Red Sox

Farrell sticks with Bradley in ninth spot despite hot streak


Farrell sticks with Bradley in ninth spot despite hot streak

BOSTON - He enters Thursday night's game with a career-best 17-game hitting streak, and during that streak leads the majors in OPS, SLG, RBI, triples, and extra-base hits.

He parked two home runs Wednesday against the Athletics and during that three-game series drove in 13 runs, the most in a three-game series by a Red Sox since Nomar Garciaparra had 14 against the Mariners back in 1999.

He's slugging 1.040 with runners in scoring position, the highest in the majors, and a 1.540 OPS with runners in scoring position, trailing only Bryce Harper (1.595).

He's also 8-for-his-last-16 against lefties with left-hander Dallas Keuchel on the mound.

But Jackie Bradley Jr. again finds himself hitting out of the ninth spot. And yes, he's been by far the best No. 9 hitter in the majors this season.

You might think that with the production coming from Bradley over the last 17 games that manager John Farrell would feel inclined to bump him up in the lineup.

That isn't the case, though it doesn't have much to do with Bradley, but more the players hitting in front of him.

Yes, Bradley is on fire. But you don't get 13 RBI over a three-game series without a good amount of players getting on-base ahead of you. The Red Sox as a team are mashing. They scored a whopping 40 runs and had 48 hits against the A's over their series.

The Sox lead the majors in runs, hits, SLG, OPS, and doubles. They lead the AL in OBP and triples. They also lead the majors in team batting average at .293, which is 15 points higher than the next team.

Boston has hit 27 home runs over the last 16 games, the most in the majors.

While Bradley has been a big part of the spike in offense, he isn't the only part, according to Farrell.

"That might be the case if the rest of the lineup isn't producing," Farrell said. "And you're looking at where some maybe more frequent maybe more RBI situations evolve, but the fact that Jackie remains in the nine-hole is a testament to the eight guys in front of him. Our lineup is deep. We've created a number of opportunities and for an guy in the eight- and nine-hole to have 13 RBI in a three-game series says that there's a lot of people on base ahead of him."

This isn't Bradley's first hot streak. He went on impressive stretches at the plate last season, and also went cold. Perhaps the consistency at the bottom of the lineup is a good thing for him. But if he continues to hit the way he has, it's going to be hard justifying his place down there. This isn't the Bradley who came into the majors looking lost a couple seasons ago.

"Confident guy, aggressive," Farrell said. "Think back to when he first came here, there was a guy that was looking to work counts. Tried to establish his own strike zone. I think at the time felt like - and realistically - fell behind in the count a lot. Now you see a guy who's not waiting around. Pitch up in the strike zone, he's putting his 'A' swing on and doing one heck of a job."

John Farrell joins ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ as analyst

File Photo

John Farrell joins ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ as analyst

John Farrell can add another job to his resume.

The former Boston Red Sox manager has joined the crew for ESPN's "Baseball Tonight," according to The Boston Globe. His debut will be on Wednesday for a season-preview show.

The Red Sox fired Farrell on Oct. 11, 2017 despite a second-straight A.L. East crown. Alex Cora will begin his first season in Farrell's old role during the 2018 season.

Farrell added the broadcast work after the Cincinnati Reds hired him as a scout and adviser with a focus on pitching. He interviewed this offseason for the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals managing jobs, but both teams passed on him.


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."