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Fake Sox Game 88: Ryan Weber’s season debut goes poorly

And the Red Sox trade for an old friend.

MLB: JUL 19 Red Sox at Orioles Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The following simulation and images are courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21.

This game was actually a Saturday afternoon contest, but we took the holiday off here in the real world so we’re posting the results for you here today. Our Fake Sox entered this one having lost their last three contests including a blowout loss on Friday to start this three-game set on the road against the red-hot Pirates. They were looking to get back in the win column here and on the mound they had Ryan Weber, who was making his season debut after pitching well for Pawtucket through the first half of the year. Pittsburgh countered with Trevor Williams.

Weber was welcomed back to the majors right away, and it was not a pretty debut for the righty. In fact, it took exactly two batters for Pittsburgh to get on the board. Jarrod Dyson led things off with a base hit, and then Adam Frazier continued his monster season by blasting one with the wind out to center field. It traveled 422 feet up and over the wall for a two-run shot, and in the blink of an eye it was a 2-0 lead. Things got a little dicey after that, too, with a single and a wild pitch, but Weber did get out of the inning with just the two runs scoring.

More good news, after going down in order in the first the Red Sox did answer back after the early Pirates lead. Xander Bogaerts started the rally in the top of the second, driving a one-out double out to center field before moving up to third on a ground out. Michael Chavis then needed a hit with a man in scoring position and two outs, and he came through with a base hit to make it a 2-1 game. The rally would not continue from there, though.

That was still the score heading into the bottom of the third, and things pretty much went all in the way of the Pirates from here on out. In the third, they got another leadoff single and then a couple batters later Gregory Polanco hit his second homer in as many days, this one a two-run shot to make it a 4-1 game. In the fourth, Weber hit the leadoff man then gave up a sacrifice bunt, and then with two outs Frazier came through again. This time it was a double to make it a 5-1 game and end the afternoon for Weber. Martín Pérez then came on and did give up one inherited run before ending the inning with Pittsburgh up 6-1.

From here, the bullpen did do their job. Pérez had his second straight very good long relief appearance, though this one was a little less dominant. Still, he worked around four hits to allow just an unearned run, which was thanks in part to an error from Rafael Devers. Pérez was followed by Darwinzon Hernandez making his first appearance in the majors since the very beginning of the year, and all he did was strike out all five batters he faced. Then it was Kevin Shackelford to come on and finish things off.

Unfortunately, the offense just had no sense of momentum in this game and they never even really threatened to make it an interesting game once Weber spotted Pittsburgh the big lead. Boston did get a couple more runs in the game on a José Peraza double and a Devers solo homer, but they never got any closer than that.

The 7-3 loss made it four L’s in a row for Boston and dropped their record down to 46-42. As they slide, the Yankees are starting to heat up and the Sox now trail by 6.5 games in the division. After the game, Ryan Weber was designated for assignment with Matt Hall coming back up and Darwinzon Hernandez was optioned with Colten Brewer coming up. Additionally, the Red Sox made another interesting trade, this one for an old friend. Boston brought Drew Pomeranz back in a trade with the Padres that sent Matthew Lugo and Garrett Benge to San Diego. Pomeranz won’t be activated until Monday.