Author: @greg_habeeb

3 Up, 3 Down From ALCS Games 1-3

The Red Sox nudged ahead in the race for the AL pennant on Tuesday night, beating the Astros 8-2 to take a 2-1 series lead. There’s been plenty of good and bad from the Sox through three games so far. Let’s dive in. 3 Up Jackie Bradley Jr. – Let’s kick things off with the biggest story from Game 3. With 2 outs in the top of the eighth, and the Sox clinging to a 4-2 lead, Roberto Osuna tried to sneak a fastball by JBJ. Bradley launched that pitch into orbit: An absolute BOMB of a blast from...

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Red Sox Hang On, Draw First Blood in ALDS

A few quick thoughts on the return of Red Sox-Yankees postseason baseball, right after I hand out some high fives to Will, Chuckie, Morgan, and Billy… What a way to kick things off, huh? The Sox jumped out early, and managed to hang on for a 5-4 win to take Game 1 at Fenway Park. Boston hit the ground running, thanks to a 3-run laser over the Monster from JD Martinez: #TheRivalry starts with a bang. pic.twitter.com/ke13vOh4To — MLB (@MLB) October 5, 2018 From there, the Sox seemed like they were on cruise control, extending the lead to 5-0...

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Red Sox-Yankees ALDS Preview Extravaganza

It’s pretty hard to believe it’s been 14 years since we’ve had a playoff series featuring Major League Baseball’s premier rivalry. The Red Sox and Yankees will kick off their first postseason matchup since 2004 later tonight, and on paper it looks to be a doozy. Two 100-win juggernauts. Over $400 million in combined payroll. Stars all over the diamond. History everywhere. I can’t wait. I’ll be breaking down both sides of this series, and then picking a winner at the end. But before we get into all of that, let’s take a little trip down memory lane: Okay,...

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Red Sox Shut Down Tyler Thornburg

Red Sox manager Alex Cora made an unsurprising announcement earlier this week when he revealed that reliever Tyler Thornburg would be shut down for the remainder of 2018. There were two glaring reasons for this call by Cora. First, Thornburg’s recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome is ongoing. That injury caused him to miss all of 2017 and much of 2018. While the 29 year-old righty made progress this season, his manager noted he was beginning to fatigue down the stretch. “There’s no need to push him hard,” Cora told reporters prior to Wednesday’s doubleheader vs. Baltimore. Which, of course, makes perfect...

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Red Sox Break Franchise Record For Wins In A Season

Move over Tris Speaker and Smokey Joe Wood, there’s a new Sox sheriff in town. Boston won its 106th game Monday night, defeating the hapless Orioles 6-2 at Fenway Park. With the win, the 2018 Sox have now won more regular season games than any other team in the franchise’s history. That’s a pretty incredible feat, considering the Red Sox have been around for 118 seasons. HISTORY. pic.twitter.com/zMcIYl4K7k — Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) September 25, 2018 As if breaking a century-plus old record wasn’t enough, the Red Sox also clinched the best record in baseball. Home field advantage: actually...

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David Price: Beyond Thunderdome

Tonight is David Price‘s most important start in a Red Sox uniform to date. Yes, I’m aware he’s started Game 2 of the 2016 ALDS, which should hold that distinction in a vacuum. Tonight feels even more weighty, however. It’s a feeling that has been locked in the moment Ian Kinsler grounded into a game-ending double play Tuesday night. The Red Sox have another chance to clinch their 4th AL East division title in six seasons (their third in a row), and they have the opportunity to do so for the second time in three years in the House...

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Presenting: The Celtics’ All Two-First-Name Team

We’re officially in the NBA dead season. For the time being, there are no trades to be made, no dramatic shakeups to rattle the league’s core, and worst of all, no actual games to be played. In times like these, we have only one choice: Argue about really dumb, inconsequential stuff while we sit around waiting for the season to start. The following is inconsequential, but it is certainly not dumb. I’ve gone ahead and constructed a roster of the best Celtics players with two first names. You’re welcome in advance. What’s The Criteria? Did the player in question...

