2015 BOSTON RED SOX
"THE FUTURE AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE" ...

 

Dave Henderson   Frank Malzone   Bill Monbouquette   Yogi Berra
Died: Dec 27th   Died: Dec 29th   Died: Jan 25th   Died: Sept 22nd
Bob Wilson   Ernie Banks
Died: Jan 15th   Died: Jan 23rd

 

Ownership reacted to the 2014 failure by approving a dizzying series of moves that started last July and led to the Sox having the highest payroll in team history. The Sox traded lefthanders Jon Lester and Andrew Miller, two healthy and productive pitchers who were open to signing contract extensions. Then a few months later, they tried to sign them back as free agents, only to fall short because their prices had predictably gone up.

HANLEY RAMIREZ

To improve a weak-hitting outfield, the Sox obtained what seemed like every outfielder available. The Sox signed Cuban star Rusney Castillo for seven years and $72.5 million in August. In November, they awarded Hanley Ramirez an $88 million deal for agreeing to play left field. Yoenis Cespedes was then traded to Detroit for Rick Porcello.

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval, whose OPS has declined for three consecutive years was signed for $95 million. But at least he had a place to play. The Sox gave their 40-year-old closer, Koji Uehara, a two-year deal worth $18 million. Yet they went with bargains elsewhere on the pitching staff, obtaining an assortment of mid-rotation starters and low-priced relievers.

PABLO SANDOVAL

The Red Sox had many of the parts a contending team needs. The lineup was powerful, the bench deep and the defense should have been trustworthy. Manager John Farrell and his coaches prepared the team well. There was leadership in the clubhouse and talented young players like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts.

The starting pitching however lacked an ace. Jon Lester was gone and the ace of the staff was the fragile Clay Buchholz.  Behind him was more uncertainty. Rick Porcello was signed to a long term deal, and there was also Joe Kelly, Justin Masterson, and Wade Miley.  There were many question marks around the bullpen also.  If the pitching could hold up, then it was not unreasonable to expect the Sox to win at least 85 games and return to the postseason. Their offense was that stacked. But the loss of gifted catcher Christian Vazquez to an elbow injury in spring training was a blow to the rotation.

But yet, there were high hopes for these Boston Red Sox heading into the 2015 season. What better way to start the year than against one of the pitchers the Sox had been linked to in trade talks, with a price that reportedly would cost half the farm? Cole Hamels was exactly what the Red Sox ran from last year when they decided they were not going to compete for the services of their ace lefty, Jon Lester. The Sox' owners and analytic masterminds believed pitchers older than 30, who make big money, were to be avoided.

And so on Opening Day, April 6th, the Red Sox rocked Phillies ace Cole Hamels, as Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez each belted two home runs. And on the other side of the ball, Clay Buchholz did his own impression of an ace. The right-hander pitched seven brilliant innings in the 8-0 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Sox took two of three from the Phillies and headed into Yankee Stadium. It took 19 innings, but the Sox won the first game 6-5, as Mookie Betts drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly. Xander Bogaerts, who was 4 for 4 in extra innings, scored.

In the second game Joe Kelly gave the Sox a lift. The right-hander allowed one run on one hit over seven innings, retiring the final 17 batters he faced. Kelly struck out a career-best eight and walked only two as the 4-1 Red Sox won their third straight, 8-4.

Buchholz got lit up his next time out against the Yankees in the third game. He provided an ugly reminder that the top of the rotation remains very much in question, allowing 10 runs, seven in the first inning, as the Yankees beat the Sox, 14-4.

The Sox returned to Fenway for the home opener on April 13th in need of a little energy. Mookie Betts took care of that. Betts did most everything a baseball player could do in a 9-4 victory, delighting the sellout crowd of 37,203. He was 2 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs, managed to steal two bases at once, and made a leaping catch to rob a home run from Washington star Bryce Harper.

The next night, April 14th, it was Koji who took care of business. Injured in spring training, he came off the DL and the Nationals, down by one run, had the heart of their order coming up. He had not successfully closed out a game since August 12th of last year. The 40-year-old sprinted to the mound, eager to pitch. Three outs later, the Red Sox had their closer back and an 8-7 victory.

The Sox took two of three from the Nats and waited for the Orioles.  Xander Bogaerts gave the Sox a 3-2 walkoff win with a looping RBI single to shallow right field on April 17th. The Sox lost two of the next three games to Baltimore and the Sox starters had a 6.24 earned run average, the highest in the American League. Rick Porcello left his next start having allowed eight runs on 12 hits with three walks and a hit batter.

In Tampa Bay the Sox lost two of their three games. Hitting with runners in scoring position became an issue. They were 1 for 23 in the series and on the season were hitting .196 in those situations.

BROCK HOLT

Whether it's at shortstop, right field, or somewhere else, Brock Holt (.457 BA) changed the discussion about how often he should be playing. His three-run homer in the eighth inning gave the Sox a 7-5 victory at Camden Yards on April 24th. On a night when David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back homers, a 180-pound utility infielder delivered the biggest shot for the Sox.

Unfortunately the Sox lost 2 of 3 in Baltimore and fell out of first place, a spot they held 18 of the first 20 days of the season.  Hanley Ramirez homered twice, his seventh and eighth homers, and knocked in four runs, giving him 17 RBIs for the season while hitting .300.  David Ortiz (.194 BA) homered also but was still in search of that stroke that makes him so fearful. Mike Napoli also got off to a bad start (.169 BA, 1 HR).

Shane Victorino (.143) then went on to the disabled list for the fifth time since the Red Sox signed him before the 2013 season and for the third time with a right hamstring strain. The 34-year-old outfielder was injured when he stole second base against the Rays.

The Sox returned home to face the tough Toronto Blue Jays on April 27th. Joe Kelly had weathered early turbulence to strike out a career-high 10 batters in six innings. Pablo Sandoval kept the Sox in striking distance with his second homer in as many days and three RBIs. Mookie Betts came to the plate with one out and runners on first and second and the game in his hands. He watched a pitch bend wide of the plate, then bounce in the dirt past Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin. On the next pitch Betts threw his bat at it and slapped it back up the middle, shooting it through a drawn-in infield for the single that decided the Red Sox' 6-5 triumph.

But on the next night Clay Buchholz (1-3) allowed five runs, four earned, over 22/3 innings. The team's Opening Day starter, Buchholz had a 5.76 earned run average. The Sox lost 11-8 and trailed by 2 games in the AL East.

As a group, the starters had a 6.03 ERA. It was the fifth time in 21 games a Red Sox starter was unable to complete five innings and the eighth time a starter allowed five or more runs. The Sox were a study in extremes. They were second in the American League with 109 runs scored and last with 118 allowed.

In the last game of the Toronto series, Hanley Ramirez's two-run homer in the third inning of gave the Sox a 4-1 victory. His 10th homer of the season, a long-distance deposit of R.A. Dickey's 0-2 knuckleball into the Green Monster seats, broke a 1-1 stalemate and tied David Ortiz for most homers in team history in April.

In the first month of the season, Ramirez stumbled around the outfield and botched a play or two almost every night, but he was mashing home runs almost every night, too. Then May came around and the home runs stopped, though the ineptitude in the outfield continued. Add in the mental errors on the base paths. Hanley being Manny became Hanley being a liability.

The Sox lost three straight to the Yankees at Fenway as May started and fell four games behind. Mike Napoli came to the plate with runners on base three times. He grounded into a double play, popped to right field, and struck out. On each occasion, he ended the inning. 

BLAKE SWIHART

Catcher Ryan Hanigan, who had filled in ably for injured starter Christian Vazquez, suffered a fractured finger and needed surgery, but it gave Blake Swihart a chance to come up from Pawtucket on May 3rd and he hustled and played well. He went 1 for 3 with a walk in his debut. He didn't look overmatched or like a kid who had no idea what he was doing. He looked comfortable in his own skin, in a high-profile game against a high-profile team.

On May 5th, the day when the 1975 Red Sox reunited at Fenway for the 40th anniversary of their American League title run, Mookie Betts, 22, became the youngest Red Sox player with a multi-homer game since Jim Rice did it at the same age during that '75 season. He slammed two home runs to give the Sox and Rick Porcello (3-2) a 2-0 win.

Porcello had been the most reliable arm on the staff thus far. In his past two starts, he'd pitched 14 innings, giving up 10 hits, one run, two walks, 12 strikeouts, and no dingers. He had three starts of seven or more innings. The rest of the Sox staff had four combined.

On May 8th the Sox made a significant move. Pitching coach Juan Nieves was dismissed Because the Sox starters ranked 29th with a 5.54 ERA. Carl Willis was hired as his replacement.

