The White Sox were just the tonic the Red Sox needed to start a new month. Boston lost a tough one late in the series opener Thursday, but bounced back with three solid wins Friday to Sunday. Red Sox Nation enjoyed four straight 6.0 IP outings from starters David Price, Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodríguez and Rick Porcello for a combined 2.25 ERA.
On Saturday, after Boston’s first eight batters were retired in order, the Sox exploded for 15 unanswered runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings for a 15-2 pounding of their hosts. Especially notable in the third frame were 10 consecutive plate appearances and nine runs scored, all coming with two outs. According to STATS, only two other teams since 1974 (the 2010 Rockies and 1992 Blue Jays) have recorded a hit in 10 consecutive PA in an inning.
Newcomer Michael Chavis was 4-for-6 in Saturday’s game with two home runs, a double, three RBI and three runs scored. His six home runs are the most through a player’s first 14 games in Sox history (also Sam Horn, 1987).
In Sunday’s finale Boston broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning with seven runs, including a fifth career grand slam for Xander Bogaerts. Since his debut in 2013, no Red Sox player has had more slams than Bogaerts (5). The big home run gives the Red Sox 34 grand slams since Bogaerts arrived on the scene, more than any major league club in that time. The Reds are next on that list with 33 grannies.
Now, a few other notes of interest to Red Sox Nation:
- Despite a rough start to their campaign the Sox have averaged 33,700 fans at their 15 chilly Fenway games this season. Last year’s full season home average was 35,747, which of course, includes the well-attended summer months. Not everyone, of course, has such a loyal fan base. USA Today reports that 12 of 30 major league teams drew fewer fans in March-April 2019 than they did in a similar period last year. The Giants have had it particularly rough, as have the Reds and Rays. Across baseball the average team’s March-April crowd was virtually flat: 26,560 compared to 26,859, a drop of less than 1% vs 2018.
- Hard to believe former Sox closer and likely Hall of Famer Craig Kimbrel still isn’t in uniform somewhere. Ken Rosenthal in The Athletic notes that Kimbrel isn’t interested in a one-year deal, either. Rosenthal thinks it could be July, after the amateur draft, before Kimbrel is working somewhere. Last month MLB.com noted that the Cubs, Dodgers, Braves and Brewers could use the seven-time All-Star most.
- Another 2018 World Champion not on the Red Sox roster is reliever Joe Kelly, who can’t be enjoying his time so far with the Dodgers. Kelly has allowed at least one run in five of six games, altogether allowing 10 runs on 15 hits in 7.1 innings. CBS Sports’ R.J. Anderson says the problem isn’t so much with Kelly but with the way the Dodgers are trying to change him.
- After three seasons with the Sox (where he was 22-17 with a 4.24 ERA), Drew Pomeranz is six starts into his year with San Francisco (1-3 with a 4.08 ERA). So far Pomeranz has struggled to go long, averaging just under five innings of work per appearance, the shortest average outing of the club’s starters. Big Smooth signed a one-year deal with the Giants this past off-season said to be worth $1.5 million.
- Nice catching up with former Red Sox coach Brian Butterfield, now coaching with the Cubs. The Maine native says he was pulling hard for the Red Sox in the 2018 World Series. “Absolutely, absolutely. I love those guys,” Butterfield told Masslive.com. In the article he also talks a little about his big love for the Patriots and his sadness at the news of Globe reporter Nick Cafardo’s untimely passing this spring.
- Former Red Sox world champion Jake Peavy hung up his cleats this week. The 15-year major league veteran who came to Boston at the 2013 trade deadline, pitched with a lot of heart for the future champs, making starts in three postseason rounds. The Sox traded Peavy a year later to the Giants in the deal that brought Heath Hembree to Boston.