Tag Archives: Torey Lovullo

THE MIRACLE OF YAWKEY WAY!!

I call it the Miracle of Yawkey Way. On August 13, the Red Sox were in last place, 13 games out of first with a record of 50 wins and 64 losses. Today they are still in last place, and now 14 games out of first but their record is 64 wins and 72 losses.

How is that a miracle? They are a game further behind than they were on August 13. Do the math!! Since August 13, they have won 14 and lost just 8, a .636 won loss percentage. The only team in baseball with a won loss percentage better than that for the season is the St. Louis Cardinals.

On August 14, Torey Lovullo took over as Red Sox interim Manager and the world, at least the Red Sox portion of it, turned! Since then, some amazing things have happened.

Jackie Bradley’s average went from .174 to .292 as he had 28 hits in 68 at bats, a .412 average. The starting pitchers, Joe Kelly, Wade Miley, Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez had a combined ERA of 2.13. Blake Swihart hit .477 with 21 hits in 44 at bats. Mookie Betts hit .348, Xander Bogaerts hit .348 and raised his average for the year to .320 third best in the league. Brock Holt’s average went from .276 to .282, Betts from .266 to .282, Swihart’s from .243 to .288, Rusney Castillo from .268 to .279.

During this period, Joe Kelly, whose ERA was 5.96 on August 13, had an ERA of 1.68, Rick Porcello, whose ERA was 5.83 on August 13, had a .60 ERA, Eduardo Rodriguez, whose ERA was 4.83 on August 13, had an ERA of 1.73 and Wade Miley, whose ERA was 4.68 on August 13, had an ERA of 3.50.

The bullpen does not seem to have been affected by the Miracle of Yawkey Way, posting a 4.01 ERA in this period but I’m sure the new President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski will work some miracle there.

Something happened in Boston that made an absolutely terrible team into a very good team at least for this short period of time. What will happen the rest of the season remains to be seen but Torey Lovullo has brought out the best in his young players.

With only 26 games left the Sox are certainly not going to make the playoffs. They have, however, shown that the young talent that they already have can be the foundation for a winning team.

As you may know, I am a Yankee fan who recently published a book ‘From Beer To Beards, Boston Baseball’s 2011-2013 Roller Coaster Ride’. If I were to write a new book about the Red Sox today the title would be ‘Red Sox Fans Can’t Wait Until Next Year’.

CHANGES IN BOSTON!!

The Boston Red Sox continue to look like a different team since Torey Lovullo replaced the ailing John Farrell at the helm last Friday. In their latest installment, the Sox made it two in a row over the Kansas City Royals with an impressive 7-2 victory. After winning the series opener on Thursday night, 4-1, the Sox got a great start from 23 year old Henry Owens in his fourth Major League appearance.

Owens went eight innings, giving up just one earned run on four hits for his second victory. After walking the lead off batter in the first innings, he didn’t give up another walk as he stifled the potent Kansas City offense.

As has generally been the case, the offense was led by the younger players. The bottom third of the order, right fielder Rusney Castillo, catcher Blake Swihart and second baseman Josh Rutledge got eight hits in 12 at bats, including two doubles, a triple and a homer, driving in five runs and scoring six. The veteran trio of third baseman Pablo Sandoval, left fielder Hanley Ramirez and DH David Ortiz, meanwhile, went a collective 1-13 at the plate. In the two wins against the Royals, they are 2-24 with Sandoval having the two hits.

The starting and relief pitching has been vastly improved during this brief period. Wade Miley gave up just one run in 7 1/3 innings to the Royals on Thursday night. Junichi Tazawa, installed as Closer after the loss of Koji Uehara, got his second save in two nights in that game, after blowing his first six save tries this year before Lovullo took over.

The Sox are now 6-2 in their first eight days under Interim Manager Lovullo. The release of Justin Masterson coupled with Ben Cherrington’s exit this week and the hiring of Dave Dombrowski may have sent a message that the Red Sox ownership has had enough of this horrendous season and intends to right the ship.

It remains to be seen if this is just a Honeymoon Period or if the Sox players are ready to begin to perform like the highly paid professionals they are supposed to be.

WHO IS THIS TOREY LOVULLO?

WHO IS THIS TOREY LOVULLO?

After Thursdays day off, the Red Sox came home from a 3-5 road trip to host the Seattle Mariners in a three game set starting Friday night. Prior to the Friday game, Manager John Farrell held a press conference at which he announced that he had Stage one cancer of the lymphatic system which had been discovered in hernia surgery in Detroit on Monday of this week. He said the doctors had removed a lump during surgery and that the cancer was localized and ‘highly curable’. He said he will undergo chemotherapy and will be out on medical leave for the rest of the season.

Bench Coach Torey Lovullo was named to manage the team in Farrell’s absence. In his first game as Manager, the Sox scored 15 runs on 21 hits and beat Seattle 15-1. Joe Kelly started and went six innings, giving up just one run, on four hits, one a solo homer to Kyle Seager in the second, while striking out six. Saturday, the Sox scored 22 runs on 26 hits, beating Seattle 22-10 and Wade Miley gave them a second quality start in a row, pitching seven innings and giving up just two runs on four hits and striking out eight.

The Sox had scored 37 runs on 47 hits in two games under their new Manager and had gotten quality starts out of two pitchers while doing so. People were asking, ‘ Who is this Torey Lovullo? ‘

Lovullo had been Farrell’s Bench Coach since Farrell took over as Manager in Boston in 2013. Prior to that he had been First Base Coach under Farrell at Toronto in 2011 and 2012. He had previously managed in the Minor Leagues, winning the Manager of the Year Award while managing Kingston in the Carolina League in 2004 and Akron in the Eastern League in 2005.

He had had an undistinguished Major League career as a player after being drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the fifth round of the 1987 draft. He is fifty years old and made his Major League debut as a player with the Tigers on September 10, 1988.

He played eight years in the Major leagues for seven different teams. He was an infielder who played in 303 games and had a career batting average of
.224 and played every infield position in his eight years.

After these two blowouts, the Sox are still 52-64, 12 ½ games back, in last place in the Eastern Division. Whatever caused the Red Sox bats to explode as they did and their starting pitching to do so well in Lovullo’s first two games is a mystery. One thing is certain, it can’t last but it was a fun ride while it happened for Red Sox fans.