The Red Sox' second half disaster rolled right along Monday evening as Eduardo Rodriguez, helped by Hanley Ramirez, failed to last even two innings in an 11-1 loss to the Angels.
For all his brilliant starts, Eduardo Rodriguez has been nothing if not volatile this season, and today he was at his level worst. Four outs, seven runs, and a complete and total train wreck to his name. If there's an excuse to be made, it's that he only really came apart after Hanley Ramirez completely botched a Daniel Robertson double to left. Let that be your weekly (daily?) reminder that he is not a viable left fielder.
But the excuse becomes painfully thin when you realize that by that point he'd already managed to give up a run on three walks and two hits. It's just that after Ramirez' blunder is when he went from struggling to full-on train wreck, allowing home runs to both Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols before Noe Ramirez could come in and finally end the inning.
How sudden was it? Eight pitches. Eight pitches from 0-0 to 7-0. Personal injury lawyers are probably all over the phones right now trying to sign Sox fans up for whiplash lawsuits. I'm just not sure if they'd be against the Angels, the Red Sox or Eduardo Rodriguez. Hell, it was so fast with so few pitches taken that you almost have to assume--hope, even--that he was tipping them again.
I'm sitting here with fewer than 200 words written, but that pretty much sums up the game. Eduardo Rodriguez bombed, Hanley helped him a little, and if the Red Sox lineup was again impotent, this game at least they can't really be blamed for. It's not exactly uncommon to see even a hot lineup--which is to say one completely unlike this one--come into a game, see their pitcher get destroyed, and then just pack it up for the day.
(They didn't quite do that, with Mike Napoli finally driving in the first run of the second half in the fourth inning. Incidentally, Mike Napoli earning more playing time with an inconsequential ground ball single is the one way this game could have gotten worse after the second inning.)
Problem being, of course, that we have another game to play. For a better team, that might be a blessing. A chance to cleanse the old palate after an outlier disaster. For these Red Sox, though, it's pushing into cruel and unusual territory. No major league team would ever just up and forfeit a game these days, but it'd be a damn mercy if they did.