So, uh, yeah. There’s not a whole lot to say about this one. The Red Sox were bad, and most notably David Price was bad. His command was awful and every time his offense took an inch he’d give the Rangers a foot. It’s been a rough stretch for the Boston lefty, and to be frank the team needs him to be better than this. It wasn’t just Price — Hector Velazquez entered the game in a big spot and allowed the game to get out of hand in a big spot, Alex Cora arguably should have brought in a reliever better suited for that situation, and the defense was rough in the early going — but Price is going to be the takeaway here. And rightfully so.
This wasn’t a very suspenseful game, and it was not at all a good one from a Red Sox perspective. The big story here, of course, was Price. The lefty was so good at the beginning of the year, and that all came down to his command. Even while he was dominating the strikeout stuff didn’t really stand out. Instead, it was impeccable command. The lefty was able to place everything on the corners and opponents would either watch it go by and get themselves into a quick two-strike count or they’d put it in play weakly. This start did not feature that command, and it became clear pretty early.
It wasn’t entirely clear from the very beginning, though, as Price got through the Rangers top three hitters fairly easily in the first inning. In the second, he started to lose it. After a quick first out he hit a batter, then allowed a triple on a ball that was smoked to center field past a diving Jackie Bradley Jr. That allowed the first run to score, and another came in quickly on a sacrifice fly that was also smoked but caught on a very nice running play by J.D. Martinez. Texas would only get the two runs in that inning, but there was cause for concern with the loud contact.
Price’s third inning wasn’t as bad and wasn’t entirely his fault, but it still was not great. Once again he got a quick first out, but then he allowed an infield single to Delino DeShield — it was hit fairly well but Xander Bogaerts made a nice diving stop. Shin-Soo Choo then reached on an error by Rafael Devers in which the third baseman came in on the ball but lifted his glove too early, a type of mistake he seems to be making a bunch this year. With two on Price got a big pop up, but he couldn’t escape the frame before allowing an RBI double to Nomar Mazara.
The fourth was where Price and the game in general just completely fell apart. The Red Sox had just had a nice little two-run inning to close the gap to one — we’ll get to it, but in hindsight it didn’t really matter — and Price was looking for a quick inning to get his offense back in the box. Instead, he rendered the offense moot. He led things off by walking Profar, then after recording the first out he allowed three straight singles to put one more on the board for Texas and load the bases. After getting the second out, he walked in another run to give the Rangers a 6-3 lead, and that was his night. Hector Velazquez came on to try and escape danger and keep the deficit manageable. It did not work. His first pitch got through Vazquez’ legs to the back stop to allow a run to score — Vazquez probably could have and possibly should have gotten down more quickly to block the pitch — and then later in that at bat he allowed a three-run shot to Mazara. All of a sudden the Rangers were up by seven and the game was pretty much over.
Velazquez would end up facing just three more batters and recording just one more out (though one batter reached on an error) before being removed for Marcus Walden. The Red Sox would let Walden finish off this game as he’s very likely to be demoted right back down to Pawtucket, and the Red Sox made him their sacrificial lamb to get throw this beatdown without killing the bullpen. Walden did do well enough, allowing just one more run over his 3 2⁄3 innings.
The offense will be (rightfully) overshadowed by the pitching (specifically Price), but they didn’t have a great day either. They did get another home run and 4 RBI from Mookie Betts because he is amazing, an RBI from a catcher (!) and a couple of hits from Martinez, but overall it was nothing really to write home about. This was partially notable because Mike Minor, a lefty, was on the mound and this offense has struggled against southpaws all year.
The Red Sox will look to put this ugly one behind them in game two of this series Friday night. They’ll be sending Rick Porcello to the mound to take on Bartolo Colon. First pitch is at 8:05 PM ET.