Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Thursday, May 18.
Am I in an alternate universe? I thought I’d sooner make a speech in favor of Hillary Clinton, but here I am about to write about the Boston Red Sox in a positive vein. I usually call them the Red Sux and nothing made me happier between 1988 and 1990 than going to Yankee Stadium and hearing the Yankee fans belt it out, “Boston Sucks,” a chant I wish I could say they invented. But here we are. While the Yankees won their second in a row after being humiliated 3 out of 4 against Houston, the most compelling game of the night in the bigs took place in St. Louis, not Kansas City. While they’re still 4 games behind the first-place Yankees, The Red Sox topped the Cards 5-4 in 13 innings on a bloop single by Chris Young (the outfielder, not the pitcher who went to Princeton.) Young’s single followed a bloop double off the bat of Mitch Moreland.
The Cards had a 4-0 lead after 2 innings but did no scoring thereafter. The Red Sox’ Ben Taylor had never saved a game until last night. It took all 8 of the Red Sox’ relievers to survive this game as their starter Rick Porcello was not showing the stuff that earned him last year’s Cy Young award and sent Justin Verlander’s girlfriend into a twitter frenzy. After giving up 4 early runs he survived 6 innings on the hill, leaving it to the bull pen and his own batters to take it from there. The Cardinals’ Mike Leake had limited the Sox to 2 runs in 7 innings. In the 8th off Trevor Rosenthal, Dustin Pedroia drew a walk and was tripled home by Xander Bogaerts. The shortstop tripled for the second time in the game, the first time a Boston shortstop had two triples in a game since Johnny Pesky in 1947. The game was tied on a scoring fly ball by Andrew Benintendi. The Red Sox used no reliever for more than two innings. Only Fernando Abad, the game’s winning pitcher went as far as two innings. In this way, the Red Sox have relatively fresh guns when they face Oakland much later tonight.
A dozen minor league games will be played this morning and afternoon. Two of them need mentioning. Binghamton, the AA Mets send out P.J. Conlon to the hill against the Altoona Curve, the AA Pirates. With his 2.88 ERA and the struggles of both AAA and MLB Mets’ pitchers Conlon could be a name you’ll hear from in this forum before anywhere else. When the AAA Yankees team, the Scranton Wilksbarre RailRiders face Pawtucket this morning they send out Domingo German. I met German and fellow Trenton Thunder (AA) pitcher Chance Adams. By a lucky chance both starting pitchers have been promoted to AAA in the 15 days since I met them. Meantime there will be a good deal of day baseball in the bigs. The MLB Network will have the 12:30 start as Washington faces Pittsburgh. The Orioles face the Tigers at 1 PM in the last game of a series that featured a tremendous game on Tuesday night. Following a rainout last night, the Rockies and Twins play a day-night doubleheader in Minneapolis. Of course in Minneapolis it could have been snowed out-I’ve seen sleet up there on Memorial Day weekend. The Phillies wrap up a series in Arlington against the Rangers at 2 PM. The Reds and Cubs will square off at 2:20 at Wrigley. The Reds’ rookie Amir Garrett gets the chance to pitch in one of baseball’s historic ball parks. Like Luke Skywalker against Darth Vader in the 1977 “Star Wars,” the rookie faces a wily veteran in John Lester. Since Lester has survived cancer he was the only member of the Red Sox I have ever been known to root for and I was glad to see him get out of Boston. The Brewers face the Padres at 3:40 PM, finishing a series in San Diego. The team has been in rebuilding mode since 1982 but are actually in first place, at least until the Cubs realize it and put their foot on the gas. Under the lights the Braves host the Blue Jays but have to do it without Freddie Freeman. While x-rays were “inconclusive” the fear is that his hand or wrist is broken. The next step would be to get an MRI for the league’s leader In home runs. After two wins over the Royals, the Yankees send out their surprise rookie Jordan Montgomery tonight in Kansas City. The Mariners send out Sam Gaviglio in his first MLB start as they face the White Sox. Like the Mets, the Mariners have most of their starters on the DL and none are expected back soon, so like the Mets they’re holding open auditions for starting pitchers. Unlike the Mets, nobody sane thought the Mariners would be contending for the World series and few will notice or care what Gaviglio does. So he won’t feel the heat that Adam Wilk and Tommy Milone have felt as they tried to replace the Mets’ injured hurlers.0