Red Sox Recap: A Blue Jays Interview And A Boston Win, 11-4


For the first game of the current series against the Toronto Blue Jays, we here at BoSox Injection felt that we would give our brother site, Jays Journal a chance to speak to our Boston Red Sox fans. I spoke with their senior editor Shaun Doyle, whom you can follow on Twitter @JaysFromCouch, and he was gracious enough to reveal some of his thoughts on the Jays:

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Q: Describe the love affair that the Canadian fans have for Josh Donaldson right now. What is his biggest draw for them?

A: “Right now, Blue Jays fans are in love with the Bringer of Rain. He brings a style of play that has been missing around these parts. He hustles and goes all out on both sides of the ball. His dive into the stands in Tampa Bay, tagging up on a pop up to 2B and scoring, stretching singles into doubles all capture the attention of fans all over. Canadians love the hard work mentality. And, he’s arguably the AL MVP, so there’s that.”

Q: Besides Donaldson, who will the Red Sox fans likely see having great success at the plate for the Blue Jays? Does Fenway or the Red Sox pitchers have any effect on those players?

A: “We all know how much Jose Bautista loves hitting at Fenway Park. That Green Monster is so inviting for him. The same can be said for the AL Player of the Month for August, Edwin Encarnacion. I’m interested in seeing Troy Tulowitzki against the Monster. But, one guy who might just surprise is Ryan Goins. He’s on fire lately and is a lefty who could make use of the right field fence.”

Q: If any, which one of the games seems to look like the closest matchup? Why that one in particular?

A: “Honestly, they all could be pretty close. The Red Sox will miss out on David Price. Mark Buehrle has been talked about lately for feeling the grind of a season. He may miss out on his 16th consecutive year of 200 innings. He’ll start Monday with an extra day’s rest.

[R.A.]Dickey is having a great second half of the season. Drew Hutchison is starting on the road, where he’s been terrible. So, the Red Sox could be getting the best scenario for them during this series. As a Blue Jay fan, I’m looking at Joe Kelly to see how he does. I’m intrigued by what he brings to the table.”

Q: Who is someone on the Jays roster, pitcher or hitter, whom Red Sox fans likely don’t know much about and yet should (and possibly will in this series)?

A: “Again, look to Ryan Goins to surprise. Red Sox fans, if they remember him at all, will remember him as the light hitting infielder. But, lately, he’s on a rampage. He’s made some adjustments in his swing and it is paying off. Any pitcher that faces this club can get preoccupied with the big bats in this lineup, but the bottom of the order, including Goins, will hurt them if they are not careful. He’s playing Gold Glove caliber defense at 2B too.”

Q: After having a better sample size of Tulo, how has he fared with the Blue Jays? How does he compare as a Jay to Jose Reyes? How does Tulo stack up to Xander Bogaerts?

A: “Tulowitzki is arguably the best shortstop in baseball.  Jose Reyes is not. The Blue Jays upgraded with this deal. Now, he’s struggled since joining the club. That might have something to do with batting lead off. The logic there was to get him as many at bats as possible. But, the approach of a leadoff hitter is much different and it altered Tulo’s thinking. So, they moved him out of that spot to try to get him going. He homered on Sunday, so maybe he’s starting to come around.

Defensively, he has solidified the infield with his top-shelf play. That was something that was missing with Reyes. Bogaerts is a fine infielder and one that would be welcome on any club. But, Tulo is Tulo. HE’s what Bogaerts might one day be.”

This interview happened this morning, prior to today’s game in Fenway Park. BoSox Injection would like to thank Mr. Doyle for his thoughts. Now, let’s see how some of them panned out. The game seemed to follow the course that Doyle had anticipated. Buehrle looked to be feeling the grind of the season, as he felt the grind of the Red Sox bats, today.

Sep 7, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After Donaldson took Buehrle’s counterpart, Rick Porcello, over the Monster for a solo home run in the top of the first inning, Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo hit a sacrifice fly that scored David Ortiz in the bottom of the second inning.