The Sox lost two of three in Toronto, were in 4th place, 5 ½ games out and headed for the west coast.  Joe Kelly (1-2, 6.35 ERA), Wade Miley (1-4, 6.91 ERA), and Justin Masterson (2-1, 5.18 ERA) left John Farrell little choice but to consider changes.

Allen Craig (.135 BA) was optioned to Pawtucket and Edward Mujica was designated for assignment. Called up were Jackie Bradley Jr and knuckleballer Stephen Wright.

On May 11th, Pablo Sandoval lined a home run to right field to lead off the 11th inning as the Sox beat the Oakland Athletics, 5-4. Mookie Betts (22), Xander Bogaerts (22), and Blake Swihart (23) each had two hits. It was the first time since 1975 that three Red Sox starters not yet 24-years-old had multiple hits in a game.

After Justin Masterson got pummeled in the second game, Wade Miley, in one of the most satisfying wins of the season for the Sox, allowed five hits and walked four but found a way to hold a 2-0 lead against Oakland ace Sonny Gray.

The Sox placed Masterson on the DL. He didn't have a particular injury but his velocity was down substantially. He lasted only 6 2/3 innings in his last two games, allowing 10 earned runs on 13 hits (three of them home runs) and seven walks. Shane Victorino came off the DL as the Sox headed up to face the Mariners.

A loss on May 15th in Seattle belonged on the shoulders of John Farrell. With first base open and two outs in a tie game, Farrell elected to pitch to Mariners star Nelson Cruz with a runner on second. Cruz, who acknowledged later he expected to be walked, worked the count full and won the game with a single to left-center off Junichi Tazawa.

Cruz came into the game hitting .358 with 15 home runs and 29 RBIs, leading the American League in all three categories. The hitter on deck was Kyle Seager, a .248 hitter. The Red Sox wasted a brilliant start Clay Buchholz, who allowed one run on three hits over eight innings. He struck out 11 without a walk.

The team went .500 on the road trip and returned to Fenway 3 ½ games out of first. The pitching staff, once a mess, had a 3.14 ERA over the last eight games. Against the Rangers on May 19th, David Ortiz hit his first home run at Fenway Park since April 13th against the Nationals, as the Sox won 4-3.

The next night the Sox lost 2-1. Joe Kelly and three relievers allowed two runs, the Sox batters left 12 runners on base and were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. For the sixth time in the last eight games, the Sox were held to two or fewer runs. Through 40 games, a quarter of the season, the 19-21 Red Sox are averaging 3.9 runs and hitting .234. They are hitting .203 with runners in scoring position.

After splitting the first two games with the Angels, Mike Napoli seemed to wake up and assaulted his former team and the baseball, blasting a mammoth two-run homer to center in the second and tagging a long two-run double off the Wall in the eighth inning as part of a 2-for-3 day on May 24th. The Sox won, 6-1, behind Napoli and Wade Miley.

Miley picked up his second straight victory, allowing four hits and one earned run in eight innings, striking out two, and allowing just one walk. In the three starts since May 8th, Miley was 2-1 with a 1.25 ERA, while pitching into the seventh inning of each contest.

Mike Napoli was named the American League player of the week. He was 9 for 21 with five home runs, 10 RBIs, and six runs. It was the third player of the week honor in his career, the last coming on Sept. 8, 2013.

On May 25th, Shane Victorino was back on the disabled list with a calf injury. Victorino was 8 of 19 since coming off the disabled list on May 11th. Daniel Nava took his place.

Jackie Bradley Jr., meanwhile, had been benched based on 11 at-bats. The Sox recalled Bradley from Pawtucket on May 10th and said the plan was to platoon him with Victorino. Bradley was hitting .343 at Pawtucket and the Red Sox said he had earned the chance. Bradley went 0 for 11, and then did not started since.

In a three game series at Minnesota, the Sox were swept. Neither Joe Kelly, Clay Buchholz nor Rick Porcello could get the job done. Kelly (1-4, 6.24 ERA) couldn't get through the second inning, giving up seven runs on eight hits over 1 2/3 innings. Clay Buchholz (2-6, 4.33 ERA) allowed two runs in the first inning, then did all he could to give the Red Sox a chance to beat the Twins. But it was too late. Rick Porcello had cooled off considerably since his good start. Ahead 1-0, Porcello (4-3, 5.37 ERA) gave up three runs on three hits in the bottom of the third inning. Of his 10 starts, only half had been "quality" ones.

EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ

Therefore the Sox brought up young lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, who the Sox had picked up from the Orioles in a trade for Andrew Miller. Rodriguez, pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings in a 5-1 win over the Rangers on May 28th. He walked two and struck out seven. Texas did not advance a runner beyond second base against him. He retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced. It was the best performance by a Red Sox starter this season.

That game was the highlight of the road trip.  The simple truth is the Red Sox were not very good. This group of players, however well paid and well regarded they are, did not constitute a competitive team.

The last Rangers game on May 31st was a good example. It was a gut-punch 4-3 loss. The Sox took a one-run lead into the ninth inning and had closer Koji Uehara on the mound. The Sox had not played a particularly clean game to that point, but they were in position to win, when an error by Pablo Sandoval opened the door to Texas scoring two runs and walking off with a victory.

The Sox (22-29) were swept in Texas and limped back to Fenway Park as June began. They were 10-18 for the month of May. 

One of the bright spots, however, was young catcher Blake Swihart. He was a major league catcher who could run better than most outfielders, a player eager to prove that a catcher can run, steal bases, and be an athlete. At the other end of the spectrum was David Ortiz. Big Papi had struggled as much as anyone, hitting .224 with six home runs and 18 RBIs. Left-handed pitching had eaten him up this season (.129 BA), and his hitting with runners in scoring position had been brutal (.128 BA).

Eduardo Rodriguez was again brilliant in his second major league start on June 3rd, striking out seven over 7 1/3 innings and muzzling the Twins in a 6-3 win.

XANDER BOGAERTS

But Rodriguez wasn't the only young star who was shining for the Sox. Xander Bogaerts continued to stay hot at the plate, stringing together an 8-for-11 performance over the last three games. He added three RBIs and two runs scored during that stretch, as his batting average has crept up to .292. Now, roughly a year and a half into life as an everyday big leaguer, he delivered reminders of why he was so highly regarded. On a team that had offered few signs of offensive promise, Bogaerts represented an exception. Bogaerts led all American League shortstops in batting average (.287) and OBP (.332) while ranking third in slugging (.391). In the last 100 years, the short list of Sox players who performed at such a level at Bogaerts' age (or younger) is limited to names like Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Conigliaro, Bobby Doerr, and Ted Williams.

With Shane Victorino on the disabled list, the Red Sox acquired veteran outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the Orioles on June 4th. Although Jackie Bradley Jr. was hitting .354 in Pawtucket, John Farrell said there were no plans to call him up.

Across-the-board sloppiness in an error-stained 8-4 loss in the final game of the Twins series was as contagious as it was costly, dropping the Sox to a season-low seven games under .500. Ten of the team's 35 errors had come in the past seven games. At the center of it all had been third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who committed two errors and owned a team-high seven.

On June 5th, the unthinkable incident happened. A woman suffered serious injuries after she was struck in the face by the shard from a broken bat that flew into the stands in front of horrified fans at Fenway. Oakland Athletics batter Brett Lawrie hit a ball and shattered his bat, leaving only the handle in his hands while the barrel of it went screaming into the crowd. It struck the woman, who was sitting with a man and her son near the visitors' dugout on the third base side. Paramedics and police rushed to the seats as the game was stopped. After several minutes of medical attention, the woman was placed on a stretcher, with blood visible on much of her clothing, and wheeled behind home plate, in front of the Red Sox dugout, and out of the park. The incident raised the question about extending the backstop screens from dugout to dugout.

The Sox had a great series against Oakland, winning all three games. Dustin Pedroia had three hits and scored a pair of runs in three at-bats in the first game, a 4-2 win.

In the second game, another 4-2 win, Mike Napoli went 2 for 3. He was part of a middle of the order that produced all four runs, including a two-run homer by Hanley Ramirez and RBI hits by David Ortiz and Napoli.

In the third game on June 7th, Rusney Castillo belted a home run, his first of the season. By the time the inning was over the Sox had sent 11 batters to the plate against five pitchers and scored seven runs, winning 7-4, for the sweep.

But the euphoria was short lived because reality charged back in and bottom fell out, with the Sox losing seven in a row: three to the Orioles, three to the Blue Jays and one to the Braves, falling nine games out of first place on June 15th and 11 games under .500

The team’s frustration showed it’s ugly side during the skid.  In Baltimore, pitcher Wade Miley and manager John Farrell exchanged harsh words in the dugout at Camden Yards after the lefthander was taken out of the game following the fourth inning. Miley reacted angrily, shouting at Farrell as he walked toward the runway leading to the clubhouse. Miley had allowed five runs and nine hits over four innings.

