After another close and disappointing loss to the Yankees the Red Sox have now fallen to three games back in the AL East. After falling behind 1-0 in the 3rd after a Brett Gardner double, Dustin Pedroia tied it up in the next inning with a solo shot over the Green Monster off of Nathan Eovaldi. However, in the top of the 5th Gardner was back again, hitting a single to left and driving in two runs. That is all it took for the Yankees-though Mookie Betts doubled to center and drove in Blake Swihart who was making his major league debut, the offense couldn’t get it going and the team lost 4-2, forcing them to try and avoid getting swept on Sunday Night Baseball tonight.
- Welcome to The Show, Blake Swihart! The top prospect in the Red Sox system went 1-3 in his debut and scored one of the team’s two runs. This could just be beginner’s luck or it could be the sign of good things to come, but either way expect to see a lot of Swihart as Ryan Hanigan recovers from his fractured hand.
- Wade Miley looked better than he did during his last, atrocious start. Whereas he couldn’t escape out of the third inning during his last start, Miley lasted seven innings this time around and put up his first quality start in a Red Sox uniform.
- Pablo Sandoval continued to impress against the Yankees. After going 2 for 4 yesterday he’s now reached base in each of the eight games he’s played against the Yankees, and is 12 for 17 against Eovaldi.
- What a waste of a quality start for the Red Sox. It seems like on a given night it’s either the pitching that’s working or the bats that are working, but rarely both in full force. The starting rotation has had three quality starts in the last three games but the bats have only been able to capitalize on one of those.
- The Sox have now lost seven of their last ten games, all of which have been against divisional opponents. That is not good at all, as the saying that games in April and May matter as much as the ones in September is entirely true. After the series against the Yankees concludes tonight the team takes on the Rays and the Blue Jays next so it is seriously time to get back on track.
- When they needed the offense late it just wasn’t there. Dillon Betances who struck out the last four batters of the game and recorded the save shut down the fearsome Red Sox lineup.
Starting Pitcher Rewind
Hopefully yesterday was an indication that things will move in the right direction for this rotation. It was the third quality start in a row for the rotation, and Miley lasted seven innings. This team should be able to win games consistently if the rotation regularly lets up no more than three runs, and, as is usually the case for many teams early on, the entire team is looking like it’s still just waiting for that moment when everything clicks. For balls put in play yesterday Miley induced grounders on 56.5 percent of them, an improvement on his 43.4 percent ground-ball rate on the year.
The Sox are on Sunday Night Baseball tonight and are looking to avoid getting swept on national television. Joe Kelly, who is 1-0 with an ERA of 4.94 will take to the mound against Adam Warren who he faced earlier this season and gave up one run and one hit in the seven innings he pitched. That will be the mark to aim for when he takes to the mound tonight, and if he can come close and make it four quality starts in a row for the rotation there is no reason that the team can’t avoid the sweep.