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After off-season sleep apnea surgery, first baseman Mike Napoli had a very rough start. Hitting below .200 just up until this week. Every Red Sox fan I have talked too was ripping him. Saying “he needs to be out of the line-up”. However, manager John Farrell kept inserting him into the line-up.
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Then a shocking thing happened. Napoli was named AL player of the week. Why was he? After last week, Mike finally seems to be hitting the stride that was expected after the surgery.
Napoli hit .429 leading all of baseball with 25 total bases in 6 total games. He also hit 5 homers in 6 games after only hitting 3 in the previous 33 games. His RBI total reached 10 during this span.
Napoli’s average went up 37 points to now .211. Can we expect this all season? It is too quick to tell. However, this is a great sign for a struggling Boston offense.
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After a long ten game road trip, the Red Sox are officially coming home to start up a three game series with Texas followed by another three game series with Los Angles. Boston went 5-5 on the recent road trip.
Boston’s pitching has been showing an improvement since the arrival of new Carl Willis. This improvement however comes at a time where the offense has been on the down slide. Yes the offense! Boston has just scored 11 runs in the last 6 games. With a line up filled with heavy hitters like Hanley Ramirez, David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, and Pablo Sandavol, this is absurd.
In the Texas Series, Boston will face Yovani Gallardo, Wandy Rodriguez, and a pitcher to be determined. The Red Sox will put to the mound Wade Miley, Joe Kelly, and Clay Buchholz. Miley who had been struggling to start the year has finally hit a groove and had his best outing of the season his last appearance. In the second game Joe Kelly gets the nod. Joe is 1-2 on the year but has shown some promise in most of his outings. In the series finale, Clay Buchholz will get the ball. Clay looked like old Clay, pitching outstanding, giving up one run, striking out 11.
Currently the Red Sox sit 3.5 games back in the American League East. They trail both the Rays and the Rival Yankees. They look to gain ground within the next 6 home games before heading back on the road to Minnesota.
After a great spring, batting .389, Blake Swihart made his much anticipated debut for your Boston Red Sox this past weekend against the New York Yankees. Blake went 1 for 7 in his first two games up in the big leagues. His lone hit was a single in his first game.
Before being called up, Swihart was hitting .338 in 18 total games for Pawtucket this season. He totaled 23 hits including 3 extra base hits.
The 23-year old, Swihart is said to be the future of the Red Sox and as a huge fan I am excited to see the Future now. Rated the number 1 catching prospect in 2011, Blake batted .602 in his senior year of high school. Blake is Boston’s number rated prospect.
The call-up was very urgent as Boston’s starting catcher Ryan Hanigan sustained an injury this past week. Being placed on the 60-day DL, Hanigan was hit by a ball while catching a pitch and fractured his right hand. Ryan is expected to be out until at least the All-Star break.
Unless the Sox, make a move for another catcher, Blake seems to be here for a long time. Hopefully, we transitions well to the big leagues as he has with every league he has performed in.
Tonight wraps up the end of a three game set against Tampa for the Sox. As the team will head to Baltimore for another three game series with the O’s starting tomorrow at Camden Yards. This will be the second series with the Birds on this young campaign with the series tied at 2 apiece.
In the first matchup, we will see get to see Rick Porcello face off against Miguel Gonzalez. Porcello has a record of 1-2 with 6.63 ERA while Gonzalez is 2-1, 2.55 ERA. This will be Porcello’s second start against the O’s this year after not fairing too well the first outing going 5 innings letting up 12 hits and eight earned runs.
In the second game, Justin Masterson will face off against Wei-Yin Chen. Masterson is 2-0 with 5.74 ERA early on however has shown some control issues in his early starts. Chen on the other hand is 0-1 with a 3.07 ERA. Masterson career stats at Camden are not to promising as he is just 2-4 with a 7.71 ERA.
In the final game, we will get to see Red Sox newcomer Wade Miley make his first career start at Camden Yards. On the season, he is 1-1 with a 6.08 ERA. Miley will be opposed by Bud Norris who is having his own struggles early on posting a record of 0-2 and an ERA of 17.42.
This will be the Red Sox first trip to Baltimore of the season as they hope to continue their good start to the season.