It blows my mind that it's mid-August and the Red Sox are only now playing the Indians for the first time this season: Cleveland is the only team in the American League that the Red Sox have yet to play. They've got this four game set at Fenway Park and then three games in Cleveland at the end of September and while the Indians aren't as dominant as they were in 2016 or even 2017, they're still a damn good team. Yes, they play in the worst division in baseball and have the worst record of the four AL contenders (Boston, New York, Houston, Cleveland) and also have fewer wins than Oakland, but they're still a dangerous team. There's also been the knock on the Red Sox (said mainly by Yankees fans) that "the Red Sox get all of their wins against bad teams." Never mind that A) they've split with Houston so far, B) they're winning the season series against the Yankees 8-5, and C) the Yankees keep losing to "bad teams" like the Orioles, Rays, and Royals. Still, I've been looking forward to this Indians series because it comes in the midst of a tough stretch of the schedule for the Sox and because it should be a good measuring stick against another legitimate American League contender.
With the abundance of accumulated young talent, the Phoenix Suns and their fans should be excited regarding the teams future.
It’s fair to say that a majority of New England Revolution supporters are at wits’ end with the Front Office’s extreme ineptitude, and the rift between the two parties is only growing wider each matchweek. Last night, seemed to show much of the same from a Revs side that hasn’t won a match since June, as they took on upstart D.C. United in brand-new Audi Field. (Still waiting for that SSS promise to be fulfilled Jonathan.) With the Revs in 7th, and D.C. only a few points behind the Revs, this game had serious playoff implications. Coach Friedel made the decision pre-game to start new acquisition Michael Mancienne over Jalil Anibaba, and started Scott Caldwell in place of All-Star midfielder Wilfried Zahibo. A bright spot from the night however, was that for the first time in history, and entirely female broadcast crew took the reins on the FOX broadcast, and in my opinion, did a fantastic job. From the moment the match began, D.C. was on the prowl, and forward Luciano Acosta constantly pressed his way into the final third, creating chance after chance.
Almost every expert out there is pushing the “don’t buy into Adam Thielen’s last season” narrative. They claim he is being over-hyped after a top-10 fantasy WR season in 2017. Well, as I sit here in the vast minority, I am telling you Thielen will still be an absolute stud for your fantasy season.
The Cleveland Indians gallop into town this week to take on the Red Sox for a four game set at Fenway Park. I think it’s safe to say that the Red Sox don’t have much more to prove in this historic 2018 regular season. Any thoughts that all their winning was a result of a soft schedule were probably put to rest earlier this month with the Sox’ four game sweep of the Yankees. By the way, speaking of soft schedules, the Indians are the only team in the American League Central with a winning record. They are 37-17 against the rest of the division. So I mean, I know they have a lot of talent in that clubhouse, but to say this this series is a major test for the Sox would be inaccurate. However, as New Englanders, we’re cynical when we can be. The latest argument I’m hearing on the radio and social media is that the Yankees have a lousy manager (Aaron Boone) and the Indians have Tito Francona, so there! That’s fine, but Tito’s probably going to get zero at bats this series, and he ain’t starting any games either. He’s a great strategist and will always hold a special place in my heart, but the game is won on the field. Let’s check the matchups:
Rick Porcello (15-5, 4.04 ERA) vs. Cory Kubler (15-6, 2.86 ERA)
It kind of stinks that Porcello is facing an American League team this time around because we could really use his bat in our lineup after the Sox mustered up zero runs in the series finale against the Rays.
On Sunday afternoon the Sox wrapped up their series against the Rays with a matinee tilt. Hector Velazquez was starting for the newly injured Chris Sale and with the team having already won the series by taking the first two games, there wasn't any pressure. A big series against the Cleveland Indians follows this one so while getting the sweep of the Rays was the goal, it wasn't crucial. Still, Velazquez has been solid this season so a sweep was entirely in the realm of possibility as long as the bats did what they've been doing thus far in the serie
Earlier in the season, the Rays had played the Red Sox very tough and shown that they were not an easy team to face despite their record. As the season has gone on, however, the Red Sox have beaten up on them more and more to the point that it basically feels like an automatic win every time they play them. (I realize a large reason for this is the number of good players Tampa has traded in the last year). In this second game of the series Boston had David Price going up against the team he made his major league debut with. Given how well he's been pitching lately, it looked like it should be another win the Sox should easily cruise to.
Even though the Red Sox had Thursday off, we still got to see Mookie Betts up close and personal. That’s because my son and oldest daughter attended his baseball clinic and got to meet Mookie, take a photo with him, and work on baseball drills with him. They had a blast and I think I had as much fun watching them for the entire afternoon as they did playing. Mookie seemed like a genuinely nice guy and the fact that he had his parents there hanging out with him the whole day said a lot to me about what type of person he is. At least I know how he spent his day off, right? On Friday, the Sox got back down to business at home when they started a new series against Tampa Bay. The Rays had just taken two of three from the Yankees and helped us add a half game to the division lead so now it was Boston’s turn against this pesky team.
The Pawtucket Red Sox announced yesterday that the team will be moving to Worcester, Massachusetts for the 2021 baseball season. I don’t know much about the political process which brought the AAA affiliate of the BoSox to “The Heart of The Commonwealth,” but for me, this is kind of crappy news. Growing up and residing in Southeastern Massachusetts, Pawtucket was actually a closer jaunt to see some professional ball than driving up 93 North to Boston.
Sidenote...Is there ever NOT traffic in Quincy? It could be 3 AM on a Saturday morning and Quincy’s like “Nope, still traffic.” What the hell man? I need one of these:
Top performers from the Patriots 37-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in week 2 of the preseason: