The following simulation and images are courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21
Our Fake Sox have been playing some good baseball after a tough opening series in which they dropped three of four in Toronto, although even those three losses were are relatively close. They have been winning since then and picked up a win in the first game of this three-game set against the Rays. They were looking for another with Nathan Eovaldi on the mound on Tuesday.
It, uh, didn’t go well as Eovaldi was absolutely lit up by his former team. It was very clear right from the get-go that Eovaldi had absolutely nothing on the mound and Tampa Bay was hitting everything hard. Manuel Margot started with a double, then Willy Adames hit a hard-hit single, then Austin Meadows hit a double, then Hunter Renfroe hit a double, then Ji-Man Choi hit a single, then Brandon Lowe hit a double. That’s six batters to start the game with no outs, two singles, four doubles and five runs and it was really just about trying to get as many outs as possible before Eovaldi had to be lifted. He did get the first out against Mike Zunino, but then Daniel Robertson brought one more home with a base hit and that was it for Eovaldi. He recorded just one out, allowed six runs and was responsible for one more. That one more did come around to score when Heath Hembree gave up the inherited run, and after the top of the first it was already a 7-0 deficit for the Red Sox.
So, that was a tough first inning and it was clear that the offense was going to need a big day if they were going to have a chance. They didn’t need to make it all up in the bottom of the first, but they needed to start clawing back. They got off to a good start against Yonny Chirinos with a leadoff walk and then a hit batter to put the first two on. That brought J.D. Martinez to the plate, but he started a rough day with a double play, and the Red Sox ended up getting shut out in the inning.
In the second, the Rays really just picked up where they left off. Hembree was back out to start this inning, and after a leadoff strikeout he came back with a walk before allowing another double and a base hit, letting one more run come in and leaving two in scoring position with just one out. That ended Hembree’s game and brought Martín Pérez in. Pérez was supposed to pitch the bulk of the innings on Wednesday. Instead, he had to come into a tough spot here and immediately gave up a sacrifice fly to make it 9-0. After a base hit, Nate Lowe really stuck it in Boston’s faces, hitting a home run into the bullpen to make it 12-0 and just an overall miserable game.
There’s really not much else to say. Pérez did settle down a bit after that. He wouldn’t allow another run until Meadows hit a solo homer with one out in the seventh, the last batter Pérez would face. Trevor Hildenberger was solid after that retiring four straight until the Rays got single-happy against him and scored one more. Colten Brewer tossed a 1-2-3 ninth.
On the other side, the Red Sox offense didn’t get much going on offense. They did have one solid inning that was highlighted by their hottest hitter going right now. Ryder Jones started the third with a base hit and then Andrew Benintendi did the same, putting two on with nobody out in what was at the time a 12-0 game. Bradley hit the clutch homer on Monday, and this one wasn’t really clutch but it was a homer all the same. It was long ball number five for the center fielder, and the three-run shot was the Red Sox’s only scoring on the day.
In the end, it was a disastrous 14-3 loss for the Red Sox in which their starter recorded only one out and the next day’s bulk arm was needed for five innings out of the bullpen. It’s not what you want. Boston now falls to 7-5 and their pitching staff is a little out of whack for at least a few days now, with Matt Hall scheduled to start on short rest for Wednesday afternoon’s rubber match.