Red Sox

Friar: Red Sox making the same mistakes over and over


Friar: Red Sox making the same mistakes over and over

While Eduardo Rodriguez’s no-hit bid Sunday was without doubt a great sign for Boston down the stretch, the 1-0 loss also revealed some of the Red Sox’ other issues -- issues that have come up over and over again.

MORE ON E-ROD: Sox find a silver lining in Sunday's dark cloud

FIRST: The offense scoring almost at will on one day, and then going completely silent the next. 

The Sox were facing one of the American League's better pitchers in Kendall Graveman, who is in the top 20 in starters' ERA after the All-Star break (3.03), but they'd scored 27 runs in the previous two games and were as hot offensively as they'd been all year. 

On a day when their starter flirted with a no-hitter, they lost . . . even though it was a game in which they didn't have to string together hit after hit, but merely had to manufacture something when the opportunities presented themselves.

Instead, we saw Yoan Moncada get picked off first after leading off an inning with a single. Graveman has a quick move to first and that had to have been in the scouting report, so Moncada should have been aware of it. We saw them waste another bases-loaded opportunity, with both Brock Holt and Moncada failing to drive in even a single run.

SECOND: The bullpen

Walks have been a problem for closer Craig Kimbrel all season, and it was his leadoff walk in the bottom of the ninth that turned into the winning run. In tight postseason games, Kimbrel needs to have better control.

And, of course, he failed in another non-save situation, something that has yet to be resolved and will probably be a bugaboo for him the rest of 2016.

“We’ve used him in tie games on the road previously,” John Farrell said on going with Kimbrel following Sunday’s 1-0 loss. “I thought where we were -- middle of their order -- with the power that they have, Kimbrel was the guy to go to.”

THIRD: The Sox' fourth walk-off error of they year.

Holt was the goat Sunday, but it doesn’t matter who’s committing them. It matters that they’ve happened so often. 

“They’re frustrating in the sense that guys are busting their humps to execute a play.” Farrell said on the walk-off errors by Boston this season.

There’s that word again: “execute”. Something everyone’s heard a lot this year, first with pitching (mainly from David Price), now with fielding. Might as well apply it to bases-loaded situations, too, if that hasn’t already been done.

Simply put, those errors can’t happen in the postseason, especially if the Sox find themselves in the one-game playoff.

Actually, none of these issues can happen in a one-game, wild-card playoff -- which is where the Red Sox would be if the season ended today.

THE WILD CARD GAME: McAdam and Carrabis discuss who the starting pitcher should be

While mistakes like these happen throughout a 162-game stretch, it’s surprising how often they’ve occurred this season. 

Not to mention how they tend to happen all at once -- something you’d think a playoff contender would avoid.
Follow Nick Friar on Twitter @ngfriar

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

As expected, it's Sale, Price and Porcello to start Sox season

New Red Sox manager Alex Cora has announced that, as expected, left-hander Chris Sale will be the Opening Day starter when the Red Sox begin their season nine days from now against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. David Price will pitch the second game and Rick Porcello the third. 

Cora told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla. that Eduardo Rodriguez would be in the fourth starter's spot if he's ready as he continues to recover from off-season knee surgery and left-hander Brian Johnson is preparing to be the fifth starter for now.

In Price's second Grapefruit League start on Tuesday, he pitched five innings and allowed two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out four in the Red Sox' 12-6 victory over the Pirates. Third baseman Rafael Devers, hitting .349 this spring, hit his third home run of the spring. Andrew Benintendi (.405) had a double and two RBI and first baseman Sam Travis drove in three. 

Sale had a much rougher outing Monday, giving up four runs on five hits, with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings against the Phillies. 



Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Red Sox, Yankees working to play in London in 2019

Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are about to go global.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy on Monday confirmed the Sox are interested to play the Yankees in London during next year's regular season. Bloomberg reported the clubs are nearing an agreement to play two games there in June 2019. Discussions are indeed taking place, but a deal is not done.

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“We would love to participate in a series in London against the Yankees but this is a decision that MLB and the MLBPA will make," Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said.

Bloomberg reported the games would be played at London Stadium, which was the main facility for the 2012 summer Olympics.

MLB has not played any games in Europe before. The Red Sox have made trips before, including to Japan before the 2008 season.