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W2W4: Red Sox vs. Astros

  The Red Sox take on the Houston Astros this weekend in a three game set that many believe is an ALCS preview. There will be plenty to take in at Fenway Park over the next few days. Here’s what I’ll be keeping my eye on: Aces, Charles, You’re Aces Aces are often the case when top flight teams face off, and there will be some big time pitching matchups worth tuning in for. Friday night’s tilt features two of the AL’s best: Gerrit Cole and David Price. Cole was a CY Young favorite earlier this season. In his...

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The Red Sox Bullpen Feels Shaky. Does it Matter?

Baseball’s waiver trade deadline passed yesterday, without so much as a peep from the top team in the majors. Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox chose to roll with the guys in the clubhouse, despite two other AL rivals (New York and Cleveland) making moves to bring in former MVPs and despite calls across their fan base to improve the bullpen. Those desperate cries have rang out all season long. As it turns out, fans aren’t feeling too comfortable at the thought of Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, or Heath Hembree entering the 8th inning of a Game 7. Dombrowski’s...

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Sox Split With Indians In Potential October Preview

  A few thoughts on the Red Sox series split with the Cleveland Indians right after I dig up my road trip fedora… Man, that four-game set had an October feel, didn’t it? The Sox were able to roar back after dropping the first two games, including yesterday’s near-flawless 7-0 victory. It was the first meeting of the season between the two teams, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s a rematch in the postseason. The Sox dropped the first game on Monday, after Rick Porcello allowed 3 HR (and 5 ER) over 7 innings. It’s been a weird season for the righthander out of Morristown, NJ. On one hand, it feels like he’s been far more consistent than in 2017 or 2015. On the other, his 4.14 ERA is more in line with those seasons than his 2016 Cy Young award-winning campaign. His August has made even less sense. He’s 2-2 over 4 starts this month, with a 4.67 ERA. But, opponents are only hitting .156 against him over that stretch. Go figure, right? There’s one smoking gun here: Porcello can’t seem to keep the ball in the yard. Last season, he gave up a league-leading 38 round-trippers. This year, those struggles have resurfaced. Porcello has already given up 22 big flies in 2018, tying him for 12th in the majors. However, 8 of those have come over his...

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Looking Back: Dustin Pedroia’s 2008 MVP Season

The Boston Globe reported Wednesday that the Red Sox are planning to activate second baseman Ian Kinsler for tonight’s game against the Rays. It’s a move that, on the surface, doesn’t come as particularly surprising or thought-provoking. After all, Kinsler’s injury was deemed minor when he was placed on the 10-Day DL with a hamstring injury on August 4th. However, it’s not particularly hard to see why Kinsler is on this Red Sox roster in the first place, or why his return to the lineup is newsworthy. In case you’ve forgotten, Boston has another former All-Star second baseman on this...

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Xander Bogaerts Versus The Second Half Slump

  Xander Bogaerts occupies a peculiar space in Red Sox fans’ consciousness. On one hand, he’s an All-Star, a two-time Silver Slugger award winner, and World Series champion. On the other hand, he’s never quite lived up to the lofty expectations that were placed on his shoulders as a top prospect and precocious rookie in 2013. He has shown he can hit, but hasn’t put together the mix of power, batting average, and plate discipline he teased early on…at least not all in one season. Bogaerts’ defense has improved steadily (a testament to how hard he’s worked). However, he’s...

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Blake Swihart’s Time Is Now

This is Blake Swihart‘s moment. Granted, it’s a moment that has been 4+ seasons in the making, but it’s here nonetheless. As soon as starting catcher Christian Vazquez headed to the DL with a broken pinkie on July 8th, Red Sox nation turned their eyes to a former top prospect who had fallen on some difficult times. If Swihart is able to deliver on his initial promise, he could be a difference maker both in the present and the future. If not, it will likely be an end to one of the more frustrating (and strange) Red Sox careers...

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W2W4: Post All-Star Break Edition (@greg_habeeb)

We’ve officially entered the sports abyss. You know, that 48-hour black hole following the MLB All-Star Game where there are no sports to be found. The World Cup is over. There are no baseball games in sight. NFL training camp is still a ways off. Hell, even the NBA’s Summer League has concluded. In these dire times, all we can do is lock ourselves in our rooms, and look ahead to what the second half of the Major League season might bring. Red Sox fans are surely hoping for more of the same. Boston won an MLB record 68...

