Red Sox

First Impressions: Dodgers' rookie beats Price twice


First Impressions: Dodgers' rookie beats Price twice

First impressions of the Red Sox' 8-5 loss to Los Angeles:

David Price’s outing would’ve been poor -- even without the mistakes behind him.

After coming out hot in the first two innings, a switch seemingly went off in Price -- and not in a good way.

Of his 38 pitches through the first three frames, 26 were strikes. In the next two innings, Price threw 62 pitches, 33 strikes.

The two at-bats came against a 28-year-old making his MLB debut, Rob Segedin.

In both cases, Price got behind 2-0, seeming to nibble in the first instance, and just plain wild in the second. Then he came with thigh fastballs both times. And they were both hit well, knocking in runs. You would’ve thought Price was pitching against the Hall of Fame Dodger Mike Piazza the way he handled Segedin.

Those are at-bats where top-notch pitchers assert their dominance on hitters.

To have it happen twice in a game -- against the same batter -- is inexcusable to say the least.

Brandon McCarthy’s wild ways wound up being effective.

Although he wasn’t the textbook definition of effectively wild, he only held Boston to two hits in his short outing -- both courtesy of Andrew Benintendi.

But it was clear that Boston hitters were uncomfortable against McCarthy. And honestly, they had every reason to be.

He was showing some tell tale signs of the yips -- the mental block when players have no idea of where they’re throwing the ball.

Not something to joke about -- and extremely unsettling for a hitter.

Add this loss to the long 2016 list of “games that got away.”

Losing two of three to a Clayton Kershaw-less Dodgers is unacceptable.

But this just marks an end to a road trip filled with games that got away from Boston, including all three of Price’s starts on this West Coast trip.

Andrew Benintendi showed where all the hype is coming from.

The rookie didn’t waste time notching his first three-hit game. Nor did he mess around when he came up in clutch situations.

So not only did he display his talent -- lacing his hits to both sides of the field -- but he also showed maturity beyond his years.

Or maybe he’s still so excited that he couldn’t get caught up in the moment.

Either way, a great sign for the rookie.

Junichi Tazawa’s fastball still hasn’t bounced back.

The righty was able to get his fastball into the mid-90s earlier this season, but wasn’t throwing any harder than 91.

Can’t exactly work up in the zone when you’re topping out at that velocity.

What’s more important though is he’s slowly starting to prove to Boston that he’s not going to be a reliable option down the stretch.

Nick Friar can be followed 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.