Red Sox

Despite strong regular season, concerns still looming with Sox rotation

Despite strong regular season, concerns still looming with Sox rotation

BOSTON--For the season, the Red Sox starting rotation posted the third-lowest ERA in the American League for the 2016 season, and measuring from the All-Star break on, the lowest, period.

But as the Red Sox begin the 2016 post-season, there's this sobering reminder: between the four Red Sox starters -- Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz and Eduardo Rodriguez -- the Sox can't claim a single post-season win in the past.

"Everybody's got to win their first one before they win their second one,'' shrugged Buchholz, dismissing the significance of past post-season success. "It's part of it. I think there's only a couple of us who have had more than five opportunities to win a game in post-season.

"With (Porcello) in Game 1, everybody knows what he's done this year. I don't think anything is going to change from that. And like I said in spring training, we signed one of the best pitchers in the world, so DP (Price) is going to step up and do what he does.''

Price's post-season history is, of course, well known. He is 0-7 with a 5.27 ERA.

At his introductory press conference at Fenway last winter, Price made light of his past struggles.

"I think,'' he said, tongue in cheek, "I was just saving all my post-season wins for the Red Sox. I know good things are going to happen to me in October.''

Porcello doesn't have the record of futility that Price has, with just two post-season starts. He made two back in 2011 -- one of which was good (two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings); the other of which wasn't (four earned runs in six innings) and has a 4.26 ERA and an 0-1 mark.

Numbers, can be deceiving, too. Buchholz is winless in five starts, but the Sox won three of those and he pitched well in all but one outing -- a poor showing in an ALCS start against Detroit in 2013.

Rodriguez didn't make his major league debut until 2015, and has never had the opportunity to pitch in the playoffs.

"You can't change what's happened in the past,'' Porcello told the Boston Herald recently. "All you can do is change what's coming toward us.’’

Red Sox minor league team invites Trump, Biden to settle it in ring

File photos

Red Sox minor league team invites Trump, Biden to settle it in ring

In this corner, the challenger out of Scranton, Pa., Joltin' Joe Biden...In the other corner, straight out of Queens, the President of the United States, Dandy Donald J. Trump!

The venue: LeLacheur Park, Lowell, Mass., home of the Red Sox Class-A affiliate, the Lowell Spinners.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's The Slasher at LeLacheur!

After the former Vice-President told a crowd at the University of Miami earlier this week of the current President, "If we were in high school, I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him, President Trump fired back on Twitter Thursday morning. 

The Spinners, the Sox' short-season New York-Penn League affiliate, have offered to host a boxing match between the Republican President and Democratic former Vice President on Aug. 17 by the flagpole at LeLacheur. Former light-welterweight champ and Lowell native Micky Ward has agreed to referee.

No word yet if Trump, who'll be 72 by then, or Biden, 75, have accepted the invitation.

The Spinners' press release announcing the invitation says that if the two do accept, "the boxing match will take place regardless of the weather, no matter how stormy it may get."


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.