The following simulation and images are courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21.
Our Fake Sox are rolling right now, not only coming into Saturday night’s game having won five in a row, but having won all of them by at least five runs including the last four by at least seven. That also includes a game just this afternoon in which they pulled out an 11-3 victory over the Rangers in the first half of the double-header. They were looking to keep that momentum in the nightcap with Eduardo Rodriguez facing off against Jordan Lyles.
It was pretty clear what kind of day it was going to be for the Red Sox lefty early on, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but it certainly wasn’t fun to watch. Rodriguez simply didn’t have command at all on Saturday, and he got into early trouble with a leadoff base hit and a two-out walk to put a pair on base. He did get out of that jam.
On the other end, Boston’s offense was rolling heading into this game and it appeared they were going to be ready to keep that momentum going here against Lyles, who also had no command early on. The bottom of the first started with back-to-back walks, and it was a chance for an early lead for the Red Sox. Instead, J.D. Martinez flew out right at the base of the Monster in left and then Xander Bogaerts hit into the first of three double plays for the night, and it was a wasted opportunity to keep the game scoreless.
Rodriguez would continue working his way out of trouble for a couple more innings, too, getting out of a jam in the second after a two-out double and a wild pitch and then working around a leadoff walk in the third. The Red Sox offense was offering him no assistance, though, and the Rangers finally broke through in the fourth. That rally got started on a one-out double from Todd Frazier, and then a walk and a wild pitch put two in scoring position with just one down. Rodriguez got a big strikeout from there and looked like he might get out of yet another dangerous situation, but it wasn’t to be. Ronald Guzman brought two runs home with a base hit, and then after Rodriguez’s third wild pitch of the night moved the runner to second, a double brought a third run home.
That was pretty much the game right there, as the Red Sox offense simply had no signs of life in this game. They had that chance in the first inning, and that was really the best opportunity they would have against Lyles and the rest of the Rangers pitchers all night long. They wouldn’t get another runner into scoring position until the fifth when Kevin Plawecki had a two-out double, and then after that it wouldn’t happen until the got runners to second in each of the final two innings. In the end, though, they were shut out.
On the other end. Rodriguez did get through 6 1⁄3 innings and frankly was lucky to have only allowed four runs, with the fourth coming in the sixth. He just had no command all night, throwing the aforementioned three wild pitches while also allowing seven hits — five of which were doubles — as well as issuing five walks. Josh Taylor came on after him for 1 1⁄3 scoreless innings and Parker Markel came on for one big out. It looked like the Rangers would break it open in the eighth when Taylor loaded the bases with nobody out, but he got a line out and a strikeout before Markel finished it with a strikeout to keep Texas off the board. Then, in the ninth, Ken Giles made his debut. The situation wasn’t what we were hoping for, but the performance was as he tossed a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts.
The loss snapped the five-game win streak for Boston and brought their record down to 21-14. They sit 2.5 games up on the Yankees in the division. After the game, Matt Shoemaker was signed to a minor-league deal and assigned to Pawtucket. I would suspect he’ll be in the rotation sooner than later. I won’t go through everything from the last three days on the farm, but some highlights: Josh Ockimey hit a home run but Pawtucket lost all three games, Bobby Dalbec had a two-homer, four-hit, six-RBI game for Portland as they split their two games, Salem won all three games they played while allowing a total of six runs, and Tyler Dearden hit two homers as Greenville won all three of their games.