In the bottom of the third inning, Bogaerts hit a hot-shot to Tulo for a groundout. However, the play did score Jackie Bradley Jr. from third base. Ortiz followed that up with his 30th double of the season, which cashed in Mookie Betts.

It was more of the same in the bottom half of the fourth frame. Bradley singled to right field, scoring Castillo to make the lead 4-1. That hit knocked Buehrle out of the game, with Aaron Loup coming in as relief.

It was followed up by an odd play, where a deflection off of Donaldson’s glove made it harder for Tulowitzki to make the play and allowed Betts to single home Brock Holt. In all, Buehrle allowed five earned runs on nine hits in only 3.1 innings.

Jays first baseman Justin Smoak got one back, in the top of the fifth inning, with his big lefty bat hitting a solo home run off of Porcello over the right field fence. For a player who doesn’t often play, that was Smoak’s 14th home run of the season.

The Red Sox came right back, though. Bradley drilled a home run of his own, off of Ryan Tepera, that also scored Blake Swihart, making the score 7-2. Bogaerts continued the assault, this time off of Liam Hendricks, by doubling to center and scoring Betts to extend the lead.

A Bautista single to score Ben Revere and Donaldson was sandwiched between a Bradley ground-ruled double that scored Castillo in the bottom of the seventh and a home run by Red Sox first baseman Travis Shaw that scored Deven Marrero in the bottom of the eighth. The homer was off of Jeff Francis, the fifth Blue Jays pitcher of the game. The score ended, finally, at 11-4.

Sep 7, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello (22) walks to the dugout after being relieved during the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Game Notes:

  • Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval was hit by a pitch by Loup in the fourth inning. Sandoval and Betts ended up being the only two batters Loup faced before getting the hook, quickly.
  • The Red Sox went 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position, leaving seven men on base. The Blue Jays went 1-for-2 while stranding three on base.
  • Marrero’s appearance was to pinch-run for Ortiz.
  • Bogaerts went 1-for-5 with two RBIs. Tulowitzki went 0-for-4.
  • Betts went 3-for-5 with an RBI and scored twice. Ortiz went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored, a walk, and a strikeout. Both Shaw and Castillo also had two hits, with Shaw earning two RBIs and a run scored and the reverse for the Cuban prospect-turned-left-fielder, as Hanley Ramirez was put on the disabled list.


B+. . Rick Porcello. . STARTING PITCHING

At the midway point of the season, would you have expected, honestly, to have seen Porcello getting any grade higher than a D-? Today, Porcello allowed just four hits and two walks for three earned runs in 7.1 innings of work. He struck out four opposing bats, but two Blue Jays homers stopped him from receiving a full A for the effort. Porcello earned his seventh win of the season and, although his ERA is currently at 5.12 for the year, his record stands at 3-3 with a 2.98 ERA in his last seven starts. He’s combined for only four runs in his last three games, looking ever more like Porcello could be turning a corner to justifying his huge contract extension in the spring.

A-. . Alexi Ogando. . RELIEF PITCHING

Ogando was as close to perfect as it gets in the relief sense. His one inning of work resulted in a strikeout and no further damage to the scoreboard, other than what

Noe Ramirez

did in only 0.2 innings. As soon as Ramirez was brought into the game for Porcello, Swihart allowed a passed ball on his pitch that moved the Blue Jays runners into scoring position, which Bautista took advantage of in the eighth. He may have inherited the runners, but Ramirez allowed the hit that brought two runners in to score.

OFFENSE . A. . Jackie Bradley Jr..

This was Bradley’s day. He went 4-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored to bring his batting average to .312. Remember when we thought the man couldn’t use his bat for more than picking his teeth after a meal? Now, Bradley is a threat at the bottom of the lineup, either driving people home or being cashed in, himself. The combination of Betts, Bradley, and Castillo in the outfield looks so dangerous, at the plate as well as on defense. And, they are so young that they have a long time to go for Red Sox Nation to enjoy their services. The Blue Jays may have ‘Mount Crushmore’, but the ‘Beantown Babes’ with Big Papi alongside to guide them look to be a powerhouse of their own.

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