Last weekend’s four-game sweep of the down-on-their-luck White Sox was great, and all, but then the Red Sox also quickly dispatched the pesky Rays. The two-game mini-sweep this week gave Boston its eighth straight win, the longest active win streak in the Majors and the longest for Boston since winning 11 straight last September.
The Rays helped out with two errors in Wednesday’s 8-2 Red Sox victory. Boston pitchers, meanwhile, limited Tampa Bay to just two runs and six hits over the two-game set.
The slumping Rays have scored two or fewer runs now in five consecutive games, their longest such streak in a single season since May-June, 2014.
The Red Sox continue to get the job done without the benefit of a home run. Wednesday’s was Boston’s 20th homerless win of the season, the most such games in the majors.
Now a few notes of interest to Red Sox fans:
- Major League Baseball suspended the dean of umpires, Joe West, for three games because of comments he made about Rangers third baseman and one-time Red Sox Adrián Beltré. As recounted on these pages recently, West offered up some amusing anecdotes in a USA Today article commemorating his 500th games as a Major League official. Count Beltré among those who found West’s comment amusing. The Commissioner’s Office, however, was, as they say, not amused. Once again, MLB overreacted.
- Chris Sale is unquestionably the best pitcher fans have seen in a Red Sox uniform in some time, but is he Pedro great? Michael Salfino argues that Sale is not as good as The Great Martinez. Strikeout rates have been on the rise every year and so, Salfino says, a fairer view isn’t how many SO you tally, but how much better you’re doing when compared to the league-wide strikeout rate. In that regard, Pedro Martinez remains an undisputed champ.
- Sports Illustrated analyzed health department records for nearly all the MLB venues and found the Mariners’ Safeco Field the leader for safe food. Fenway Park did well, coming in at No. 2 on the list. Of the 28 ballparks reviewed, Yankee Stadium checked in at a dismal No. 21 (citing infestations of flies and improper vermin-proofing), but the staggering overall loser was the Rays’ Tropicana Field, which is a shame, given that it’s otherwise such a nice place to take in a game (yes, that’s sarcasm). Violations included observations of live insects and incidents of black mold. A club press release promised “even greater oversight of the nightly concessions operations.”
- Longtime Sox player and broadcaster Jerry Remy, recovering from cancer surgery in June, announced that he is now facing chemotherapy treatments. Remy had hoped to return to NESN this season, but WBZ reports that he will not be back in 2017. This is the fifth cancer relapse for Remy.