The first week in May was very exciting for the Boston Red Sox, that included playing their rival New York Yankees and the other Sox of the majors, the Chicago White Sox. Both series were on the road and they ended up splitting the games, going 3-3, winning the series against the first place white Sox in the AL Central, and then dropping two to New York before winning in the final game on Sunday.
Starting off in Chicago, the Sox sent Wright, Buchholz, and Owens to the mound. Everyone but Owens pitched well for the Sox, despite Wright coming away with the loss, only allowing two runs in six innings gets the job done, and the offense needs to show up more than just a Hanley Ramirez solo home run. The Sox lost game one 4-1. In game two there was a much different story. Clay Buchholz had his best game of the season picking up his much needed first win to give him a confidence boost and to show Ferrell that he still has it. Not only did he get the win he pitched great, going deep into the game, 7.0 IP, and not allowing many runs, only a 2 run homer. The offense also showed up more as they scored five runs lead by yet another home run from David Ortiz. In game 3, Owens took the hill and struggled from the begenning, he only lasted three innings and allowed 2 runs on two hits including a home run. However the more troubling piece of this was he walked six batters. He was lucky to not give up more runs than he did and escaped with a no decision. Fortunately the bullpen was able to come in and keep it a close game, as reliever Matt Barnes got the victory. The offense was on fire scoring 7 runs on 12 hits including 3 home runs from Pedroia, Ramirez, and Bradley. The Red Sox won the series 2-1 outscoring the White Sox 13-9.
Next in New York, the Red Sox looked to keep up their hot streak against their rivals, after sweeping them the previous weekend. All I know is back to back weekends of Red Sox-Yankees makes for some pretty good baseball. In game one Rick Porcello picked up his first loss on the season. He played well, allowing 3 runs in 7 innings, however Ortiz two run homer in the top of the first was all of the offense for the day despite the Red Sox outhitting the Yankees 13-6, they could never result it into any runs. In game two the Bronx Bombers just had a field day off of David Price who also picked up his first loss of the season. He got rocked for 6 runs on 7 hits, and the game just never could go in the Red Sox favor as after the fourth they were down 4-1 and after the fifth 6-2. After dropping the first two games, the Sox turned to knuckleballer Steven Wright who pitched exceptional. He had a shutout with two outs in the bottom of the ninth until Brett Gardner had other plans for one of his fast balls, sending it into the upper deck at Yankee Stadium, despite that Wright got an impressive victory. He reminded me of a Red Sox great for 17 years, Tim Wakefield. All the more impressive the last shut out thrown by a Red Sox pitcher in Yankee Stadium, came all the way back in 2008 by Jon Lester. Even though Wright didn’t actually throw a shutout it had the feel of one. But going back to the Wakefield reference, he challenged guys high, which a lot of knuckleballers are afraid to do, but he did it with great consistency, throwing the hitters off even more, and make it even more difficult for the hitters to pick up the non-moving seems. Ortiz also hit his ninth home run on the year.
Positives: David Ortiz hitting is the first great thing to happen to Boston sports since Babe Ruth played pro ball. He has lead teams to three world titles and his hitting had paved the way. Now at 40 and in what is most likely his last year, as he has previously announced his retirement, he continues to be hitting just like he was in his prime.
Wright pitching had been very consistent this year for the Sox in terms of ERA at 1.52, which is amazing and if he keeps that up Cy Young Award Winner. His W-L isn’t great however at just 3-3. He should continue to pitch at a solid level.
Buchholz finally won a game and this should hopefully give him the boost he needs to return to a great number two behind David Price, a hard throwing left hander, similar to when he was behind Jon Lester. Remember Clay has capability, he has thrown a no hitter and has pitched well in the playoffs in the past.
Pedroia bat and glove is well and alive for summer if he can stay healthy which is always the question for him .
Negatives: David Price after getting shelled by a last place team, which has some power, you hope it was just a bad day, because if he cannot lock down teams come late September into October forget about it. With an ERA of 6.75 there is reason for concern. Him and Porcello picked up their first losses on the season.
The offense is way to inconsistent. It is ridiculous as a pitcher to go out there give it your all, and your team a chance to win the game and the offense cannot hit. It will be a problem when pitching gets the upper hand after summer ball.
The Red Sox are now back home against Oakland. They won the first game Monday with a 14-7 victory and Buchholz the win. They sit near the top in the AL East, tied for first in GB, but Baltimore has a better winning percentage. They then play the Astros at home in a four game series leading through the weekend.