The Red Sox lost to the Yankees tonight, 13-3. It's a complete disaster of a score. A hilarious beatdown that drives home the disparity between the two clubs this year and should be soul-crushing even in a year where all is lost and the only thing a win does is hurt draft position.
And yet, it doesn't seem so bad.
The reason for the positive attitude lies in the start from Henry Owens. Statistically speaking, it wasn't great. Three earned runs in five-plus innings is nothing to write home about. But man, if you needed to see how exactly Henry Owens would get major league hitters out, consider yourself informed.
Really, the first at bat of the game was a nice example. After running the count to two strikes with fastballs, Owens threw Jacoby a slider that might be described as devastating. Ellsbury went chasing, and was made to look foolish for his efforts, striking out on a pitch he had no chance against.
That the Yankees proceeded to put up a run on Owens in the first shouldn't really have diminished that at bat any. They scored on a couple ground balls that got through and a walk of Alex Rodriguez that was more out of caution than an inability to find the zone.
Owens did not crumble when faced with adversity, however. Instead, he kind of went nuts. After yet another ground ball found its way through for a leadoff hit in the single, Owens proceeded to retire the next 12 straight batters he faced. He was clearly a pitcher making his debut. There were a lot of those balls sailing high, not unlike what we saw from Brian Johnson in his debut. The classic mark of a pitcher running high on adrenaline in a big game.
But what he lacked in control he made up for in sheer stuff. Owens was throwing all four of his pitches, and left the Yankees guessing. Lefties, especially, seemed completely incapable of picking up on Owens and his offerings, producing more swings like Ellsbury's in the first. It was a nasty display from the young lefty, and left New York with just those four early baserunners through the end of the fifth, with Owens even managing to corral a high pitch count.
In the end, it wasn't even a bad pitch that proved his undoing. After giving up a leadoff single to Chris Young in the sixth to break the streak of 12 straight retired, Owens buried a 2-2 changeup down and out of the zone to Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez swung at what seemed like a clear ball, but as it happens, he's quite the capable hitter, and sometimes good hitters will crush good pitches. Rodriguez came up just shy of a homer to left-center field, ending Owens' night with two men in scoring position and no outs in the sixth.
That's where the bullpen came in. And that's where the game was lost in dramatic fashion. All told, between Robbie Ross Jr., Jean Machi, Craig Breslow, and Alexi Ogando, the Sox bullpen surrendered more runs than they recorded outs. I'm guessing nobody really wants the blow-by-blow there. Suffice it to say it was a tour-de-force of bad pitching from a unit that will not survive the offseason if this team wants to have any chance in 2016. Given that, their performances in these pointless months are so much filler to pad the innings that more interesting, important players cannot.
Players like Henry Owens, who looked quite good tonight. Make that your takeaway from this game, because there's little enough reason to remember anything else happening right now.