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Red Sox Interested in Nathan Eovaldi

It’s July, which means only one thing: Trade SZN. The Red Sox made their fair share of roster moves in June, including signing former All-Star 2B Brandon Phillips to a minor league contract and trading for Steve Pearce. However, Dave Dombrowski has never been shy about shuffling pieces around the board (and across the league), so it’s unlikely the Sox are done tweaking their roster for the summer. The next shoe to drop could be a move for starting pitching help. The Red Sox were among several teams in attendance for current Rays’ starter Nathan Eovaldi‘s start on Monday,...

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W2W4: Sox-Yanks Weekend Showdown

  The Rivalry resumes tonight in the Bronx, when the 55-27 Red Sox take on the 52-26 Yankees in a battle for AL East supremacy. As is always the case when these two teams meet, there will be plenty to keep an eye on. Here are a few things to watch for this weekend’s three-game series: Will Eduardo Rodriguez Rebound? Rodriguez’s start on Friday night is arguably the most intriguing of the weekend. That’s no small statement, considering Chris Sale and David Price are set to toe the rubber on Saturday and Sunday. The Red Sox are 13-2 in Rodriguez’s 15 starts this season. That’s thanks in large part to run support; Boston is averaging 6.13 runs per E-Rod start. However, Rodriguez has also been much more consistent than in seasons past. He’s only allowed more than three runs three times this year. One of those times was in his last outing, when the Mariners dealt him his first loss since mid-May (and snapped his six-game winning streak). The Sox will be hoping Rodriguez recovers and can replicate his five-shutout inning performance against the Yankees from May 10th. How he reacts to his last start will will go a long way towards telling us just how much he has matured this year. Devers Heating Up On June 5th, Rafael Devers went 0-3 with a strikeout and grounded into a...

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Bring Back Baynes?

Aron Baynes averaged 6 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season. He only played 18.3 minutes per game, despite making 67 starts. He is technically a free agent this offseason. And yet, the Celtics seem locked in on re-signing him, despite spending a first round pick on rim-running big Robert Williams. Baynes even represented the team during Monday night’s NBA Awards Show. It’s a surprising level of commitment to a center who has averaged only 5.4 PPG and 4.4 RPG over the course of his career. However, it makes perfect sense. Believe it or not, the Celtics actually,...

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Which Celtics Target Makes the Most Sense at Pick 27?

The Boston Celtics are slotted to select lower than 16th in Thursday night’s draft for the first time since 2012. The last time the C’s picked this low was in 2009. That year, they selected the immortal J.R. Giddens following their first NBA title in 22 seasons. This, of course, is barring any last-second jockeying from President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. He could decide at any moment that the #27 overall pick would be better served as part of one of his infamous trade packages. Twitter has been buzzing with fake trades for Kawhi Leonard or a move into the...

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Do the Red Sox Have a Balance Problem?

There’s no denying that the Red Sox possess one of the most potent offenses in Major League Baseball. That’s what you get when you put together a lineup anchored by MVP favorite Mookie Betts and destroyer-of-right-field-bleacher-creatures J.D. Martinez. As of Saturday morning, the Sox rank: 2nd in the Majors in runs 2nd in HR 3rd in SB 2nd in ISO 2nd in batting average 4th in OBP 2nd in slugging (and 2nd in OPS) 3rd in wRC+ I could go on, but you get the picture. Boston’s ability to score repeatedly is one of the main reasons why they...

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Joe Kelly’s a Hero

In January of 2015, five and a half months after the Red Sox acquired him from the Cardinals in a deadline day trade, Joe Kelly predicted he would win the AL Cy Young Award. A lot has happened since then, including 31 mostly mediocre starts across his first two full seasons in a Red Sox uniform, a demotion to the bullpen, a change in hairstyle, a foray into on-field reporting, and becoming Public Enemy No. 1 in New York. There’s also this: Kelly has become the most reliable arm (outside of Craig Kimbrel) in Alex Cora‘s bullpen arsenal. This didn’t happen overnight. Kelly’s evolution...

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