The Red Sox have lost their first game of 2018, and clearly it’s time to talk about how hot the seat is getting for Alex Cora. In all seriousness, it was a fairly rough game (judging solely on the box score because the game was not on TV and I couldn’t catch the radio feed) with a few bad outings from pitchers and a relative lack of activity from the offense.
Brock Holt leads the offensive performances, because someone has to I guess
There wasn’t much at all to write home about with the lineup in this Tuesday afternoon game, with the Red Sox combining to smack zero (0) extra base hits. They did have one player who tallied two singles, and that would be Brock Holt. As one of the few players in the bench competition with options and the possibility that the Red Sox would like to free themselves of the $2+ million they’d owe him if he’s on the roster on Opening Day, there’s a chance Holt needs to perform well this spring to keep his job. I don’t see this as being as possible as others do, but it’s certainly something to watch for, at least. The former All-Star spent this game in the DH slot and went 2-3, though he also got caught stealing on a double steal that led to a run. Xander Bogaerts was the only other player to reach base twice, with a single and a walk, and he also scored Boston’s only run of the game. Andrew Benintendi and minor-league infielder Mike Miller had the only other two hits for Boston in this game.
Defense shaky, again
As I said just a couple days ago, some rust on the defensive side of things is to be expected early in camp as most players are coming off a winter without game action. That’s not so much an excuse as it is reality, though it’s certainly something that players can’t let build into a capital-C Concern. The Red Sox made a couple of costly errors that sparked a three-run inning for the Cardinals. Typically sure-handed Tzu-Wei Lin (who started at third base in this game) made a throwing error that stretched what was ruled an infield single into a two-base knock, and starter Jalen Beeks made a throwing error of his own that allowed a run to score. With Lin, at least, I wouldn’t really worry much about the defensive miscue.
The pitchers pitched baseballs
It wasn’t an overly exciting group of pitchers taking the mound for Boston this afternoon, and they didn’t put forth overly exciting performances. The aforementioned Beeks got the start in this one and they gave him three innings. He didn’t have the best command, though, walking three batters and allowing a single. Beeks also struck out two Cardinals and allowed three runs, with only one being earned because of those errors mentioned above. Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree got the next two innings and neither of them allowed a run, with Hembree’s double allowed to Dexter Fowler being the only baserunner to reach. Each righty tallied a strikeout in their inning of work, too. Kyle Martin, who was added to the 40-man roster last winter and eventually designated for assignment later in the year, came on next and had a rough day. He only recorded two outs and allowed a run on a hit and three walks. Not great! From there, it was a bunch of minor leaguers in Daniel Gonzalez, Kevin McAvoy, Adam Lau and Yankory Pimentel. Lau gave up a solo home run for the only other run in this game, while McAvoy had two strikeouts and two walks in his inning of work.