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Red Sox End Their Nine-Game, Two-Coast, Two-Country Road Trip With A Series Win Over The Blue Jays

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays

Get me the fuck back to Fenway. If you’re reading this on Friday morning, I am currently on a piece of shit bus headed back to Boston. What a long, strange road trip that was. The Red Sox haven’t played a game at home since two Sundays ago, had the off-day on Monday and then pissed on the LA Angels for three straight. That included a reality check for Shohei Ohtani, a three-homer game for Mookie Betts, and a barrage of home runs across the board for Boston.

Then, they went to Oakland. Yeah. I think we’ve got a video coming out today documenting our trip to Oakland last weekend and what a rollercoaster of emotions that was. From the highest of highs (literally, it was 4/20 with Dallas Braden) to the lowest of lows. I mentioned the Ohtani reality check — well, that stop in Oakland was Boston’s/mine. It started with an epic comeback on Friday night, and it ended with a no-hitter by Sean Manaea on Saturday, and Khris Davis driving a stake through David Price and the Red Sox’s heart in the 8th inning on Sunday, followed by Craig Kimbrel getting walked off on Tuesday.

Humility is what I called it. As you’ll see in the Oakland trip video, I needed it. I was, and still am, an insufferable piece of Saugus trash. I’m proud of that, just like I’m proud of my favorite team’s accomplishments. But that three-game skid brought me back down to earth and knocked me down a few pegs on the douche meter. Fine. But then the Red Sox won the middle game, and then they won again last night. I’ll try to keep it in my pants moving forward, though. That’s my promise to you.

On Thursday night, the Red Sox sent Chris Sale to the mound, and he wasn’t all that Sale-like. He gave up a pair of home runs, the second of which he was absolutely livid with himself afterwards. At the end of the day, it was a quality start for Sale — the very definition of — going six innings, allowing three earned runs with four strikeouts. Perhaps the moment of the night for him was when Alex Cora came out, presumably to remove him from the game, with two outs in the sixth inning, and Cora walked back to the dugout without his ace. Sale got the final out of the inning and the book was closed. Have to love a pitcher who refuses to give the ball up and bets on himself.

I say that was the moment of the night for Sale specifically because the moment of the night overall belonged to JD Martinez, who went through an 0-for-11 slide with 8 strikeouts over the final two games of the A’s series into the series opener against Toronto. He bounced back with a base hit and a couple walks on Wednesday, and stroked a three-run shot to the opposite field in the series finale on Thursday, which proved to be the game-winner.

With Joe Kelly’s six-game suspension being upheld by four-time World Series winning Yankee manager Joe Torre — not implying anything, just stating facts for the record — the Red Sox needed to turn to a new face to get big boy outs in the late innings. That man was Matt Barnes AKA Matty Sleeping Bags. Barnes cleaned up Carson Smith’s mess in the seventh inning, striking out Justin Smoak on a breaking ball down in the dirt with the tying run at second base. An inning later, Barnes worked his way into some trouble with runners on second and third with two outs, but climbed the ladder at 97 MPH to punch out Luke Maile.

Working in his third straight game, Craig Kimbrel came out of the bullpen and sat down the Jays in order on 16 pitches. It was the 19th win for Boston, but just the seventh save for Kimbrel because of the amount of blowout victories the Red Sox have had so far. And I say “just” his seventh save, as if that’s not a good amount for this point in the season. He’s on pace for 47 saves, which would tie the second most that he’s ever recorded in a single season.

The weather looks pretty shitty for Friday in Boston. I’m not a meteorologist, but I do have access to Weather.com and it looks like it’s supposed to start raining around 1pm and continue up until game time, stop for about the exact window that a game would be played, and then pick back up again around 11pm. Hopefully that tarp stays put.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Red Sox are playing the Rays! These ain’t your first week of April Rays, though. They’ve won six straight coming into this series, and they’ll be sending Blake Snell to the mound in game one, who was impressive in his lone start against Boston this season and has won his last three starts with a 1.40 ERA.

Snell went five and two thirds scoreless in a game that the Red Sox won 1-0 back on March 30. For Boston, it’s Drew Pomeranz, making his second start since returning from injury. Pomeranz did that Pomeranz thing in Oakland where he doesn’t make it out of the fourth inning, but still strikes out a bunch of guys (7) and holds the opposing team to three earned runs or less. Would like to see him build on that and get back to the guy he was for a majority of last season.

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As you know, I’m not above scoreboard watching in April. As a result of the Red Sox taking two of three from the Blue Jays and the Yankees hauling off six straight wins, New York moves up to second place, four games behind the Red Sox.

Final score: Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4