Red Sox

Mookie Betts: 'I’m just not doing anything right'

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USA Today Sports

Mookie Betts: 'I’m just not doing anything right'

Mookie Betts has had a solid season so far for the Boston Red Sox. Through 61 games, he is hitting .271 with 10 homers, 29 RBIs, and has a WAR of 2.6. He also is second in the AL in runs scored with 48 behind only his teammate, Xander Bogaerts (50). 

Despite the numbers Betts has put up, he is still frustrated by his start to the season and recently characterized his hitting negatively.

“Not that good,” Betts said of his performance at the plate, per Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe. “Just been trying to grind and do what I can to help the team score some runs. It seems like everybody else has been plugging along and I’m bringing up the rear.”

And Betts hasn't found a reason for his perceived issues.

“I feel fine physically. I’m comfortable. I’m just not doing anything right,” Betts said, via Abraham. “It’s been tough.”

Of course, Betts may just feel that way because he put up an elite season last year. He had a league-leading .346 average with 32 homers en route to winning the AL MVP in 2018. His numbers this year, while they have been fine, have been a far cry from his league-topping numbers.

Betts recently moved back to the lead-off spot in the batting order, a move that Alex Cora has said will be permanent. Cora is hoping the move will spark Betts, but he is still mired in a slump, as he has hit only .130 in six games since returning to the lead-off role permanently.

However, Betts did club a key two-run homer in the team's win on Thursday afternoon, so perhaps that will get him trending in the right direction again. 

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Eduardo Rodriguez quest for 20 wins might be only reason left to watch Red Sox

Eduardo Rodriguez quest for 20 wins might be only reason left to watch Red Sox

BOSTON -- The quest for 20 continues.

The Red Sox have nothing left to play for except pride and individual achievements, and they've crossed a few off the list recently with 50 doubles each for Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, 30 homers for Devers, and 130 runs for Mookie Betts.

The biggest item on the to-do list, however, might be getting left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to 20 wins, a plateau last reached by a Red Sox starter during Rick Porcello's Cy Young-winning 2016 season, when he went 22-4.

E-Rod improved to 18-6 on Thursday with six innings of one-run ball in a 5-4 win over the Giants, and the run was unearned. The victory didn't come without some palpitations, however, as the visitors loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth and the Red Sox leading 5-3.

Closer Brandon Workman escaped the mess largely of his own making by walking in one but eventually striking out the side to keep Rodriguez on track for what would be one of the more improbable 20-win seasons in team annals.

"He's had a hell of a season," Workman said. "He's thrown the ball really well. I think he's knocking on the door of 200 innings as well. So if he can be 20 wins, 200 innings, that's benchmarks in two different areas for starters. So that would be incredible."

It hasn't been a fluke, especially not recently. Rodriguez struggled early in the season to command his fastball up in the zone, but once he recognized the damage he could do above the letters at 95 mph, especially when paired with a vicious changeup below the knees, he took off.

He struck out 10 on Thursday and walked only two, lowering his ERA to 3.53, which is good for seventh in the American League. He has two starts remaining to win two games and throw the final 8.2 innings he needs to reach 200 for the first time.

"He's been outstanding," said manager Alex Cora. "What else can we say? It's been going on for a while. Now you see the strikeouts way up there and the walks staying low. He's put in a great season."

Rodriguez is slated to start Tuesday in Texas and then at home against Baltimore in the season finale a week from Sunday. If he wins the first start, he'll be given every opportunity to claim the second, which would come against the team that signed him as an amateur free agent in 2010 before trading him to the Red Sox for reliever Andrew Miller in 2010.

Rodriguez is also virtually guaranteed to surpass the 200-strikeout threshold for the first time, because he sits at 199.

"I mean, I have two more starts and just go out there and try to do the best I can and give us a chance to win those games," Rodriguez said. "Just go out there and perform and try to be good again. At the beginning of the season, I was really thinking, go 200 innings. That was all my goal this year, go 200 innings, 30-plus starts and I made the 30-plus already so now I'm looking for the 200 innings. 200 strikeouts, that's something you can't control. You go out there and execute the pitches and if they swing and miss, they strike out, so if it happens, it happens."

Rodriguez returned to that phrase when it comes to 20 wins, but Cora said the rest of the team is intent on helping him get there.

"Twenty wins is something the guys are pushing for me right now and if it happens, it happens," Rodriguez said. "You know how baseball is. You can have a game of one run or no runs and still get a no-decision. It all depends on how the games are going to go."

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Red Sox continue to clean house after Dave Dombrowski firing

Red Sox continue to clean house after Dave Dombrowski firing

Dave Dombrowski's firing was only the beginning of a mass exodus in the Red Sox organization.

On Thursday, the Red Sox let go of front office executive Frank Wren and scout Eddie Bane, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network. It's no surprise they parted ways with Wren as he's close with Dombrowski.

Heyman notes there likely are more changes to come, specifically in the amateur department.

These moves are the icing on the cake for what's been a tremendously disappointing season for Boston. The defending World Series champions are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Along with the front office, there could be a roster shakeup coming for the Red Sox this offseason as well. Mookie Betts' future in Boston is uncertain, and it remains to be seen whether J.D. Martinez will opt in to his contract.

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