Pablo Sandoval continued to feel the heat as his defensive miscues continued to rack up. Against the Blue Jays, Sandoval made a couple of mistakes in Toronto's nine-run seventh inning of a 13-10 loss, which allowed the Jays to keep the rally going. Sandoval had cost the Red Sox nine runs more than the league average, which was the worst mark among the 51 players who've played third base this season.

Not even rookie pitcher, Eduardo Rodriguez was immune. The exciting rookie lefthander, who allowed one run in his first three starts, left the game on June 14th, in the fifth inning.

Mistakes and mental errors became a constant theme. A double play in the first inning of that game might seem incidental, but it was illustrative on how the Sox had played. The Sox loaded the bases with one out and had Xander Bogaerts at the plate. He hammered a pitch, but it was right to third baseman Josh Donaldson.

Hanley Ramirez, the runner at second base, was 10 feet off the bag and easily doubled off to end the inning. Ramirez also lost track of how many outs there were during a June 4th game against the Twins and ran into an out at third base to end an inning. In Baltimore, Dustin Pedroia scored from first on a double by Brock Holt and was upset that Ramirez wasn't behind the plate signaling to him which way to slide.

Ramirez was hitting .275 and led the Sox with 13 home runs and 33 RBIs. But his play in the outfield had appeared casual, if not indifferent, at times.

And then, Pablo Sandoval, with everything going wrong with the Sox, had to post on Instagram during a game.  The "likes" by Panda felt like the tipping point.

The Sox stopped their skid on June 16th against the Braves at Fenway Park. The Red Sox dugout was on a Mookie Betts watch. He was a home run shy of the cycle. Meanwhile, Brock Holt's day was flying under the radar when he came to the plate in the eighth inning. He had hit the first opposite-field home run of his career the inning before, singled in the fifth, and doubled in the first. The last puzzle piece Holt needed to complete the cycle was also the trickiest: a triple.

But when Braves reliever Ray Marimon left an 0-and-1 fastball over the plate, Holt sent a fly screaming toward the garage door in center field that had trouble written all over it. Holt slid into third for the triple that made him the first Red Sox player to hit for the cycle since John Valentin in 1996. The cycle was one thing, but the triple drove in the last of a flurry of runs in the Sox' 9-4 win, snapping a seven-game losing streak and putting a trying stretch behind them.

Holt was invaluable, starting the last 13 games for the Sox, going 20 of 49 (.408) with seven extra-base hits, four RBIs, nine walks, and nine runs while playing five positions and batting first or second.

MOOKIE BETTS

Mookie Betts who was hitting .237 when he ran into the metal bullpen fence chasing a fly ball into the center-field triangle at Fenway Park on June 12th, sprained his lower back and bruised his face. The injuries were enough to keep him out for two games. He used the time to heal but also to talk to some veteran teammates about how to improve at the plate. The break proved fruitful. Betts had a career-best four hits on June 19th, helping the Red Sox to a 7-3 victory against the Royals. Eduardo Rodriguez allowed one run on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. Rodriguez (3-1) dropped his earned run average to 3.13.

Rick Porcello continued his struggles the next night in Kansas City. Porcello allowed eight hits and six runs over five innings. Over his last six starts, all losses, he had allowed 30 runs in 36 innings. His ERA rose to 5.61.

The Red Sox pitching staff was ranked 29th with a 4.49 ERA. Only the Rockies were worse. The Sox rotation is 27th with a 4.76 ERA.

As Sox pitching got worse, Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Brock Holt were playing superbly. Among qualified American League shortstops, Bogaerts was first in batting average (.285) and RBIs (27) and second in OPS (.711). And he was hitting .358 with runners in scoring position. Brock Holt started 15 consecutive games, going 21 for 57 (.368) with 10 walks.

On June 21st Mookie Betts, Holt, and Dustin Pedroia were 9 for 15 at the top of the order with five doubles, two triples, a home run, seven runs scored, and six RBIs.

Betts was 3 for 5 with a double, triple, and home run. Needing a single for the cycle in the ninth inning, he popped out to center field. He was 20 for 36 in a nine-game hitting streak with 9 extra-base hits, 9 runs, and 8 RBIs. A .234 hitter on June 10th, he was up to .277 and was named American League Player of the Week.

Dustin Pedroia, back after missing two days with a knee injury, had two doubles, a single, and two RBIs.  It was short-lived success for Pedroia.  On June 26th he was placed on the DL with a strained right hamstring.  On the same day, Joe Kelly (2-5, 5.67 ERA) was sent to Pawtucket.  The Sox recalled Jackie Bradley Jr, who was batting .322 with 4 HRs and Justin Masterson.

On June 29th, Clay Buchholz allowed one run on five hits and struck out five without a walk, shutting down the highest-scoring team in baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays, in a 3-1 Sox victory. In his last nine starts, Buchholz had a 2.13 earned run average.

Rookie Eduardo Rodriguez (4-2) pitched six strong innings the next night and the bullpen was untouchable when needed as the Sox beat the Blue Jays, 4-3.

The Sox left Rogers Centre on July 2nd, speaking in confident tones not heard since the early weeks of April. In their last game of the series, a game that resembled a lumberjack contest more than baseball, the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays, 12-6, after scoring eight runs in the first inning. Nine games out of first place when the trip started, the Sox were now six behind after taking three of four from the Blue Jays.

Back at Fenway, Clay Buchholz won his fourth straight start on July 4th, striking out eight Astros, while giving up just six hits and no walks, while pitching a complete game. Since hitting his stride in May, Buchholz was a steadying presence in the unsteady Sox rotation; the Sox were 6-1 the past seven times he'd taken the mound.

Mookie Betts went 2 for 3 with two doubles and three RBIs to back up Buchholz. Betts extended his current hitting streak to six games. He was hitting .429 during the streak with seven RBIs and six runs scored, and was batting .356  for the season with runners in scoring position, including 29 RBIs.

With a two-hit day in his first game back, right fielder Shane Victorino picked up where he had left off before going on the disabled list in May, extending the hitting streak he had going to seven games.

For the finale of the three-game set with the Astros on July 5th, trying to protect a one-run lead with one out and a runner on in the seventh inning, Hanley Ramirez smashed a ball into the seats above the Green Monster which ended up being the difference in a 5-4 win that helped the Red Sox take two of three from the AL-West leading Astros.

MIKE NAPOLI

John Farrell moved David Ortiz to first base for the game. Mike Napoli was hitting just .192 on the season with a team-high 78 strikeouts. Since pushing his average up to a season-high .217 on June 6th, Napoli hit .138 (11 for 80) with 29 strikeouts in the next 24 games.

On July 7th, Xander Bogaerts staged a successful rally against the Marlins. His three-run single in the seventh inning gave the Red Sox a 4-3 victory. With the bases loaded and the Sox, trailing 3-1, Bogaerts got ahead in the count, 3 and 0. He took a strike, and then fouled off two pitches before drilling a low line drive past the dive of second baseman Dee Gordon. With the runners in motion, Betts scored all the way from first and the Red Sox had the lead.

July 8th, was another big night, another display of power from David Ortiz. The veteran slugger punctuated a big third inning for the Red Sox with his 15th homer of the year, an opposite-field blast that landed in the first row of the Green Monster seats. Ortiz finished the night 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs while also starting at first base for the second time in three games. Ortiz had blasted nine home runs in his last 26 games after hitting just six in the first two months of the season.

And so the Sox were full of optimism.  Still on a slow climb, the Sox had won eight of their past ten, improving their record to 41-45, and going from 9 games to 5 ½ games out of first place, and then it unraveled. In depressing and predictable fashion against the Yankees, A-Rod, hit a solo homer in the first and the Sox played ugly defense and the first-place Yankees beat the Red Sox, 5-1, in the first game of the series, to keep the Red Sox in the cellar and push them to 6 1/2 games out of first place.

In the process Clay Buchholz got hurt yet again and ended up on the DL. At some point in each of the last five seasons, Buchholz had spent part of June on the disabled list. Every year, as spring turned to summer, something would happen. He strained a hamstring running the bases one time. Then there was the minor back injury that lasted three months. A neck strain blew up the season in 2013. Buchholz even landed in the hospital one time with a mysterious illness. These setbacks are why Buchholz has never made 30 starts or pitched 200 innings for the Red Sox. The inability to stay healthy always has been his biggest flaw as a player. A strained flexor muscle sidelined him for the rest of the season.

CLAY BUCHHOLZ

The Sox lost 2 of 3 to the Yankees. And so as the All Star Break started, the turn around of the Red Sox continued to be a myth. The team with the highest payroll in franchise history had one All-Star and he was a utility player, Brock Holt. They had an embarrassing run differential (minus 43) and would be deeper in the basement if not for an amazing number of misplays by the opposition.

During the break a law suit was filed against Major League Baseball in Oakland trying to force them to demand teams to install netting from foul pole to foul pole to protect spectators from flying bats and balls.

The Sox re-started the season after the break 7 ½ games out of first and continued the downward spiral. They were shutout two games in a row, losing four straight games to the Angels.

Desperate for a spark, the Sox had called up pitcher Brian Johnson from Pawtucket to make his major league debut against the Astros on July 21st.  But he had gone 15 days without pitching in a game. The result was an 8-3 loss against the Astros as Johnson was not able to get through the fifth inning.

Three straight were lost to the Astros. The Sox (42-54) had been outscored, 39-13, in the seven games since the All-Star break and are now a whopping 12 games out of first place A lack of hitting and a lack of shutdown pitching, equaled a last-place team that was mired in quicksand.

The skid stopped on July 24th at Fenway. Xander Bogaerts gave the Red Sox a 2-1 walkoff win in the 11th inning, but the game reached that point largely thanks to a pitcher's duel between two former teammates -- Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander. Porcello had one of his strongest starts of the season in his first game against his former team, going seven innings and giving up just one run on five hits. He also struck out six and didn't surrender a walk.

The game on July 26th was a great one for David Ortiz against the Tigers. Big Papi cracked two long home runs and drove in a career-high seven runs as the Red Sox battered Detroit with an 11-1 victory at Fenway Park. The Red Sox had 20 hits, their most this season. The 11 runs were only five fewer than they had scored in the previous nine games. Ortiz was 4 for 5. He had a three-run home run in the fifth inning, an RBI single in the sixth, and a three-run homer in the seventh. He had 19 home runs and 54 RBIs so far this season.

On July 27th, Shane Victorino was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for infielder Josh Rutledge. The purpose of the trade was to make room for Rusney Castillo. Castillo had played only 37 games in the majors since the Sox signed him to a seven-year, $72.5 million deal last August. He has been held back by a series of minor injuries and unrefined skills.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, was not expected back until sometime in mid-August, and Rutledge was expected to see time playing second base along with Brock Holt.

The next night, July 28th, Pedro Martinez had his number #45 retired in a ceremony at Fenway Park. Two days after he was inducted in Cooperstown, Pedro again heard his name chanted by the fans of Boston. As he loves to do, Martinez reveled in the moment.

In the game, Mookie Betts made a running catch and hurtled the bullpen fence in right-center field, playing with abandon for a last-place Red Sox team headed for another loss. The ball rolled out of Betts's glove after he tumbled over the fence and slammed into the ground.

Betts was put on the seven day concussion disabled list and Jackie Bradley Jr was called back from Pawtucket. Daniel Nava ended his Red Sox career as he was designated by the team for assignment.

CHERRINGTON & LUCCHINO

Red Sox president and chief executive Larry Lucchino then announced that he would be stepping down at the end of the season.  He would be replaced by Sox chief operating officer, Sam Kennedy as team president.

As the trade deadline came and went on August 1st, the Red Sox GM, Ben Cherrington, made one minor deal, acquiring former All-Star reliever Ryan Cook from the Oakland A's.

Travis Shaw was summoned from Triple A Pawtucket and joined the  Sox at Fenway Park for the game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the fifth time this season Shaw had been called up. Shaw was a one-man wrecking crew against the Rays. He submitted a light-stanchion-shattering performance going 4 for 4 with a walk, a double, the first two home runs of his career, 3 RBIs, and 5 runs in an 11-7 romp over Tampa.

On August 2nd Rick Porcello was put on the DL and the Sox called up Henry Owens from Pawtucket.

In New York on August 4th, Henry Owens walked off the mound in Yankee Stadium in the sixth inning. To that point, the 23-year-old lefthander had allowed one run and the Red Sox had the lead. For a pitcher making his major league debut it was close to ideal. His positive first impression was obscured by what followed. A bullpen overloaded with bargains and castoffs fell apart, allowing 10 runs as the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 13-3. The loss pushed the Sox (47-60) back a season high 14 games out of first place.

The next game belonged to knuckleballer, Stephen Wright. Wright pitched the best game of his career as the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 2-1. A mammoth home run by David Ortiz was the difference, but even he conceded this game belonged to Wright. Over eight innings, Wright allowed one run on four hits, struck out nine, and walked two.

On August 7th, Mike Napoli ended his Red Sox career. Napoli hit .242 in his three seasons with the Red Sox. He was at his best in 2013, hitting .259 with 23 home runs and 92 RBIs. A few days later Justin Masterson was released.

Against Detroit, on August 7th, the Sox lost Koji Uehara for the year. The game against the Tigers ended with Koji being struck on the right wrist and fracturing it, by a line drive from Ian Kinsler. With the bases loaded, Koji was able to pick the ball up and throw it to first base to preserve a 7-2 victory. He immediately clutched his arm, then took a knee as worried teammates gathered. Koji had been one of the few players to perform as expected for the Red Sox this season. Koji was in the middle of one of his best runs with the Red Sox. He had allowed one run on seven hits over 17 1/3 innings in his last 17 appearances. Koji, who had struck out 21 in that stretch, had averaged 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings in his three seasons with the Red Sox.

On August 9th, the Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers, 7-2, and the stakes meant nothing. But for players such as Jackie Bradley Jr and Henry Owens, these games were career building blocks. Owens went five innings and allowed one run for his first major league win, beating Justin Verlander. Bradley backed him with a spectacular catch along with a home run, a triple, and career-best five runs batted in. On a smash toward the wall in center field, Bradley turned and sprinted toward the wall, just to the left of the 420-foot mark. He glanced over his left shoulder to pick up the ball, and then let it settle into his glove just as he hit the warning track. Bradley's back was to the plate the entire time.

TOREY LOVULLO & JOHN FARRELL

The season changed forever on August 14th. John Farrell announced that he had lymphoma, and was replaced by bench coach Torey Lovullo as interim manager. Then General Manager Ben Cherington resigned after the team hired a new president of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, to replace Larry Lucchino on August 18th.

Since 2013, under Cherrington, the Red Sox made a series of mistakes assessing players such as Rick Porcello, Pablo Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez, Justin Masterson, A.J. Pierzynski, Allen Craig, Joe Kelly, and Edward Mujica. Cherington and his staff turned Jon Lester into Porcello. John Lackey, now cruising along with a 2.78 earned run average for the Cardinals, became Craig and Kelly. They thought Ramirez could play left field and that Sandoval's steadily decreasing power somehow was not a trend.

On August 14th, the team played inspired baseball. Led by rookie firstbaseman, Travis Shaw, who had his second career two-homer night, the Red Sox demolished the Seattle Mariners by a 15-1 score. Shaw finished the night 3 for 5 with two runs and three RBIs. He was just the second Red Sox player to have two, two-homer games in his first 18 games in the majors. George Scott also accomplished the feat in 1966. Not since Sam Horn in 1987 had a lefthanded hitter hit five or more home runs in his first 21 games for the Sox.

The next night, August 15th, the Sox outslugged the Mariners, scoring 22 runs. It marked the first time in 65 years that a team scored 15 or more runs and had 21 or more hits in consecutive games. The last team to accomplish the feat was the 1950 Red Sox. The 22 runs were the most the Red Sox had scored in a dozen years (they beat the Marlins, 25-8, in 2003).

Of all the numbers in the box score, Jackie Bradley Jr.'s career day stood out most. He had his first two-homer game, connecting on two-run homers in the second and eighth innings. He set career highs with seven RBIs and five hits. With three doubles, he became the youngest major leaguer since Larry Twitchell in 1889 to have at least five extra-base hits in a game. He had hit safely in five straight games, going 13 for 22 (.591) with three home runs, four doubles, and 13 RBIs.

On August 18th, the day Dave Dembrowski was hired, Eduardo Rodriguez (7-5) again showed why he could be a big part of the future. The 22-year-old allowed one run on six hits and struck out five without a walk in a 9-1 win over the Indians.  His eight innings and 114 pitches were career highs.

Travis Shaw was 4 for 4 and was 21 for 40 in 12 games at Fenway. Brock Holt was 3 for 5 with two RBIs. Blake Swihart also drove in two runs. David Ortiz was 2 for 4 with two doubles, a walk and one RBI. And Hanley Ramirez was 0 for , getting booed at various points during the game.

