Shipping Up To Boston - MLB 19 The Show Boston Red Sox Franchise

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Old 04-16-2019, 07:15 PM   #1
TheJoker12's Arena
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Shipping Up To Boston - MLB 19 The Show Boston Red Sox Franchise

Hi there! I haven't done a franchise in quite a while but really wanted to start one with The Show this year and thought this may be a way to keep me interested through all 162 games (and maybe more)!

I'll be using the Red Sox and Ridin's Full Minors Roster set. Likely use Armor and Sword's sliders to start with some modifications since I haven't played the game in quite a few years.

Instead of giving game-by-game updates (which I think can get quite tedious for a whole 162 game season), I'm going to be approaching this from the angle of a beat reporter providing weekly updates (like you might find on The Athletic). Hopefully this keeps it interesting - it does mean it will likely focus more on storylines than game-by-game box scores.

Going to try to get started this weekend!
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:01 PM   #2
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Re: Shipping Up To Boston - MLB 19 The Show Boston Red Sox Franchise

Red Sox Reset: World Series Hangover?

The 2018 Boston Red Sox were a remarkable team. After back-to-back losses in the ALDS in 2016 and 2017, the 2018 Sox jumped out to a 21-7 record by the end of April and never looked back - finishing with a franchise record 108 wins and a 9th World Series title.

But that was 2018.

The days of the lovable losers, the team that would somehow snatch defeat from the jaws of victory are long gone. Championship wins in 2004, 2007, 2013, and 2018 render that narrative moot. One thing they haven't done, however? Repeat.

In fact, following their wins in '04, '07, and '13, the Red Sox failed to win the AL East and in 2014 finished in last place with a pitiful 71-91 record. Of course, that team began the year with an outfield of Grady Sizemore, Daniel Nava, and Mike Carp - a far cry from the Killer Bs (Benintendi, Bradley, and Betts) the team will throw out this year. This team also returns the rest of the lineup and a dominant pitching staff - led by newly extended ace Chris Sale.

In Titletown, the City of Champions, the land of "They Hate Us Cause They Ain't Us", anything other than a 10th World Series will be viewed as a failure.

With that said, here are 3 players to watch and 3 key questions about the 2019 Boston Red Sox as we get ready for Opening Day.

Three Players to Watch

1. Chris Sale
The man got paid - but was it the right move? Having recently signed a five-year, $145 million extension, Sale will once again assume the role of the staff ace. There are causes for concern, however. Sale battled shoulder inflammation for the majority of the second half of last season, and he was limited to just 17 innings in August and September. He finished the year with an impressive 237 strikeouts in just 158 innings and a WAR of 6.8, but questions around his health will follow him all season.

2. Dustin Pedroia
Once considered the heart and soul of the team, a knee injury limited Pedy to just 11 at-bats in 2018. While his Gold Glove days are likely long gone, and Alex Cora will have to look to manage his inning load, a healthy Pedroia could be a big boost to an already potent lineup. As recently as 2017 he hit .293 with 62 RBI, and a Pedroia/Holt platoon could be a big boost to the 2019 team.

3. Matt Barnes/Ryan Brasier
Cheating here with a 2-for-1, but the question remains - who will close? Craig Kimbrel saved 42 games for the Sox in 2018 (and 108 for them during his three year stint), but a messy postseason and a high-asking price saw the team fail to even make the former Rookie of the Year an offer. This leaves either Matt Barnes or Ryan Brasier for the 9th - although Cora has said he will likely use both. Brasier impressed last year after coming over from Japan, finishing with a solid 4.14 K/BB ratio. Barnes struggles with control issues from time to time (31 walks in 61 innings last year), but offers far more strikeout potential - look for Cora to use Barnes in high leverage situations and save Brasier to start the 9th if needed.

Three Questions

1. Will there be a World Series hangover?
The team and Cora have said all the right things in the offseason - but the fact remains that no one has been able to repeat as World Series champions since the Yankees in the late 90s. Add in that the team will start with a brutal West Coast road trip - 11 games in 11 days - it wouldn't be surprising to see the team start out slowly. Unfortunately, the AL East features a great Yankees squad and a dangerous Rays team, which means falling behind early could mean your season is over before you even knew it started.

