Kalish 'psyched' to be back up with Red Sox

625262.jpg

Kalish 'psyched' to be back up with Red Sox

CHICAGO -- Ryan Kalish last played in the big leagues at the end of the 2010 season, so when a call from Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler came at 12:30 early Sunday morning, telling him that he being called up by the parent club, Kalish didn't mind the late hour or the short notice.

"I'm psyched, man," said Kalish, sitting in the visitor's dugout at Wrigley Field three hours before gametime Sunday afternoon. "I'm psyched to be here and help this team win ballgames."

Kalish missed most of 2011 with a succession of neck and shoulder injuries that eventually required two surgeries at the end of the year, including one in November to repair a torn labrum.

He wasn't ready to do much in the way of baseball activities in spring training, but worked his way back and had rehab stints at Salem (Single A), Portland (Double A), and more recently, Triple A Pawtucket. In 15 games between the two assignments, he hit .345 with five homers and 11 RBI.

Kalish, who was in center and hitting eighth, probably thought he would need more time to refine his timing, but a nagging toe injury to Ryan Sweeney sped up the timetable.

"I didn't expect anything," he said. "I just expected to go through the process of getting myself back in game shape and seeing pitching, taking good swings, and putting together quality at-bats."

Having undergone two surgical procedures last fall, Kalish knew he faced a long recovery road.

"You always hear these standard guidelines," said Kalish. "You always figured after those months, it's over. It's not over. Basically, it's just getting started. There's a lot of maintenance work that goes into this that I'm going to have put in everyday. I'm fine with that. But it's a learning process, just like anything else."

In his time with the Sox in 2010, Kalish earned a reputation for having an aggressive, even reckless playing style, throwing his body around in the outfield and on the bases.

Now, he realizes he may have to tone it down some.

"Basically," he said, "I can pick and choose my spot. I think that's what I'm going to have to do now. I don't know when that's going to happen, but I think I'm going to get a feel for it. Obviously sliding head-first is probably not something I'm going to do. Feet-first is just as effective, so I'm not worried
about that.

"I haven't dived for a ball yet in the outfield. If the time comes, I'm going to give it a shot. I think I'm fine. I'm confident about how I'm feeling. I think everything's sturdier than I would think. But if the time calls, man, I think I have to lay out for my team."

Like Will Middlebrooks before him, Kalish can provide some energy to a team depleted by injuries and struggling in the standings.

"It's about the energy right now," he said. "I don't have expectations. I'm not looking to set a goal to how I want to field or how I want to hit. But I know I can bring an energy to a ballpark that's really good for a team and that's what I want to do. These guys are all about winning and that's what I'm about and that's what I want to do."

Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello 'the model of consistency'

Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello 'the model of consistency'

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays

 

QUOTES:

"Rick has been the model of consistency.'' - John Farrell on starter Rick Porcello

"It means that we have a heck of a team, really. The runs we put up, and I don't think anybody talks about our defense.'' - Porcello, asked about the significance of being baseball's first 18-game winner.

"It's cool to be a part of that, but we're in a race right now and that's way more important.'' - Mookie Betts on the crowd chants of "MVP!" during his at-bat.

 

NOTES

* Hanley Ramirez has nine extra-base hit in the last 15 games.

* Opposing baserunners have stolen only 54 percent of the time when Sandy Leon is behind the plate, the lowest figure for any Red Sox catcher (minimum 20 games) since 1987

* Brock Holt tied a season high with three hits, including two with two outs and runners in scoring position.

* Mookie Betts set a career high with 72 extra-base hits.

* Betts became the third player in franchise history to have a 30-homer season before the age of 24. Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro are the others.

* Betts has five homers and 13 RBI in his last five home games.

* Rick Porcello is just the fifth major league pitcher since 1913 to begin a season 13-0 at home

* Porcello is the third Red Sox pitcher to win 18 of his first 21 decisions after Cy Young (1902) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (2008)

* David Ortiz leads the majors in doubles, slugging percentage and OPS.

 

STARS:

1) Rick Porcello

The righthander became the first 18-game winner in the big leagues and he did it by supplying seven innings for the sixth straight start while improving to 13-0 at home.

2) Mookie Betts

Betts gave the Red Sox an early lead with his 30th homer of the year, becoming the third player in franchise history to reach that milestone before the age of 24.

3) Travis Shaw

Shaw broke out of a month-long slump with a three-hit game, including a double, to go along with two RBI.

 

First impressions: Porcello settles in, helps Red Sox beat Rays, 9-4

red_sox_rick_porcello_082916.jpg

First impressions: Porcello settles in, helps Red Sox beat Rays, 9-4

First impressions from the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays:

 

* Rick Porcello followed form.

Porcello has, throughout the season, struggled some in the early innings before making some adjustments and stabilizing as the game wears on.

So it was Monday night against the Rays.

Coming into the start, Porcello had compiled a 4.15 ERA in the first three innings with a 2.13 ERA in innings four through six.

Sure enough, Porcello allowed four straight hits and two runs in the third inning. After that, he looked like a different pitcher. He did yield a solo run in the fifth when he gave up a leadoff double and two groundouts.

But from the fourth through the seventh, he faced 13 hitters and retired 12 of them, including five by strikeout.

 

* Travis Shaw showed signs of digging out his funk at the plate.

Shaw was 0-for-6 to start the homestand, and since the beginning of August, had compiled an anemic .141/.236/.264 slash line with only four extra-base hits (two doubles, two doubles).

That resulted in Shaw losing playing time to Aaron Hill at third, and being dropped lower in the batting order.

But Monday, Shaw smacked a double to right -- the kind of extra-base power that he almost routinely flashed in the first half -- and later added two singles for a three-hit night.

It marked the first multi-hit game for him since July 26, better than a month ago.

 

* Lo and behold, the Red Sox can collect hits with the bases loaded.

The team's struggles in that department have been well-chronicled. Coming into the night, the Sox were hitting just .211 in such situations, ranking them 14th out of the 15 A.L. teams.

Time after time, the Sox have failed to come through with the bases full, sometimes even with no outs.

But that wasn't the case Monday. Twice, in fact, the Sox had innings with the bases loaded and both times, they scored.

In the second, Brock Holt's single to left scored Chris Young, though Sandy Leon was cut down at the plate when the Sox tried to get two runs out of it.

In the seventh, a sharp single to center by Sandy Leon scored two more.