JACKIE BRADLEY JR

The Sox beat the Indians again the following night. On August 19th, with Dave Dembrowski’s fresh set of eyes evaluating the Sox from every angle, Jackie Bradley made his case early. With one out in the first inning, Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor sent a 2-and-0 fastball screaming into center field. The ball had Bradley twisting, with his back to the plate. Bradley leaped to find the ball, and stretch with his glove to grab it.

The Sox' offense, which in a matter of five games went from ninth in the American League in runs to third, remained hot with two sets of back-to-back homers. The first two shots came in the second inning when David Ortiz led off by shooting one into the Indians' bullpen for his 26th home run of the season. Travis Shaw followed by going opposite field for his sixth homer of the season, giving the Sox a 2-0 lead.

In the fourth, Bradley laced a ball off the light tower over the Green Monster. Finally, Ryan Hanigan came next and launched a ball into the third row of the Monster seats to help give the Sox 6-4 win.

On the next night, a night after Joe Kelly (6-6) gave the Sox six strong innings and extended his season-high winning streak to four games, Wade Miley (10-9) tossed 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball, muzzling the AL Central-leading Royals in a 4-1 win at Fenway. Miley's struggles this year came early, but he eventually settled in as a reliable arm at the back end of the rotation. In his last 19 outings, he was 9-5 with a 3.80 ERA.

Finally, on August 21st, rookie Henry Owens allowed four hits and one earned run, striking out four and walking one in a 7-2 Red Sox win over the Royals. Of his 103 pitches, 64 were strikes. The Sox banged out 14 hits, led by Blake Swihart, who was 4 for 4 with three runs and two RBIs. Mookie Betts went 3 for 5 with an RBI. Josh Rutledge went 2 for 4, cracking a two-run homer in the sixth inning, his first in a Sox uniform. And Rusney Castillo was 2 for 4 with a triple and two runs.

The Sox had now won six of their last eight since Torey Lovullo took over. Farrell's absence and the change in the front office gave Lovullo an opening to assert his own form of managing.  Whether it was the development of the younger players or Lovullo's energy and attention to detail, a better look had been created for this team. It was a team that actually was becoming fun to watch after so many months of underperformance, disappointment, and failure. The kids had started to play great baseball and Red Sox nation started to pay attention.

At a time when Dustin Pedroia was on the disabled list, the standard instinct of young players to follow their leader underwent a change. Suddenly, the young players on the field represented the identity of the team. Trailblazers Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts, as well as Brock Holt, were surrounded by former minor league teammates. That created a conviction that it was no longer time to get in line. Instead, the young players started to be the leaders.

Rusney Castillo left Fenway with his teammates and headed to Chicago. He had upped his hitting streak to a career-high eight games. He was also riding a career-best 14-game on-base streak and had scored at least one run in six straight games. Xander Bogaerts had recorded a hit in each of his last 10 games against the Royals. Travis Shaw was 26 of 58 (.448) in his 17 games at Fenway, a one-man wrecking crew with 11 extra-base hits and 12 RBIs. The Sox scored 82 runs over the 10-game homestand, hitting .352

In Chicago, on August 24th, Joe Kelly won his fifth straight game, 5-4. Kelly was impressive again and Rusney Castillo was 3 for 4 with a home run, a double, and five RBIs as the Red Sox improved to 7-4 Lovullo.

Rick Porcello struck out five White Sox and walked none over seven innings to earn his sixth win, 3-0, in his return from the disabled list. He finished with seven shutout innings, leaving after 94 pitches. He had spent the last 24 days on the disabled list with a right triceps strain.

DON ORSILLO

Next the Don Orsillo story erupted, placing the Red Sox and NESN, both owned by John Henry and Tom Werner, on the defensive. To fans, firing an announcer who helped make a bad season tolerable was outrageous. A petition to keep Orsillo was started, a “Keep Don Orsillo” Twitter account had been created, and venom in many forms was aimed in NESN's direction.

On the field, against the Mets on August 28th, Blake Swihart came to the plate in the top of the 10th inning. The first pitch he saw was a fastball and he lined it to center field for a home run. After Swihart's home run, the Sox kept up the heat. Bradley singled before Mookie Betts doubled with one out. Josh Rutledge drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Xander Bogaerts contributed an RBI single for a 6-4 win.

The next day, again at Citi Field, Joe Kelly pitched into the eighth inning, as the Red Sox beat the New York Mets, 3-1. Now Kelly was playing a major role in the team’s resurgence, giving hope to the idea that the Red Sox were building toward something. Kelly was 6-0 with a 2.68 earned run average in August. Not since Pedro Martinez in May 1999 had a Red Sox pitcher won six games in a month.

August ended with the Yankees coming to Fenway. Mookie Betts slugged a two-run home run and Jackie Bradley had three hits and made the defensive play of the game as the Sox beat the Yanks, 4-3. David Ortiz also homered, leaving him only five shy of 500 for his career.

Bradley was hitting .277 in 43 games. He was 28 of 79 (.354) in August with 17 extra-base hits, 23 RBIs, and 23 runs scored. The Sox had won 9 of their last 13 and improved to 11-6 under Lovullo. They finished August 15-12.

Hanley Ramirez was out of the lineup and later put on the DL. He was hitting .249 and statistically graded out as the worst outfielder in baseball. At $22 million he was the team's highest-paid player and arguably its worst. Since the All-Star break, Ramirez was hitting .183 and had gone 109 at-bats without a home run.

In the second Yankees game, Rick Porcello dominated, striking out a career-best 13 over eight innings. That the Red Sox lost, 3-1, was almost incidental to seeing Porcello stack up outs against a team with a high-powered offense. The 13 strikeouts were the most by a Red Sox pitcher since Jon Lester had 15 against the Oakland Athletics on May 5, 2013 and the most by a Sox pitcher against the Yankees at Fenway Park since Pedro Martinez struck out 12 on May 30, 2001.

The Phillies next came to town to face the Sox and Joe Kelly (9-6). They lost to him, 7-5. After going 15 straight starts without a win, which landed him in Triple A Pawtucket in July, Kelly had now won seven straight starts, the longest such streak in the majors this season. He tied Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling for the longest such streak by a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez won nine in a row in 1999.

The next night, September 5th, the Phillies went up against Wade Miley. Miley (11-10) pitched the first complete game of his career, holding Philly to just two runs on five hits, needing only 110 pitches in the 9-2 Sox win. He had five strikeouts in the first three innings. For three of them, he needed four pitches or fewer. He threw first-pitch strikes to eight of the first 10 batters. With 19 called strikes, he had the Phillies puzzled at the plate.

The final game of the series, September 6th, was a 6-2 Sox win and a series sweep. David Ortiz’s two-run shot got the Red Sox started. Ortiz had five home runs in the last nine games. The home run was Ortiz's 200th at Fenway Park, the most for an active player at any one ballpark. Only Hall of Famers Ted Williams (248), Carl Yastrzemski (237), and Jim Rice (208) had more at Fenway.  

Rookie lefthander Eduardo Rodriguez added to the good pitching trend, allowing one run over seven innings. He scattered eight hits, walked one, and struck out seven. The Sox starters had a 2.85 earned run average in the last 18 games.

The Red Sox had won four of six on their homestand and at 64-72 are eight games under .500 for the first time since July 20. They were one game out of fourth place in the division and three games out of third. Those were modest accomplishments. But a team on the verge of collapse in mid-July was now playing with some verve, having won 20 of the last 34 games. The Sox had averaged 6.1 runs in those games.

Next on the schedule were the powerful first place Toronto Blue Jays.  The Sox took the first game, on September 7th, 11-4, taking down Toronto with 17 hits, six for extra bases. Jackie Bradley Jr. continued his renaissance, going 4 for 4 with four RBIs. He singled twice, doubled, and homered. Bradley had 32 RBIs in his last 25 games and was now hitting .312 on the season. Since August 9th, Bradley was 37 of 83 (.446) with 24 extra-base hits, 32 RBIs, and 29 runs.

Rick Porcello (7-12) allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings. He left the mound with a 9-2 lead. He had given up four earned runs over 22 1/3 innings in his last three starts. The Sox had now won four straight and 8 of 11, and for the first time since June 8th, moved out of fifth place in the American League East.

The Sox took two of three from the Jays.  On September 9th, with Dustin Pedroia back from the DL, Joe Kelly won his 8th straight, 10-4. Mookie Betts' 2-for-5, three-RBI night gave him 57 extra-base hits for the season, the most by a Sox player 23 or younger since Tony Conigliaro in 1966 (61).  Over the three games, they tagged the Jays for 22 runs, the most Toronto's allowed in a three-game set this season.