2. Can they improve the farm system?
You would think a team that can throw around hundreds of millions of dollars and returns nearly everyone from a World Series winning lineup and rotation might not be concerned with the farm system - but the Sox should be. Boston only has 1 prospect crack the Top 100 list (the lowest since 2011), and that's Michael Chavis - he of the PED suspension fame. A 29th ranked farm system means there won't be many options to replace injured players or make a big trade at any point this season.

3. How good (and how much) is Mookie Betts?
A massive 2018 season which earned him his first MVP trophy has launched Betts into the "Best Player in the Game" discussion. Betts does it all - he plays great defense, hits for power and average, steals bases, and walks nearly as much as he strikes out. One area he doesn't plan on striking out, however? His wallet. Recent reports indicated that Betts turned down a $200M+ extension, and the price is only likely to go up from there. Will the Red Sox be able to reach an extension before Betts hits free agency following 2020? Would the Red Sox even think about trading him if it becomes clear he wants to test the market? These are uncomfortable questions, and ones that don't need answers...yet.

Last edited by TheJoker12; 04-17-2019 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 04-18-2019, 07:13 PM   #3
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Re: Shipping Up To Boston - MLB 19 The Show Boston Red Sox Franchise

2019 Boston Red Sox Roster

Boston Red Sox Depth Chart - 2019
  • Catcher
  • Christian Vazquez
  • Blake Swihart
  • First Base
  • Mitch Moreland
  • Steve Pearce
  • Second Base
  • Dustin Pedroia
  • Brock Holt
  • Third Base
  • Rafael Devers
  • Eduardo Nunez
  • Shortstop
  • Xander Bogaerts
  • Left Field
  • Andrew Benintendi
  • Center Field
  • Jackie Bradley Jr.
  • Right Field
  • Mookie Betts
  • Starting Pitcher
  • Chris Sale
  • Nathan Eovaldi
  • David Price
  • Rick Porcello
  • Eduardo Rodriguez
  • Relief Pitcher
  • Ryan Brasier
  • Tyler Thornburg
  • Brian Johnson
  • Heath Hembree
  • Carson Smith
  • Hector Velazquez
  • Closer
  • Matt Barnes
  • Designated Hitter
  • J.D. Martinez

A Few Leftover Roster Thoughts...
- The first thing that jumps out is the team's decision to keep 12 pitchers. Hector Velazquez performed admirably as a spot starter last year, and according to Alex Cora will likely get at least one start on this first road trip as the Sox look to ease their starters back into the season.

- Brian Johnson is the only lefty in the bullpen. Johnson was effective against left-handed hitters last season, limiting them to a .218 average and .376 slugging. Another big factor is the lack of left-handed power hitters in the American League, and the fact that the Sox will keep three left-handed starters in the rotation.

- Dustin Pedroia will start the first game at second base and likely bat 7th in the lineup, but look for him to take on a 50/50 split with Brock Holt in the early going to help him ease back into the daily grind of the baseball regular season.

- One thing to keep an eye on - the lack of Sandy Leon. The Red Sox elected to keep Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart over the veteran catcher, who will report to Pawtucket. Leon has almost always caught Chris Sale during his two seasons in Boston, so if Sale struggles early it wouldn't be a surprise to see him join the club again sooner rather than later.

- According to Alex Cora, the third base and first base positions will operate as a platoon in the early going. Mitch Moreland and Rafael Devers will get the call against right-handed pitchers while Steve Pearce and Eduardo Nunez will jump in against southpaws. Look for Cora to stick to this routine until someone earns more playing time, potentially Devers.
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Old 04-18-2019, 10:56 PM   #4
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Re: Shipping Up To Boston - MLB 19 The Show Boston Red Sox Franchise

Red Sox Reset: Sox pick up where they left off, but is trouble looming?

A huge part of Boston's success last season can be attributed to their fast start. The 2018 Sox jumped out to a quick 9-1 start and things just seemed to roll from there. The 2019 team are looking to repeat this feat, and are off to a great start after taking 3 of 4 from the Seattle Mariners in the opening week of the season.

But trouble looms.

We've already looked at how the Sox will play 11 road games in 11 days, and as a result kept an extra starting pitcher on the 25-man roster. Back to back five inning starts by Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi followed by two extra-inning games have not alleviated any stress on the pitching staff, with the bullpen having already thrown 16 2/3 innings in just four games. Matt Barnes, Tyler Thornburg, Heath Hembree, and Brian Johnson have all pitched in at least three games so far, and Carson Smith threw three scoreless innings in relief on Saturday night.

