So I really have to do this, huh? All right. Let’s get it over with. Kyle Hart was on the mound for the Red Sox in this one, making his major-league debut. As I wrote earlier on Thursday, Hart doesn’t possess great stuff but when he’s working the edges he can be effective. As I also wrote, that kind of approach can also lend itself to a flurry of walks, which was certainly an issue for the lefty in this one. In fact, he walked the first batter he faced on four pitches and seven of his first eight pitches were balls. He did manage to get a weak ball in play in his second at bat and it could have maybe been a double play or at least an out at second, but Jonathan Araúz couldn’t make the play. So, a four-pitch walk and an error to kick things off. Very 2020 Red Sox. That was followed by a base hit to make it 1-0, and after a pair of strikeouts the Rays got one more on another single. Not the start Hart was looking for with two runs on the board, but they were both unearned.
The good news is Tyler Glasnow did not exactly look in control on the other side, and the Red Sox offense was up to the task of providing some early run support. Alex Verdugo started the inning with a double before moving up to third on a wild pitch. Rafael Devers then brought him home with a base it to make it 2-1. Glasnow then threw another wild pitch to put Devers in scoring position, and J.D. Martinez drew a walk. After a couple outs, Kevin Plawecki continued his hot start to the year with a big double out to right field. That brought both runners home, and just like that the Red Sox actually had a lead.
Even better, Hart settled down some in the second and looked pretty good. He did issue another walk, but also struck out two in a scoreless and hitless inning. Progress! Unfortunately, the third would not go so smoothly. This was his second time through the order, and the Rays sure seemed to have figured him out. After a leadoff walk, Hunter Renfroe took Hart deep for a two-run shot to put Tampa Bay back in front. Brandon Lowe then followed that up with a home run of his own, this one traveling over the bullpens for a no-doubter to make it 5-3. After that, the Rays got a double and a single, then the game was delayed for a few minutes by a drone flying overhead (you can’t make this stuff up) and then another single made it 6-3. It would also end the day for Hart, who went from solid to bad very, very quickly. Phillips Valdez came on and allowed one more inherited run to end the inning with a 7-3 score.
The Red Sox did show a little bit of fight in the bottom of the third getting their first two men on, but then that was followed up with a pair of strikeouts. Araúz, who has looked good of late, did salvage the inning with an RBI double, but that was all they’d get.
The fourth is when things just got silly and the Red Sox completed their transformation into a Little League squad. It started off normally enough with a base hit, and then a ground ball to Devers at third could have been a double play. Instead, Devers... I don’t even know. His body just glitched in the middle of the throw and his 30 mph toss was way off target, putting runners on the corners. A base hit made it 8-4, and then a couple batters later Devers got another ground ball. This was a tougher play as he had to charge it and barehand it, but instead of just eating the ball Devers tried to make the throw and it was a full Mitch Moreland off-target for his second error of the inning. That made it 9-4, and a sacrifice fly immediately after made it 10-4.
That’s pretty much all I can take from a recap perspective, if we’re being honest. The Red Sox did get another run on a Martinez double, which was neat. They also allowed six more runs, all of which were charged to Marcus Walden, who managed that feat without recording an out in the sixth inning. Fun! Devers also committed his third throwing error of the game.
The Red Sox weren’t about to get out of this game without things getting even more dumb, though. With a 16-5 score, José Peraza came on to pitch. He did get one out, but that out came on a comebacker to the mound that ricocheted right to Michael Chavis at first base. Peraza had to leave the game, which led to Plawecki heading to the mound, Tzu-Wei Lin catching and Christian Vázquez at second base. I don’t even know what to add to that, so I’m ending the recap here.
The Red Sox get a chance to bounce back from this horrendous week of baseball with.... a four-game set in the Bronx. Oh, and that starts with a game against Gerrit Cole on Friday. Neat-o! The Red Sox don’t have a starter announced. First pitch is set for 7:00 PM ET.