BETTS, CASTILLO & BRADLEY

The Sox young outfield had become the most solid in the majors now that Hanley Ramirez was determined to have been an unsuccessful experiment in left field.  Their talents could be seen whenever Rusney Castillo plays a carom off the Wall and held a runner to a single or Mookie Betts chased down a ball in the triangle to save an extra-base hit, or Jackie Bradley Jr fired a missile to the plate to gun down a runner.

In Tampa, after losing the first game on a blown save by Junichi Tazawa, the Sox stormed back to beat the Rays 10-4 on September 12th. The win was incidental. David Ortiz hit two home runs, the second giving him 500 for his legendary career. Both came against lefthander Matt Moore. Big Papi became the 27th player to reach 500 homers. Ortiz joined Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, and Manny Ramirez as players who hit their 500th home run with the Red Sox, the most of any team. Only Ortiz and Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Reggie Jackson have at least 500 home runs and three World Series titles.

For David Ortiz, it was the chase for 500 home runs that he handled with grace and expediency. For developing players such as Rusney Castillo, it has been an opportunity to prove they deserve a spot on the roster next season. But for Rich Hill, who started the final game against the Rays, simply playing baseball was enough. The Red Sox provided Hill with a familiar landing spot and he rewarded them with one of the best performances of his career, throwing seven shutout innings in a 2-0 win.

In Baltimore, on September 15th, Joe Kelly’s season and rebound came to an abrupt end. He had won eight straight games, the longest winning streak in the American League this season and had a 2.59 ERA over that span. He had to come out of his start in the third inning with shoulder tightness and fatigue, ending his nice run for the year.

In the final game against the Orioles, Dustin Pedroia hit two home runs and drove in five runs and David Ortiz also hit No. 501 in his career. But it was the quiet rookie pitcher, Henry Owens, who made the biggest impact in a 10-1 victory. Owens threw 7 2/3 shutout innings, silencing a potent Baltimore lineup. The 23-year-old allowed six hits, all singles, and struck out four without a walk. Of his career-high 113 pitches, 75 were strikes.

The Sox next headed back to Toronto to once again face-off with the Jays. After losing the first game of the series, the Sox rebounded in dramatic fashion. Down by two runs and facing a first-place team in the heat of a pennant race, the last-place Red Sox scored five runs in the ninth inning and held on to win, 7-6. Xander Bogaerts was 2 for 5 with a home run in the sixth inning and a single that helped fuel the big ninth inning. Travis Shaw was on base three times and Rusney Castillo had an RBI single that proved to be the difference.

The third game once again belonged to Rich Hill. Dominating Tampa Bay's anemic offense is one thing, but holding the best lineup in baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays, scoreless for five consecutive innings after spotting them a 3-0 lead is quite another. Hill had become one of the feel-good late-season stories for the Red Sox. He had gone up against a goliath, the monster-hitting Blue Jays.

After giving up a two-run homer in the second, Hill was almost unhittable. He stuck with a dramatic curveball he threw at different speeds and different angles, and his fastball, coming in at 91-92 miles per hour, looked even sharper. The Jays usually crushed left-handed pitching, but they couldn't touch Hill after the second inning.

The Sox took 2 of 3 from Toronto and the Sox came back to Fenway for the final homestand, feeling very good about themselves.

In the first game of the final week at home on September 21st, Xander Bogaerts' eighth-inning grand slam enabled the Sox to overtake the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-7, and move out of last place for the first time since June 9th. Bogaerts drove in five runs and was up to 78 RBIs to go with his .323 average, which was second in the American League.

Starting on September 25th, the Sox had one of their most impressive runs of the season. Rich Hill had a shutout going when he gave a fat one to Baltimore’s Chris Davis that sailed out toward the Sox bullpen. With two outs in the ninth inning, he was going to lose his shutout. But Mookie Betts raced back to the short wall in front of the Red Sox bullpen, made a leaping catch, and was able to brace himself with his right hand to keep from tumbling over the wall. He came back onto the field and flung his glove up in the air, the ball safely inside. The Red Sox had a 7-0 victory and, in his first career start at Fenway Park, Hill had a two-hit shutout.

For the second game of the Baltimore series, Craig Breslow came out of his bullpen role to make a start. Breslow allowed two hits and two walks and struck out two. He was not the winner, but set the tone for a successful day. He retired the final five batters he faced. Heath Hembree pitched an inning then Matt Barnes two. Alexi Ogando, Tommy Layne, and Noe Ramirez each got an out in the eighth inning. Jonathan Aro pitched the ninth inning. The seven relievers allowed five hits, walked five, and struck out four. They shutout the Orioles for the second day, 8-0.

Call it a shutout sweep. On September 27th, a 2-0 win capped a run in which the Sox pitchers held the Orioles scoreless for all 27 innings. Henry Owens (4-3) gave the Sox 7 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just three hits while striking out five. The Red Sox closed out their Fenway Park schedule with a 43-38 record, winning 19 of their final 30 home games.

The final shining light on a lost season came at Yankee Stadium. In the first game against the Yankees, who were still chasing the Jays, Eduardo Rodriguez laid down the final piece of a stellar first season by pitching six strong innings. The Sox cruised to a 5-1 victory and Rodriguez allowed one run on seven hits and struck out five with one walk. He finished the season 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA.

Jackie Bradley helped Rodriguez out twice with stellar plays in left field. He took extra bases away from Chase Headley in the third inning, racing back on a ball hit over his head, to make a catch at the wall. In the sixth inning, Bradley ranged to his right and made a leaping catch of a line drive off the bat of John Ryan Murphy. Murphy jogged into second base and called time, convinced he had a double. Umpire Tim Welke gave him the bad news.

In the second game, the Sox scored six runs in the first inning and went on to beat the Yankees, 10-4. And in the third game, the Sox burned the Yankees once again by scoring four runs in the 11th inning, winning 9-5. Mookie Betts homered twice for the Red Sox, driving in three runs. His two-run shot in the 11th inning sent what few fans remaining at Yankee Stadium fleeing for the exits.

In 3rd place and at 78-80, the Sox still had a chance to finish with a winning record. They were 28-16 under Torey Lovullo.  But it wasn’t to be.  The Sox lost their last four games. The hole they dug for themselves was too deep to climb out of, but Red Sox Nation was proud of the turnaround.

The Red Sox became a team that has a clear sense of where it was trying to go and is moving in the intended direction. The success had arrived far too late to salvage 2015, but it changed the tone and outlook of the organization and its fans.

The 2015 season started like “Déjà vu All Over Again” and finished like “The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be” … thanks Yogi for the reminders.

 

 