With a tough four game road trip coming up against Oakland followed by three more in Arizona, the Red Sox may have to turn to Pawtucket for some relief help much sooner than they expected.

The week in review
Boston Red Sox at Seattle Mariners
Mar 28, 2019123456789RHE
Boston (0-0)1100000406140
Seattle (2-0)000100030460
W: Sale (1-0) L: Leake (0-1) S: Barnes (1)

Boston Red Sox at Seattle Mariners
Mar 29, 2019123456789RHE
Boston (1-0)000002000260
Seattle (2-1)000000000030
W: Eovaldi (1-0) L: Hernandez (0-1) S: Barnes (2)

Red Sox at Mariners |
Mar 30, 2019123456789ExtrasRHE
Boston (2-0)30210000000017150
Seattle (2-2)10200003000006151
W: Hembree (1-0) L: Gearrin (1-1) S: Barnes (3)

Red Sox at Mariners |
Mar 31, 2019123456789ExtrasRHE
Boston (3-0)000000000000130
Seattle (2-3)00000000001180
W: Altavilla (1-0) L: Johnson (0-1)

Three ups
1. Chris Sale: Kept on a pitch count of 80, Sale was downright nasty in his 5 1/3 innings against Seattle on opening day, striking out 8 and allowing just 2 hits. More importantly? He hit 97-99 on the gun consistently.

2. Matt Barnes: Craig who? Barnes is three for three in save opportunities this season, and has been literally unhittable - the only baserunner he's allowed to this point came via a one out walk Saturday night.

3. Rick Porcello: The Red Sox bullpen was drained coming into Sunday and the team needed a great start from Porcello - which is exactly what they got. Porcello's pinpoint control was on full display as he scattered 6 hits over 8 innings of scoreless ball. While the offense stalled and the team couldn't close out the series sweep, Porcello may have just saved the pitching staff for the upcoming series against Oakland.

Honourable Mention: Andrew Benintendi had a game to remember Saturday night, going 4 for 7 with a home run, three RBI, two stolen bases, and the game winning run. Benintendi looks right at home in the leadoff position.

Three downs
1. Mookie Betts: This was a series to forget for Betts. Forget the ugly 1-17 start with no extra bases - Betts came up five times during Sunday's game with men on base, and failed to drive any of them in, finishing the day a brutal 0-5 with 8 (!) LOB. The reigning MVP will look to get on track in Oakland this week.

2. Christian Vazquez: This is a bit harsh, considering Vazquez is hitting .333 and had the game-winning two RBI triple (!) in Friday night's 2-0 win. This is more to do with his defense - the Mariners went a shocking 5-5 stealing bases in Saturday's game, and he never seemed to be on the same page with David Price who laboured through 6 innings.

3. Umpires in Seattle: Alex Cora was quick to deescalate any hostility between the two teams following Thursday's opener that saw Mariners' pitchers plunk both Xander Bogaerts and Christian Vazquez (and brush several other Sox batters off the plate). When a fastball got away from Felix Hernandez in the top of the first on Friday and nearly took Mookie Betts' head off, however, things had gone to far - Nathan Eovaldi immediately hit Mitch Haniger in the back the following inning, and both teams were warned. The fact that the Mariners got away with multiple high and tight pitches is the fault of the umpires, however, who failed to control the situation from the start.

Honourable Mention: J.D. Martinez left Friday's game with a leg bruise following a hard slide into second. While it doesn't appear to be anything serious, he was kept out of the following two games as a precaution. His status remains up in the air for tonight's game against Oakland.

Just wondering...
1. Is Nathan Eovaldi already a Boston legend? In Game 3 of the World Series, Eovaldi's 97 pitches set the record for the most in a World Series game by a reliever. It also made him a hero around Boston, especially after he said he was ready to go to start Game 4 if needed. Add in this recent dust up with the Mariners (to go along with his 5 scoreless innings), and Eovaldi is quickly becoming one of the most popular players on the team among the Fenway faithful.

