Welcome back to another episode of The Pre-Cap Podcast, where we give you the latest on what happened in the most recent Red Sox series as well as a look ahead to the next series on the docket. Today, we look back at a three-game set against the Twins and ahead to three games with Cleveland coming up.
Prior to the first game of this series, Tanner Houck replaced Jarren Duran on the active roster, and the former should remain there for the rest of the season. In his 4 2⁄3 innings of work, he gave up eight hits and three runs while striking out six and walking one. But then the bullpen came in. Martín Pérez gave up two hits and two runs while Hirokazu Sawamura did the same. Then Matt Barnes came in and blew yet another game. According to FanGraphs, he has had five Meltdowns in the month of August. To put that in perspective, he had six all season prior to that.
Fortunately, the offense was better in this game, and even with runners in scoring position. They went 4-8 while only leaving 11 men on base. Travis Shaw and Enrique Hernández each had a homer while Hunter Renfroe had two with five RBI.
The bad news is that first game was just a mirage when it came to production with runners in scoring position. On Wednesday, the Red Sox went 4-15 in those situations while leaving 28 men on base on the day. The top of the lineup was productive but when the middle porion struggled, with the five and six hitters going 2-10 while leaving 10 men on base. Nick Pivetta was better than his stat line showed, He gave up four runs, but got plenty of swings and misses throughout the night. The bullpen was able to keep things close in regulation, giving the offense time to tie it up, but once we went to extras all heck broke out. Hansel Robles gave up five runs in the 10th and there was little the offense could do to dig out of that hole.
Finally, in the rubber match, Chris Sale made his third start of the season and his best, not allowing a hit until the fifth inning and recording the third immaculate inning of his career. Bobby Dalbec felt inspired and hammered two homers and with 7 RBIs en route to a blowout victory and a series win.
Up next for the Red Sox is a three-game set with Cleveland. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Over The Monster Podcast network so you never miss an episode.