 4-2 4-2
GAME LOG
  RECORD PLACE GB/GF OPPONENT   SCORE  PITCHER W/L
04/06/2015 1-0 1st -  at Philadelphia Phillies W 8-0 Clay Buccholz 1-0
04/07/2015 1-0 2nd -1/2  
04/08/2015 1-1 2nd -1/2  at Philadelphia Phillies L 4-2 Rick Porcello 0-1
04/09/2015 2-1 1st -  at Philadelphia Phillies W 6-2 Justin Masterson 1-0
04/10/2015 3-1 1st -  at New York Yankees W 6-5 Steven Wright 1-0
04/11/2015 4-1 1st +1  at New York Yankees W 8-4 Joe Kelly 1-0
04/12/2015 4-2 1st -  at New York Yankees L 14-4 Clay Buccholz 1-1
04/13/2015 5-2 1st +1  Washington Nationals W 9-4 Rick Porcello 1-1
04/14/2015 6-2 1st +1  Washington Nationals W 8-7 Edward Mujica 1-0
04/15/2015 6-3 1st +1  Washington Nationals L 10-5 Wade Miley 0-1
04/16/2015 6-3 1st +1/2  
04/17/2015 7-3 1st +1 1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 3-2 Koji Uehara 1-0
04/18/2015 7-4 1st +1  Baltimore Orioles L 4-1 Clay Buccholz 1-2
04/19/2015 7-5 1st -  Baltimore Orioles L 8-3 Rick Porcello 1-2
04/20/2015 8-5 1st +1  Baltimore Orioles W 7-1 Justin Masterson 2-0
04/21/2015 9-5 1st +2  at Tampa Bay Rays W 1-0 Wade Miley 1-1
04/22/2015 9-6 1st +1  at Tampa Bay Rays L 7-5 Edward Mujica 1-1
04/23/2015 9-7 1st -  at Tampa Bay Rays L 2-1 Anthony Vavaro 0-1
04/24/2015 10-7 1st -  at Baltimore Orioles W 7-5 Alexi Ogando 1-0
04/25/2015 10-8 1st -  at Baltimore Orioles L 5-4 Koji Uehara 1-1
04/26/2015 10-9 3rd -1  at Baltimore Orioles L 18-7 Wade Miley 1-2
04/27/2015 11-9 2nd -1  Toronto Blue Jays W 6-5 Koji Uehara 2-1
04/28/2015 11-10 2nd -2  Toronto Blue Jays L 11-8 Clay Buccholz 1-3
04/29/2015 12-10 2nd -1  Toronto Blue Jays W 4-1 Rick Porcello 2-2
04/30/2015 12-10 2nd -1  
05/01/2015 12-11 3rd -2  New York Yankees L 3-2 Junichi Tazawa 0-1
05/02/2015 12-12 3rd -3  New York Yankees L 4-2 Wade Miley 1-3
05/03/2015 12-13 4th -4  New York Yankees L 8-5 Joe Kelly 1-1
05/04/2015 12-14 5th -4  Tampa Bay Rays L 5-1 Clay Buccholz 1-4
05/05/2015 13-14 4th -4  Tampa Bay Rays W 2-0 Rick Porcello 3-2
05/06/2015 13-15 5th -4  Tampa Bay Rays L 5-3 Justin Masterson 2-1
05/07/2015 13-15 4th -4 1/2  
05/08/2015 13-16 4th -5 1/2  at Toronto Blue Jays L 7-0 Wade Miley 1-4
05/09/2015 13-17 5th -5 1/2  at Toronto Blue Jays L 7-1 Joe Kelly 1-2
05/10/2015 14-17 4th -5 1/2  at Toronto Blue Jays W 6-3 Clay Buccholz 2-4
05/11/2015 15-17 4th -5 1/2  at Oakland Athletics W 5-4 Matt Barnes 1-0
05/12/2015 15-18 4th -5 1/2  at Oakland Athletics L 9-2 Justin Masterson 2-2
05/13/2015 16-18 4th -4 1/2  at Oakland Athletics W 2-0 Wade Miley 2-4
05/14/2015 17-18 3rd -3 1/2  at Seattle Mariners W 2-1 Matt Barnes 2-0
05/15/2015 17-19 3rd -3 1/2  at Seattle Mariners L 2-1 Tommy Layne 0-1
05/16/2015 18-19 3rd -3 1/2  at Seattle Mariners W 4-2 Rick Porcello 4-2
05/17/2015 18-20 3rd -3 1/2  at Seattle Mariners L 5-0 Steven Wright 1-1
05/18/2015 18-20 3rd -3 1/2  
05/19/2015 19-20 3rd -2 1/2  Texas Rangers W 4-3 Wade Miley 3-4
05/20/2015 19-21 3rd -2 1/2  Texas Rangers L 2-1 Joe Kelly 1-3
05/21/2015 19-22 4th -3 1/2  Texas Rangers L 3-1 Clay Buccholz 2-5
05/22/2015 19-23 4th -4 1/2  Los Angeles Angels L 12-5 Rick Porcello 4-3
05/23/2015 20-23 4th -3 1/2  Los Angeles Angels W 8-3 Steven Wright 2-1
05/24/2015 21-23 3rd -2 1/2  Los Angeles Angels W 6-1 Wade Miley 4-4
05/25/2015 21-24 4th -2 1/2  at Minnesota Twins L 7-2 Joe Kelly 1-4
05/26/2015 21-25 4th -3  at Minnesota Twins L 2-1 Clay Buccholz 2-6
05/27/2015 21-26 4th -4  at Minnesota Twins L 6-4 Rick Porcello 4-4
05/28/2015 22-26 4th -3  at Texas Rangers W 5-1 Eduardo Rodriguez 1-0
05/29/2015 22-27 5th -3  at Texas Rangers L 7-4 Steven Wright 2-2
05/30/2015 22-28 5th -4  at Texas Rangers L 8-0 Wade Miley 4-5
05/31/2015 22-29 5th -4  at Texas Rangers L 4-3 Koji Uehara 2-2
06/01/2015 22-29 5th -4 1/2  Minnesota Twins pp  
06/02/2015 23-29 4th -4 1/2  Minnesota Twins W 1-0 Clay Buccholz 3-6
06/03/2015 24-29 4th -5  Minnesota Twins W 6-3 Eduardo Rodriguez 2-0
24-30 4th -5 L 2-0 Rick Porcello 4-5
06/04/2015 24-31 5th -5 1/2  Minnesota Twins L 8-4 Koji Uehara 2-3
06/05/2015 25-31 5th -5 1/2  Oakland Athletics W 4-2 Wade Miley 5-5
06/06/2015 26-31 4th -5 1/2  Oakland Athletics W 4-2 Joe Kelly 2-4
06/07/2015 27-31 4th -5 1/2  Oakland Athletics W 7-4 Steven Wright 3-2
06/08/2015 27-31 4th -5 1/2  
06/09/2015 27-32 5th -6 1/2  at Baltimore Orioles L 1-0 Matt Barnes 2-1
06/10/2015 27-33 5th -6 1/2  at Baltimore Orioles L 5-2 Rick Porcello 4-6
06/11/2015 27-34 5th -7  at Baltimore Orioles L 6-5 Wade Miley 5-6
06/12/2015 27-35 5th -7  Toronto Blue Jays L 13-10 Junichi Tazawa 0-2
06/13/2015 27-36 5th -7  Toronto Blue Jays L 5-4 Matt Barnes 2-2
06/14/2015 27-37 5th -8  Toronto Blue Jays L 13-5 Eduardo Rodriguez 2-1
06/15/2015 27-38 5th -9  Atlanta Braves L 4-2 Rick Porcello 4-7
06/16/2015 28-38 5th -8  Atlanta Braves W 9-4 Wade Miley 6-6
06/17/2015 28-39 5th -9  Atlanta Braves L 5-2 Junichi Tazawa 0-3
06/18/2015 29-39 5th -9  Atlanta Braves W 5-2 Clay Buccholz 4-6
06/19/2015 30-39 5th -9  at Kansas City Royals W 7-3 Eduardo Rodriguez 3-1
06/20/2015 30-40 5th -10  at Kansas City Royals L 7-4 Rick Porcello 4-8
06/21/2015 31-40 5th -9  at Kansas City Royals W 13-2 Wade Miley 7-6
06/22/2015 31-40 5th -8 1/2  
06/23/2015 31-41 5th -9 1/2  Baltimore Orioles L 6-4 Joe Kelly 2-5
06/24/2015 32-41 5th -8 1/2  Baltimore Orioles W 5-1 Clay Buccholz 5-6
06/25/2015 32-42 5th -9  Baltimore Orioles L 8-6 Eduardo Rodriguez 3-2
06/26/2015 33-42 5th -8  at Tampa Bay Rays W 4-3 Alexi Ogando 2-0
06/27/2015 33-43 5th -9  at Tampa Bay Rays L 4-1 Wade Miley 7-7
06/28/2015 34-43 5th -8  at Tampa Bay Rays W 5-3 Justin Masterson 3-2
06/29/2015 35-43 5th -7  at Toronto Blue Jays W 3-1 Clay Buccholz 6-6
06/30/2015 36-43 5th -6  at Toronto Blue Jays W 4-3 Eduardo Rodriguez 4-2
07/01/2015 36-44 5th -7  at Toronto Blue Jays L 11-2 Rick Porcello 4-9
07/02/2015 37-44 5th -6  at Toronto Blue Jays W 12-6 Wade Miley 8-7
07/03/2015 37-45 5th -7  Houston Astros L 12-8 Noe Ramirez 0-1
07/04/2015 38-45 5th -7  Houston Astros W 6-1 Clay Buccholz 7-6
07/05/2015 39-45 5th -6  Houston Astros W 5-4 Matt Barnes 3-2
07/06/2015 39-45 5th -6  