2. Where is the extra base power? The Red Sox belted out 48 hits over their four game series against the Mariners, including 14 on opening day and 15 on Saturday. Only 12 of these were of the extra base variety, however, while the other 36 were singles - which helps explain why they were only able to score 15 runs. Look for the Sox hitters to focus on driving the ball into the gaps (and the seats) in the upcoming series against the As.

3. Can 2019 Felix Hernandez last? Credit to the former Cy Young winner who has struggled in recent years due to a loss in velocity and stuff. Hernandez threw a remarkable 66 off-speed pitches in his 5 1/3 innings against the Sox (compared to 35 sinkers and just 2 (!) fastballs). He was able to limit the Sox to just 5 hits and struck out 8 batters - a solid effort overall, and it will be interesting to see if this new version of King Felix will be able to be effective this way.

Last edited by TheJoker12; 04-18-2019 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 04-19-2019, 02:20 PM   #5
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Re: Shipping Up To Boston - MLB 19 The Show Boston Red Sox Franchise

Red Sox Reset: Sox pitching staff to thank for winning road trip

You couldn't have been given a tougher start as a reigning World Series winner. The Red Sox will finally return to Fenway tomorrow for their home opener and ring ceremony after playing 11 straight games on the road - all on the West Coast, and all without a single day off. Thanks to an outstanding effort by all members of the pitching staff, the Sox will return home with an impressive 7-4 record.

Let's crunch a few numbers. The Sox currently rank 1st in the majors in ERA (2.45), 4th in runs allowed (30), and 1st in strikeouts (105). Their six starters (including Hector Velazquez who provided a spot start in Oakland) are a combined 6-2 and have struck out 68 batters in as many innings. In the seven games against Oakland and Arizona, Boston did not give up more than four runs in any game. Despite a minor blip on Sunday, the bullpen has been equally as strong, led by Matt Barnes' six saves in six attempts and Tyler Thornburg's 11 strikeouts in just seven innings.

Amazingly, despite the strong effort from the rotation and the bullpen, the team only went 4-3 this past week because of a wildly inconsistent offense. In four games against Oakland, Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and J.D. Martinez went a combined 3-37 with one run scored and one RBI to go with ZERO extra base hits and 14 strikeouts. Thanks to some clutch hitting by players in the bottom of the order (Dustin Pedroia drove in four runs and had two game-winning RBI in the four game series against the As alone) the team was able to squeeze out several wins.

There's no denying, however, that the offense will need to improve - and in a hurry - if the team wants to compete for the AL East division title.

The week in review
Boston Red Sox at Oakland Athletics
Apr 1, 2019123456789RHE
Boston (3-1)022000000490
Oakland (1-5)000200000240
W: Rodriguez (1-0) L: Triggs (0-1) S: Barnes (4)

Boston Red Sox at Oakland Athletics
Apr 2, 2019123456789RHE
Boston (4-1)000000110280
Oakland (1-6)000003000370
W: Mengden (1-0) L: Velazquez (0-1) S: Treinen (1)

Boston Red Sox at Oakland Athletics
Apr 3, 2019123456789RHE
Boston (4-2)002101000490
Oakland (2-6)001020000361
W: Sale (2-0) L: Manaea (0-1) S: Barnes (5)

Red Sox at Athletics |
Apr 4, 2019123456789ExtrasRHE
Boston (5-2)00000000101101
Oakland (2-7)0010000001260
W: Rodney (1-1) L: Brasier (0-1)

Boston Red Sox at Arizona Diamondbacks
Apr 5, 2019123456789RHE
Boston (5-3)3000200005120
Arizona (5-2)000000300361
W: Price (1-0) L: Godley (0-1) S: Barnes (6)

Boston Red Sox at Arizona Diamondbacks
Apr 6, 2019123456789RHE
Boston (6-3)0140030109173
Arizona (5-3)000010100280
W: Porcello (1-0) L: Walker (0-2)

Boston Red Sox at Arizona Diamondbacks
Apr 7, 2019123456789RHE
Boston (7-3)100010000251
Arizona (5-4)000003100491
W: Holland (1-0) L: Rodriguez (1-1) S: Hirano (1)

Three ups
1. J.D Martinez vs Arizona: Martinez was a mess against the Oakland Athletics, but to be fair he was returning from injury. He quickly found his stroke against the Diamondbacks and at Chase Field - a place he loves to hit. Back in 2017, Martinez put up a ridiculous 1.339 OPS and 16 home runs at Chase Field as a member of the D-Backs, and he crushed them over the weekend, going 5-14 while driving in eight runs and scoring four himself.

