggled to hold the bag with his foot.

The struggles of Cecchini and Bogaerts on what should have been routine plays are particularly noteworthy. Bogaerts has been considerably better in recent weeks at shortstop than he was just after shifting back to the position, but still, the long-term possibility of pairing the two of them on the left side of the infield will require considerable defensive improvement from at least one.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

BALTIMORE — Jackie Bradley Jr. is hitting .203 with a .271 OBP and .272 slugging mark this year. Christian Vazquez is hitting .217/.278/.268.