The Red Sox routed the Rangers 6-0 on Friday, and everything seemed to be coming up Boston. They hit in the clutch and pitched well, something we haven’t seen much in combination lately. Friday was like watching a perfectly conceptualized mid-June game. Today... Well today looked like more of the same from an unbelievably underachieving baseball club. The Red Sox were just downright sloppy in this game. There is not a better word than sloppy. I mean there is, but it’s not exactly PG, so sloppy will be the word choice.
Tonight’s lackluster offering could easily be argued as the worst loss of the season. Losing 10-1 to an abysmal offense and pitcher in Jordan Lyles is simply unacceptable. Eduardo Rodriguez did not do himself many favors in this game. The lefty lasted just 3 2⁄3 innings, giving up eight hits, five earned runs, striking out three, and walking one. There were moments of unlucky batted balls, sure, but a starting pitcher not getting out of the fourth inning is a problem that stretches far beyond BABIP.
Meanwhile, coming into tonight’s game, Jordan Lyles had 17 innings pitched in August, giving up 27 hits, 17 earned runs, and six home runs. Tonight, the Red Sox offense made him look like Jacob deGrom. Lyles pitched seven innings, gave up five hits, one earned run, walked three, and finished his evening with six strikeouts. This is the second time in the span of three games that this offense completely whiffed against one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball.
The defense was also a complete and utter dumpster fire in this game. Nightmare fuel, if you will. Christian Vázquez continued to have a tough season behind the plate. Vázquez’s pitch calling has come into question, and in this game he misplayed a throw from Alex Verdugo off the bat of Brock Holt in the second inning and couldn’t apply the tag on the runner at home plate. Vázquez had some trouble blocking pitches later in the game as well.
Xander Bogaerts managed to get on the error train in the fourth inning after not eating a ground ball and making an errant throw to first. Hansel Robles tossed a scoreless sixth inning, but he made it a little tougher with a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, allowing DJ Peters to take second, and then proceeding to walk Nathaniel Lowe. Thankfully Yohel Pozo grounded out to shortstop to end the inning. In total the Red Sox managed to make five errors in this game. Five. Boston the second-most errors in the American League, behind only the Twins.
The defense was pretty darn awful, but do not worry, the bad does not end there. It continued on the bases. J.D. Martinez was sent by third base coach Carlos Febles on a single by Vázquez in the second inning and was swiftly thrown out at home plate. In the third inning, the only inning in which the Red Sox scored a run, Kiké Hernández was caught up between first and second on a ball crushed by Rafel Devers, which was caught in deep center by Peters, and thrown back into first for the double play. Any life that the Red Sox had, in what was a 2-1 game in the third at the time, was immediately extinguished.
Meanwhile, here’s how the pitching as a whole ended up on the day:
Eduardo Rodriguez: 3.2 IP | 8 H | 5 ER | 1 BB | 3 SO
Hirokazu Sawamura: 0.1 IP | 1 H| 0 ER | 0 BB | 1 SO
Garrett Richards: 1.0 IP | 2 H | 1 ER | 0 BB | 1 SO
Hansel Robles: 1.0 IP | 2 H | 0 ER | 1 BB | 0 SO
Adam Ottavino: 1.0 IP | 1 H | 0 ER | 1 BB | 0 SO
Martín Pérez: 1.0 IP | 4 H | 4 R | 2 ER | O BB | 1 SO
Austin Davis: 1.0 IP | 0 H | 0 ER | 0 BB | 0 SO
Sawamura, Robles, Ottavino, and Davis all pitched scoreless frames, but it was Davis that had the only 1-2-3 inning of the evening. Gold star for Davis. Tonight the Red Sox pitchers gave up eight earned runs on seventeen hits.
This was just downright awful on all accounts. Hitting, pitching, and defense. Nothing came together. It was bad, and there is not an excuse to be had for tonight’s performance. Tonight it was one hundred percent because of on-field play. The players have only themselves to blame for this loss. They should be ashamed. The only silver lining is that the season is still not over, plenty of baseball is left to be had.
Maybe a poor performance like this is just what this team needs to get them out of this overly long funk. Tomorrow’s game might be a wash. That might be a good thing. This team needs to regroup, and figure out how to get their mojo back, and just what it was, that made them special for most of this season.