2. Xander Bogaerts/Rafael Devers: Manning the left side of the defense for the Bosox, the Devers/Bogaerts combo have been as good in the field as they have at the plate. On Sunday they helped turn three double plays to keep the Sox in the game as Eduardo Rodriguez laboured through five innings. The pair are also tearing it up at the plate with a combined batting average of .375, two home runs and 8 RBI. Bogaerts did have to leave the game with a lat strain, although he isn't expected to miss much time.

3. Pitching Staff: You could put Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Matt Barnes, or Rick Porcello here and it would be completely deserved. Heck, Porcello even chipped in with two hits and a run scored in his start against Arizona on Saturday. The pitching staff has been downright filthy to this point and is the main reason why the team finished a tough road trip with a winning record.

Three downs
1. Mookie Betts: Betts retains the top spot for the second straight week. There's no other way to put it - he's been awful. Betts has ZERO extra base hits so far this season, and is hitting a pitiful .108 while striking out 11 times in just 37 at-bats. The team desperately needs him to find his stroke and soon - hopefully a little time at home will be just what the doctor ordered to get him out of a brutal slump.

2. Base Running: With the offense struggling to score runs and hit for extra bases, Alex Cora and third base coach Carlos Febles have decided to push the pace on the bases to help generate some offense. The results have not been great - the team lost 7 runners on the bases in their series against Oakland, including two at home in Thursday's 2-1 loss. They were a bit better against Arizona, but still had two runners thrown out attempting to steal second.

3. Extra Base Power: Getting to first base hasn't been a problem for Red Sox hitters this season - in fact, the team is 3rd in the MLB with an impressive .286 batting average. It's when you look a bit deeper that you see the underlying problems. The team ranks 17th in slugging percentage (.410), 19th in home runs (10), and 11th in runs scored (42). They are also striking out a ton (100 times - good for 28th in the league) and have already hit into 10 double plays, good for 29th in the majors. While 10 different players have gone yard, not a single hitter has hit more than one home run so far this season.

Honourable Mention: Schedule makers. 11 straight road games without a single day off? Sure, the schedule is made long before the previous season ends, but it seems a bit ridiculous to be nearly two weeks into the season before the Red Sox can celebrate their 2018 World Series victory in front of their home fans. Look for a big party on Tuesday as fans celebrate the 2018 squad.

Just wondering...
1. Is it time to tinker with the lineup? Mookie Betts was a big supporter of the change from leadoff to second, and it made sense - give your best hitter more chances to drive in runs. But at what point do you move him back into the position he's comfortable in? How long will Cora watch his best player flail away before trying to change things up? Add in the fact that he's currently being protected by either Mitch Moreland or Steve Pearce - not exactly Hall of Famers - and you wonder if the manager is doing enough to help his star out.

2. Kudos to Hector Velazquez The right hander was the victim of a hard luck loss against the Athletics last Tuesday, but his start gave the rotation an extra day's rest and you could see the results immediately as Sale, Eovaldi, and Price all dominated en route to three straight victories. Velazquez won't get the recognition, but his start was a huge factor in the success of the pitching staff on this road trip.

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Old 04-19-2019, 03:43 PM   #6
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Re: Shipping Up To Boston - MLB 19 The Show Boston Red Sox Franchise

Red Sox Reset: Opening Day Special

We come to you with a special edition of Red Sox Reset - Opening Day. Throughout the year we'll occasionally jump into a particular game in more detail based on its significance, and it's hard to top the day where the Sox celebrate their 2018 World Series win.

But enough about last year.

If you've been following this team at all so far this season, Tuesday's home opener would look pretty similar - Chris Sale absolutely dominated the hapless Blue Jays lineup, but the Red Sox hitters couldn't get anything going, grounding into two double plays in the first four innings and failing to get a base runner to third base.

The bats came alive in the 6th when Mookie Betts finally hit an extra base hit and was quickly driven in by World Series hero Steve Pearce (more on him later). Martinez doubled in Pearce the following at bat, while Jackie Bradley Jr. would add a solo shot the next inning.

The 3-0 lead was more than enough for the Red Sox pitching staff as Sale, Tyler Thornburg, Brian Johnson, and Matt Barnes kept the Blue Jays from scoring a single run.

Opening day in review

Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
Apr 9, 2019123456789RHE
Toronto (4-7)000000000050
Boston (7-4)00000210x3120
W: Sale (3-0) L: Borucki (0-2) S: Barnes (7)
Scoring Summary
BOS6thPearce singles to left, Betts scores01
BOS6thMartinez doubles to center, Pearce scores02
BOS7thBradley Jr. homered to center03
Toronto Blue Jays
Davis, CF3000110.267
Galvis, SS4010010.214
Smoak, 1B4000010.333
Grichuk, RF3010120.194
Drury, 3B4010030.175
Travis, 2B1000110.219
Hernandez, LF4010020.237
Gurriel Jr., DH4000000.182
Maile, C3010000.273
TEAM TOTALS300503110
3B: Grichuk (2)
HBP: Travis 2
GIDP: Gurriel Jr., Davis
SB: Davis (3)
Boston Red Sox
Benintendi, LF4010010.288
Betts, RF4120000.146
Pearce, 1B4111000.281
Martinez, DH4021020.306
Devers, 3B4010010.333
Pedroia, 2B4030000.437
Vazquez, C3010100.194
Bradley Jr., CF3111011.400
Nunez, SS3000010.217
TEAM TOTALS333123161
2B: Betts (1), Martinez (4)
HR: Bradley Jr. (2)
RBI: Martinez (9), Bradley Jr. (4), Pearce (4)
GIDP: Devers, Bradley Jr.
Toronto Blue Jays
Borucki (L, 0-2)5.17221507.24
TEAM TOTALS8.01233161
Boston Red Sox
Sale (W, 3-0)64002902.08
Thornburg (H, 5)1.10000102.00
Johnson (H, 3)0.11000005.40
Barnes (S, 7)1.10001100.00
TEAM TOTALS9.05003110

Three up
1. Chris Sale: Any concerns over Chris Sale and his big contract extension should be put to rest. Sale was untouchable Tuesday afternoon, scattering four hits over six innings and striking out nine Blue Jays batters. More impressively, eight of those nine strikeouts came on fastballs, and Jays' batters went a combined 2-13 when swinging at the southpaw's four-seamer which consistently hit 98 on the gun.

2. Steve Pearce: Pearce came out of nowhere last year to become a World Series hero, and he's off to a good start in 2019. Pearce got the scoring started by driving in Mookie Betts in the 6th inning. More importantly, his diving play (see above) ended a Blue Jays rally and left Randall Grichuk stranded at third base.

3. Mookie Betts: Is Mookie back? Betts finished the day a solid 2-4 and his one-out double in the bottom of the 6th got the offense going. Betts also lined out in the bottom of the first but hit the ball 105mph, his hardest exit velocity of the season.

One down
1. The Blue Jays Management: This team should have been blown up two years ago. Instead, the Jays management hung on and failed to part with any of their assets. The result is what you see now - an awful, awful lineup. The team currently only has one batter hitting above .280 and looked hopeless at times against Sale and the rest of the Red Sox pitchers. Look for Nathan Eovaldi to feast on this lineup on Thursday night.

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Old 04-19-2019, 08:50 PM   #7
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Re: Shipping Up To Boston - MLB 19 The Show Boston Red Sox Franchise

Red Sox Reset: Pitching continues to dominate

After a dominant performance by Chris Sale against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday in the Red Sox home opener, the team suffered a bit of a blip on Thursday as Nathan Eovaldi struggled and the Jays were able to put up 8 runs (partially because of a back breaking error by Rafael Devers that led to 3 unearned runs).

The staff quickly righted the ship against Baltimore.

Despite the offense only managing to produce 14 hits and 9 runs in three games over the weekend, the Sox were able to win all three games, setting themselves up for a series sweep on Marathon Monday. Red Sox pitchers overpowered the O's hitters, surrendering just four runs.

Let's look at some key pitching stats and how the Red Sox rank compare to the rest of the league.

ERA - 2.19 (1st)
Shutouts - 3 (1st)
Saves - 10 (1st)
Hits allowed - 115 (3rd)
Runs allowed - 42 (1st)
Home runs allowed - 12 (3rd)
Walks allowed - 45 (4th)

In one word - dominant.

Early in the season, the pitching staff is giving the Sox a chance to win every single game, and the offense is doing just enough. If the offense gets rolling (and there were some signs of life at times this week) then this team will be unstoppable.

The week in review
Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
Apr 9, 2019123456789RHE
Toronto (4-7)000000000050
Boston (7-4)00000210x3120
W: Sale (3-0) L: Borucki (0-2) S: Barnes (7)

Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
Apr 11, 2019123456789RHE
Toronto (4-8)2200040008131
Boston (8-4)002100000381
W: Sanchez (1-1) L: Eovaldi (1-1)

Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
Apr 12, 2019123456789RHE
Baltimore (5-8)002000000270
Boston (8-5)02002000x450
W: Price (2-0) L: Cashner (1-2) S: Barnes (8)

Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
Apr 13, 2019123456789RHE
Baltimore (5-9)001100000260
Boston (9-5)01003000x450
W: Velazquez (1-1) L: Ramirez (0-2) S: Thornburg (1)

Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox
Apr 14, 2019123456789RHE
Baltimore (5-10)000000000061
Boston (10-5)01001000x141
W: Rodriguez (2-1) L: Bundy (2-1) S: Barnes (9)

Three up
1. Bullpen: The bullpen is simply outstanding. Once considered a huge question mark, especially with the losses of Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly, the 'pen has quickly become an area of strength. In 16 2/3 innings this past week, they allowed only one earned run and struck out 17 to just four walks. Hector Velazquez contributed 4 innings of 1 run ball in relief of Rick Porcello (who left early with a tight hamstring) to get the win Saturday night, while Tyler Thornburg chipped in with his first save of the season. And then there's Matt Barnes...

2. Matt Barnes: Barnes is quickly becoming one of the best closers in the game. Twice against Baltimore he came in during the 8th inning with two runners on and only one out, and both times he recorded five straight outs (six of which coming via the strikeout). He currently leads the league with 10 saves.

3. Mookie Betts: Sure, he had a rough 0-4 outing Sunday afternoon, but Mookie is starting to heat up. If you take out Sunday's game, he finished the week 5-13 with a home run, two doubles, four RBI and a stolen base. He's still hitting a paltry .167 on the season with an OPS of just .612, but it's a step in the right direction.

Three down
1. Hitting with RISP: Part of the problem plaguing the Red Sox offense right now is the lack of hitting with runners in scoring position. Betts, Mitch Moreland, Christian Vazquez, Dustin Pedroia, and Andrew Benintendi - all regulars in the starting lineup - are all hitting below .220 with runners on second or third. The team is actually 9th in the league with a .345 OBP - not outstanding, but not terrible. Another concerning stat - the Sox have hit into 16 double plays, the worst mark in the majors.

2. The bench: Several of the Red Sox starters are struggling, but there isn't much help coming from the bench. Brock Holt, Eduardo Nunez, and Steve Pearce are a combined 18-88 (.204) with just two home runs and five RBI (four of which coming from Pearce). The Sox have too many players who aren't pulling their weight at the moment.

3. Mitch Moreland: Moreland currently has 20 more at-bats than Pearce, but this may change very soon. He had an absolutely brutal week, going 1-9 with seven strike outs. Add in his .111 average with RISP and the fact that he's consistently hitting third in the lineup, and something needs to change sooner rather than later.

Just wondering...
1. It MUST be time to tinker with the lineup... We looked at this last week, but after three games that saw the Sox put up only 14 hits and 9 runs, it's time for Alex Cora to make a move. Mitch Moreland is a disaster hitting third at the moment. With Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts both sporting over .400 averages with RISP, it's time to look at moving one, if not both, up in the order.

2. How long will Christian Vazquez hold the starting catching position? Vazquez has flashed potential throughout his career, and was handed the starting position out of Spring Training, but he's not off to a great start. Vazquez is currently hitting just .220 with a .655 OPS. Worse - he's allowed 3 passed balls already. For whatever reason, the Sox seem uncomfortable playing Blake Swihart on a consistent basis. Will we see Sandy Leon in the near future if Vazquez continues to struggle?
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Old 04-20-2019, 09:24 PM   #8
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Re: Shipping Up To Boston - MLB 19 The Show Boston Red Sox Franchise

Loving the depth on this so far. Keep up the good work!
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