Well that was about as much fun as your average trip to the dentist.
The Red Sox dropped the rubber match in Anaheim, 3-2, and lost the opening series to the Angels to kick off their west coast swing.
The bad news?
The offense continues to appear lifeless too frequently, with players slumping up and down the lineup. Mitch Moreland’s average has plummeted to .243 and his numbers are starting to align more and more with his career stats despite the hot start. Xander Bogaerts had another hitless afternoon, bringing his numbers in July down to .176/.246/.275. Dustin Pedroia, the only Red Sox hitter really swinging a hot bat, got the day off and the drop-off was evident. Even the Killer Bs combined to go 0-11 against the competent — but less than overwhelming — Parker Bridwell. Bridwell worked seven quality innings on the day to earn the win.
Rick Porcello — the pitcher who has allowed the most hits in baseball this season — gave up just five in his complete-game effort Sunday. Unfortunately, three of the five went for solo shots, which proved to be enough to hand Porcello his 13th loss of the season.
Andrelton Simmons opened the scoring in the fourth inning, taking Porcello deep to center field. Perhaps an unlikely trio of contributors — Sandy Leon, Brock Holt, and Deven Marrero — combined to manufacture a run to knot the game at one.
Leon, Holt, and Marrero combined for four of the Red Sox’ six hits on the day (with Hanley Ramirez the only other player with a hit).
It was Ramirez who would give the Red Sox a lead for a brief stint, mashing a no-doubt, solo shot out to left field. Some guy named Mike Trout answered Hanley with a bomb of his own, taking Porcello out to center in the bottom half of the inning. It was Luis Valbuena — and his .616 OPS — who would eventually win the game for the Angels in the seventh inning.
Porcello’s odd season continued to rear its ugly head in this one. After allowing 23 home runs all last season, Porcello matched that number Sunday, with two-plus months still remaining. His FIP hints that his regression isn’t nearly as bad as it appears — 3.40 last season compared to 4.06 this season — but he just continues to lose.
The bottom line: this was a series that the Red Sox should have taken — with their three frontline starters matching up in a weekend series against a mediocre team. And with holes up and down the lineup all seemingly opening at the same time, they could be in jeopardy of playing their way out of first place.
The Red Sox will look to turn things around as they head to Seattle for the first of three games tomorrow night.
The good news? They may be getting an offensive spark just in the nick of time
The team announced after the game it has called up Rafael Devers, in hopes that he fills the Pablo Sandoval-sized wasteland at third base. Devers will get his first start Tuesday.