07/07/2015 40-45 5th -5  Miami Marlins W 4-3 Junichi Tazawa 1-3
07/08/2015 41-45 5th -5  Miami Marlins W 6-3 Rick Porcello 5-9
07/09/2015 41-45 5th -5 1/2  
07/10/2015 41-46 5th -6 1/2  New York Yankees L 5-1 Clay Buccholz 7-7
07/11/2015 42-46 5th -5 1/2  New York Yankees W 5-3 Eduardo Rodriguez 5-2
07/12/2015 42-47 5th -6 1/2  New York Yankees L 8-6 Wade Miley 8-8
07/13/2015  All Star Game Break
07/14/2015
07/15/2015
07/16/2015
07/17/2015 42-48 5th -7 1/2  at Los Angeles Angels L 1-0 Koji Uehara 2-4
07/18/2015 42-49 5th -7 1/2  at Los Angeles Angels L 3-0 Rick Porcello 5-10
07/19/2015 42-49 5th -7 1/2  at Los Angeles Angels pp  
07/20/2015 42-50 5th -8 1/2  at Los Angeles Angels L 11-1 Eduardo Rodriguez 5-3
42-51 5th -9 L 7-3 Steven Wright 3-3
07/21/2015 42-52 5th -10  at Houston Astros L 8-3 Brian Johnson 0-1
07/22/2015 42-53 5th -11  at Houston Astros L 4-2 Joe Kelly 2-6
07/23/2015 42-54 5th -12  at Houston Astros L 5-4 Craig Breslow 0-1
07/24/2015 43-54 5th -11  Detroit Tigers W 2-1 Justin Masterson 4-2
07/25/2015 43-55 5th -12  Detroit Tigers L 5-1 Steven Wright 3-4
07/26/2015 44-55 5th -12  Detroit Tigers W 11-1 Eduardo Rodriguez 6-3
07/27/2015 44-56 5th -13  Chicago White Sox L 10-8 Robbie Ross 0-1
07/28/2015 44-57 5th -14  Chicago White Sox L 9-4 Wade Miley 8-9
07/29/2015 44-58 5th -14  Chicago White Sox L 9-2 Rick Porcello 5-11
07/30/2015 45-58 5th -13  Chicago White Sox W 8-2 Steven Wright 4-4
07/31/2015 46-58 5th -13  Tampa Bay Rays W 7-5 Junichi Tazawa 2-3
08/01/2015 47-58 5th -12  Tampa Bay Rays W 11-7 Joe Kelly 3-6
08/02/2015 47-59 5th -13  Tampa Bay Rays L 4-3 Junichi Tazawa 2-4
08/03/2015 47-59 5th -13  
08/04/2015 47-60 5th -14  at New York Yankees L 13-3 Henry Owens 0-1
08/05/2015 48-60 5th -13  at New York Yankees W 2-1 Steven Wright 5-4
08/06/2015 48-61 5th -14  at New York Yankees L 2-1 Eduardo Rodriguez 6-4
08/07/2015 49-61 5th -13  at Detroit Tigers W 7-2 Joe Kelly 4-6
08/08/2015 49-62 5th -13  at Detroit Tigers L 7-6 Junichi Tazawa 2-5
08/09/2015 50-62 5th -12  at Detroit Tigers W 7-2 Henry Owens 1-1
08/10/2015 50-62 5th -12  
08/11/2015 50-63 5th -12  at Miami Marlins L 5-4 Craig Breslow 0-2
08/12/2015 50-64 5th -12 1/2  at Miami Marlins L 14-6 Eduardo Rodriguez 6-5
08/13/2015 50-64 5th -12 1/2  
08/14/2015 51-64 5th -12 1/2  Seattle Mariners W 15-1 Joe Kelly 5-6
08/15/2015 52-64 5th -12 1/2  Seattle Mariners W 22-10 Wade Miley 9-9
08/16/2015 52-65 5th -12 1/2  Seattle Mariners L 10-8 Craig Breslow 0-3
08/17/2015 52-66 5th -13 1/2  Cleveland Indians L 8-2 Matt Barnes 3-3
08/18/2015 53-66 5th -13 1/2  Cleveland Indians W 9-1 Eduardo Rodriguez 7-5
08/19/2015 54-66 5th -13 1/2  Cleveland Indians W 6-4  Joe Kelly 6-6
08/20/2015 55-66 5th -12 1/2  Kansas City Royals W 4-1 Wade Miley 10-9
08/21/2015 56-66 5th -11 1/2  Kansas City Royals W 7-2 Henry Owens 2-1
08/22/2015 56-67 5th -12 1/2  Kansas City Royals L 6-3 Matt Barnes 3-4
08/23/2015 56-68 5th -13  Kansas City Royals L 8-6 Junichi Tazawa 2-6
08/24/2015 57-68 5th -12 1/2  at Chicago White Sox W 5-4 Joe Kelly 7-6
08/25/2015 57-69 5th -13 1/2  at Chicago White Sox L 5-4 Wade Miley 10-10
08/26/2015 58-69 5th -13 1/2  at Chicago White Sox W 3-0 Rick Porcello 6-11
08/27/2015 58-69 5th -13  
08/28/2015 59-69 5th -13  at New York Mets W 6-4 Tommy Layne 1-1
08/29/2015 60-69 5th -13  at New York Mets W 3-1 Joe Kelly 8-6
08/30/2015 60-70 5th -14  at New York Mets L 5-4 Robbie Ross 0-2
08/31/2015 61-70 5th -13  New York Yankees W 4-3 Eduardo Rodriguez 8-5
09/01/2015 61-71 5th -14  New York Yankees L 3-1 Rick Porcello 6-12
09/02/2015 61-72 5th -15  New York Yankees L 13-8 Henry Owens 2-2
09/03/2015 61-72 5th -15  
09/04/2015 62-72 5th -14  Philadelphia Phillies W 7-5 Joe Kelly 9-6
09/05/2015 63-72 5th -14  Philadelphia Phillies W 9-2 Wade Miley 11-10
09/06/2015 64-72 5th -14  Philadelphia Phillies W 6-2 Eduardo Rodriguez 9-5
09/07/2015 65-72 4th -13  Toronto Blue Jays W 11-4 Rick Porcello 7-12
09/08/2015 65-73 5th -14  Toronto Blue Jays L 5-1 Alexi Ogando 2-1
09/09/2015 66-73 5th -13  Toronto Blue Jays W 10-4 Joe Kelly 10-6
09/10/2015 66-73 5th -13  
09/11/2015 66-74 5th -14  at Tampa Bay Rays L 8-4 Junichi Tazawa 2-7
09/12/2015 67-74 5th -14 1/2  at Tampa Bay Rays W 10-4 Rick Porcello 8-12
09/13/2015 68-74 5th -13 1/2  at Tampa Bay Rays W 2-0 Heath Hembree 1-0
09/14/2015 68-75 5th -14  at Baltimore Orioles L 2-0 Eduardo Rodriguez 9-6
09/15/2015 68-76 5th -14  at Baltimore Orioles L 6-5 Jonathan Aro 0-1
09/16/2015 69-76 5th -14  at Baltimore Orioles W 10-1 Henry Owens 3-2
09/17/2015 69-76 5th -14 1/2  
09/18/2015 69-77 5th -15 1/2  at Toronto Blue Jays L 6-1 Rick Porcello 8-13
09/19/2015 70-77 5th -14 1/2  at Toronto Blue Jays W 7-6 Tommy Layne 2-1
09/20/2015 71-77 5th -13 1/2  at Toronto Blue Jays W 4-3 Rich Hill 1-0
09/21/2015 72-77 4th -13 1/2  Tampa Bay Rays W 8-7 Jean Machi 2-0
09/22/2015 72-78 5th -13 1/2  Tampa Bay Rays L 5-2 Henry Owens 3-3
09/23/2015 72-79 5th -14 1/2  Tampa Bay Rays L 6-2 Rick Porcello 8-14
09/24/2015 72-80 5th -15  Tampa Bay Rays L 4-2 Wade Miley 11-11
09/25/2015 73-80 5th -15  Baltimore Orioles W 7-0 Rich Hill 2-0
09/26/2015 74-80 5th -15  Baltimore Orioles W 8-0 Heath Hembree 2-0
09/27/2015 75-80 4th -15  Baltimore Orioles W 2-0 Henry Owens 4-3
09/28/2015 76-80 3rd -15  at New York Yankees W 5-1 Eduardo Rodriguez 10-6
09/29/2015 77-80 3rd -14 1/2  at New York Yankees W 10-4 Rick Porcello 9-14
09/30/2015 78-80 3rd -14  at New York Yankees W 9-5 Alexi Ogando 3-1
10/01/2015 78-81 3rd -14  at New York Yankees L 4-1 Rich Hill 2-1
10/02/2015 78-82 4th -15  at Cleveland Indians L 8-2 Henry Owen 4-4
10/03/2015 78-83 5th -15  at Cleveland Indians L 2-0 Craig Breslow 0-4
10/04/2015 78-84 5th -15  at Cleveland Indians L 3-1 Rick Porcello 9-15
 
2015 RED SOX BATTING & PITCHING
 
 

 

 

FINAL 2015 A.L. EAST STANDINGS

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays 93 69 -

 

 

New York Yankees 87 75 6

 

 

Baltimore Orioles 81 81 12

 

 

Tampa Bay Devil Rays 80 82 13

 

 

BOSTON RED SOX 78 84 15

 

 

 
2014 RED SOX 2016 RED SOX