I don’t really have much to say in this space today. The Red Sox just aren’t good. Maybe they’ll be better as the season goes on, but right now they flat out stink. They lost again tonight, their fourth loss in a row, by a score of 8-2.
Over the last three games, all of which the Red Sox have lost, the story of the night had been the early hole dug by the starting pitcher. On this night, though, Matt Hall actually cruised through the first, needing just six pitches to get through a perfect frame. His own offense went down in order in their half as well, though, and then the second brought flashbacks of the pitching we’ve gotten used to early in this season.
The issues got started with a little bit of bad luck against Hall, as J.D. Davis poked a single through the right side with the infield loaded left of the bag. Boston pitchers have been bitten by shifts against righties — something the Red Sox hadn’t done a ton of in the past — a few times already this year. A couple batters later, Hall nicked Yoenis Céspedes with a pitch before giving up a double into the left field corner to Robinson Canó to give New York the 1-0 lead. The Red Sox lefty then loaded the bases with two outs on a walk before Amed Rosario poked a little bloop single into right field to score more, and just like that it was a 3-0 lead for the Mets. That was all they’d get in the inning, but it was a familiar frame for Red Sox pitching.
The score was still 3-0 heading into the bottom of the third, and this is when things got just beyond weird. First, Kevin Plawecki started things off with a double, and then Andrew Benintendi followed it up with a walk. That brought José Peraza to the plate, and he ripped one into deep right-center field. Brandon Nimmo went back on it and almost made a nice running catch, but it bounced off the end of the glove right to the right fielder Michael Conforto. Plawecki, however, played it very cautiously and stayed halfway between second and third with his body weight towards second, and as a result he only moved up to third. The NESN broadcast seemed to agree that it was fine baserunning by Plawecki, but from my vantage point he has to score there.
He didn’t, but the bases were still loaded with nobody out and J.D. Martinez coming up to face a rookie lefty in David Peterson. No harm no foul, right? Except, well, Martinez struck out, bringing Rafael Devers to the plate. This is where things really got weird. So, Devers hit a low line drive to Canó at second base. It wasn’t clear in real time whether or not it hit the ground. Canó took the ball and tagged second and Plawecki ran home. Meanwhile, Benintendi was standing on second just utterly confused and with Canó standing right next to him he broke for third. Predictably, that did not go well. As it turns out, it was ruled that it hit the ground, so Peraza, who was standing at first, was out when Canó stepped on second. Plawecki, meanwhile, did have his run count. But Benintendi could have stayed at second base safely. He just got confused. It was maddening, but also I don’t really blame him because I still don’t really know what happened and I literally just typed all that out.
The result, though, was the end of the inning with the Mets leading 3-1. Only this Red Sox team can score a run and make one feel whatever feeling that was when this inning ended. As we fast-forward to the top of the fifth, Austin Brice was back out for Boston after finishing the third and tossing a scoreless fourth. After Jeff McNeil reached with a base hit, J.D. Davis came to the plate and learned one of the joys of Fenway for batters. He hit a little flare to right field, but we all know right field at Fenway. It clanked off the pole for a two-run homer, and suddenly it was a 5-1 game.
The Red Sox offense would then get themselves another chance in the bottom half of the inning, once again starting with Plawecki and Benintendi as they had a single and a walk, respectively, with one out. That put two on for Peraza, but he ended the inning with a routine 4-6-3 double play.
After Colten Brewer worked his way out of trouble in the top half of the sixth, Devers had a good swing to put a double off the Monster. A few batters later Kevin Pillar stepped in with two outs and continued his strong start to the year, dropping a double down the right field line and cutting the Mets lead to three. That knocked Peterson out of the game, and Mitch Moreland came on to pinch hit for Michael Chavis. Pillar moved up to thrid base on a wild pitch, but it wouldn’t matter as Moreland struck out to end the inning.
The score was still 5-2 heading into the eighth as Ryan Brasier came to the mound for Boston. He did not have himself a great night, starting with a base hit ripped off the Monster by Canó. After a hit and run ground out put the runner on second, Brandon Nimmo brought him home with a double out to right field. Then, after Pete Alonso drew a two-out walk, McNeil came through with the dagger, bringing home two on a double off the Monster in left-center field. That made it an 8-2 game, and pretty much finished things off.
There wasn’t much of note to happen after that, though Brandon Workman did get into his first game action of the year. He faced on three batters in the ninth despite giving up a leadoff single. The offense also put another run on the board after Kevin Pillar doubled and came around on two ground balls.
The Red Sox will hope their luck can turn around on the road as they head to New York with two more against the Mets. Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound and goes up against Jacob deGrom. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET.