The Boston Red Sox got outscored 23-3 in the first two games of their horrific home series against the Baltimore Orioles, and while they were able to cut down on the runs scored against them in the finale yesterday, the offense continued to produce offensive results, offensive in the sense of offending the fans who had to sit and watch the Red Sox strand 13 runners and muster just one measly run in a 2-1 loss at Fenway Park.
Doug Fister deserved better. He had a shaky first inning, giving up two quick runs, but then settled down and yielded nothing the rest of the way only to see his teammates go one for 13 with runners in scoring position, wasting chance after chance to tie or take the lead against former Red Sox pitcher Wade Miley as the Orioles completed the three game sweep. The Red Sox have now matched their longest losing streak of the season at four games and while they've been on that slide, the NY Yankees have been beating up on the Seattle Mariners, winning 10-1 yesterday to close the gap to just two and a half games between them and the Red Sox for first place in the American League east.
It's clear that the absences of the injured Dustin Pedroia, Jackie Bradley Jr., and even the much-maligned David Price is taking its toll on a listless Red Sox offense and a pitching staff that's been faltering with recent ugly outings by Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, and yes, even ace Chris Sale, who's lost his last two starts, including one against Cleveland in which he gave up seven runs in just three innings of work.
The Red Sox take on the Blue Jays in Toronto tonight as Red Sox Nation turns its lonely eyes to Drew. Drew, Drew, Drew. Pomeranz that is. The lefty, who's been their best pitcher over the last month, tries to stop the losing skid from stretching to five games. The Orioles, meanwhile, are eyeing the wild card, now just two games behind in that race with a whole scrum of teams just behind or in front of them for that one-game winner take all draw. If they could just play the Red Sox the rest of the way Baltimore would be a lock.
As for the Yankees, it's not like they needed the help, but the Seattle Mariners gave it to them anyway, setting an unwanted franchise record by committing five errors in the first inning alone in that 10-1 loss to New York yesterday. Shortstop Jean Segura committed three of those errors himself, two on the same play, and the Yankees said thank you very much, crossing the plate six times in the first to give Masahiro Tanaka more than enough padding to pick up his tenth win of the year.
The NY Mets played two against the Washington Nationals yesterday, and recovered after blowing a five run in lead in game one to beat the Nats 6-5 on a tie breaking home run by rookie Amed Rosario in the eighth inning. The Mets also needed some pinpoint defense to win this one. Asbrudal Cabrera cut down the potential tying run with a great relay throw to the plate with two outs in the ninth to preserve that win.
The good fortune didn't extend to the nightcap, however, as Washington closer Sean Doolittle did just enough to preserve a 5-4 win. Doolittle allowed one run in the ninth on an RBI single by Jose Reyes, but got his 13th save in as many chances when he got Juan Lagares to line out to left to end it.
At the Rogers Centre in Toronto it was all about Byron Buxton, the center fielder for the Minnesota Twins, who hit three home runs and knocked in a career high five runs in the Twins 7-2 win over the Blue Jays yesterday.
The Vermont Lake Monsters are finding all kinds of ways to win of late, and last night at Centennial Field it was the bullpen that shined in preserving a 3-2 lead and win over the Aberdeen Ironbirds. Clinging to that one run lead, relievers Josh Reagan and Michael Danielak retired 12 of the final 13 batters they faced to secure that win. The Lake Monsters now have a four and a half game lead for first place in the Stedler division and their magic number for winning it is down to seven as they take off for a road trip against the Cyclones in Brooklyn tonight.
Over the weekend top brass from the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics had tense discussions about the health status of Boston's Isaiah Thomas, traded in a blockbuster deal for Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving. The Cavs are reportedly upset, claiming that they didn't know the extent of the hip injury suffered by Thomas late last season that forced him out of one of the playoff games against Cleveland and now want even more compensation from the Celtics to complete the deal. The Cavs will likely ask for either Jaylen Brown or the player the Celtics plucked from their third pick in this year's NBA draft, Jayson Tatum, but it's doubtful Boston GM Danny Ainge would give up either of those prize players. Still, if the Celtics want Irving this badly, they're likely going to have to give up more than they already have to land him, potentially another of their raft of future first round draft picks. They better hope Irving is worth it in the end.
Finally, the New England Patriots will have to defend their NFL championship this season without their best all-purpose receiver. Julian Edelman suffered a complete tear of his ACL in a recent pre-season game and will miss the entire upcoming NFL season. The Pats still have a lot of weapons on offense, including the newly acquired wide receiver Brandin Cooks, but Edelman is truly irreplaceable as Tom Brady's best go-to receiver for tough yardage, especially in third down situations.