Red Sox

And it's Ryan Brasier's turn to spin the wheel of despair in another awful Red Sox loss

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And it's Ryan Brasier's turn to spin the wheel of despair in another awful Red Sox loss

NEW YORK -- Ryan Brasier had Brett Gardner right where he wanted him, and then all he could do was turn around and grimace.

Summoned with the bases loaded and the Red Sox clinging to a 3-1 lead in the seventh inning of what felt like a must-win game on Wednesday, Brasier raced to an 0-2 count on the slumping Yankees veteran with a pair of sliders before deciding to come back with a fastball.

In his 12-year career, Gardner had homered just twice on 0-2 counts. This time, though, he lashed Brasier's fat 96 mph offering over the right fence for a game-breaking grand slam that rallied the Yankees to a 5-3 victory that leaves the Red Sox once again wondering what hit them.

If it's not the starting pitching, it's the offense. If it's not the offense, it's the bullpen. If it's not the bullpen, it's the defense.

It's always something, and on Wednesday it was Brasier.

"Had a plan to go after him, got him right where I wanted to get him, and I didn't execute a pitch," said Brasier, who joined fellow reliever Brandon Workman in wasting an excellent start from Nathan Eovaldi. "Nate did a hell of a job tonight. Bullpen guys, it's our job to come in and get outs and hold the lead and I made a bad pitch on a good count for me and it bit me in the butt."

The Red Sox have no strengths so far this year, but the back of the bullpen had kind of been one of them. Brasier entered the game with three saves and a 1.17 ERA in eight outings, pairing with Matt Barnes (1.42 ERA, 17.1 K/9) to give the Red Sox some stability in the final innings, not that the Red Sox have found themselves protecting too many leads.

But it's one of the stories of this season that the reliable can suddenly become unreliable at the worst moments.

"We've still got to finish off games," said manager Alex Cora. "We didn't. it takes everybody to get out of this. Today, in the seventh inning, we didn't do a good job."

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Michael Chavis on kid-PA announcer: 'That kid might be lucky. We need to bring him back'

Michael Chavis on kid-PA announcer: 'That kid might be lucky. We need to bring him back'

BOSTON -- The raw enthusiasm of the introduction caught Michael Chavis by surprise, so he responded with a wave. One pitch later, both Chavis and the 5-year-old guest PA announcer who had just shouted his name really had something worth celebrating.

The fan's name was Jackson, and he announced Chavis with some serious exuberance in the fifth, beaming broadly and sporting a Red Sox cap.

"NOW BATTING! … SECOND BASEMAN! … NO. 23! … MICHAEL CHAVIS!"

Chavis pointed to the booth and then promptly destroyed a first-pitch cutter from Wade Miley over everything in left field to start the Red Sox on the road back from a 3-1 deficit in Sunday's 4-3 victory vs. the Astros.

"Screaming," said manager Alex Cora. "That was fun. That was cool. We need more of that. We need more. The fans love that stuff. It was cool."

Chavis loved it, too. He not only pointed to young Jackson from the box, he did so again after he crossed home plate following his eighth home run of the season.

"I didn't get a warning that it was going to happen, so I just heard a kid's voice and I'm sure on video you can see me look up because I was so surprised," Chavis said. "And then he kept talking, and I was impressed at how confident he was, because when I was a little kid, I would've been so nervous, I don't think I even would've done it. I was kind of laughing to myself, like good for that kid. Right before I got into the box, I felt like I should say good job."

Chavis felt even better after blasting Miley's offering 420 feet. He thought of the fan as he rounded the bases, and so he pointed again after crossing the plate and clapping.

"Honestly, it was cool," he said. "I don't know if I'm ever going to meet him, but it was a cool moment for sure. I got to see a little bit of a video of it and how it played out. It's something I'm going to remember, and hopefully he does as well."

As for any future at-bats, Chavis wouldn't mind hearing that enthusiastic little voice again.

"That kid might be lucky," he said. "We need to bring him back."

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Remarkable stat about Chris Sale's record over recent stretch

Remarkable stat about Chris Sale's record over recent stretch

Chris Sale wasn't at his best down the stretch of the 2018 regular season, and he got off to a tough start in 2019. However, despite his relative struggles, his record over a recent stretch of games is still remarkable.

Per the Red Sox Stats Twitter account, Sale has only won one of his last 14 starts.

It's strange to see a pitcher like Sale post these kinds of numbers, especially given how dominant he had been throughout the early portion of the '18 season.

For context, this 14-game stretch dates back to Sale's final four starts of the 2018 regular season. Over the course of this 14-start stretch, Sale has posted a slightly below-average 4.21 ERA, but he still had 101 strikeouts over 68 1/3 innings. Yet he has only logged a 1-5 record with eight no-decisions in that span.

Over the course of his previous 14 starts, Sale posted a 9-3 record. During that time, he had a much better ERA (1.84) and a higher strikeout total, too (141). Though he was pitching better, it's still strange to see such a huge disparity in his record between the two separate stints.

Sale has been regaining his form after a rough start to his 2019 campaign, so perhaps his next 14 starts will start to see improvements in his record. He has totaled 27 strikeouts of the course of his last two starts, so that is a good sign for him moving forward.

Chavis compared to former MLB second baseman>>>

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