Welcome back to another episode of the Red Sox Pre-Cap Podcast, your spot to hear a recap of the latest series on the docket for the Red Sox as well as a preview of what’s coming down the pipeline. Today, we talk about Boston’s latest series against the Toronto Blue Jays and then look ahead to the series against the Tamp Bay Rays.
After being swept by the Rays and then dropping two out of three against the Detriot Tigers, the Red Sox looked up north for a bounce-back performance. Well... That series did not go as planned.
On Friday night in the first game, Nathan Eovaldi went back and forth against Alex Manoah and looked dominant before hitting a wall in the fourth inning. Eovaldi left after only getting two outs in the fourth and giving up seven earned runs in the inning, only striking out four batters on the night. Honestly, he just did not have his electric stuff. He went four-seam and slider heavy and finished with an 18 and 17 CSW%, respectively, on each pitch. Keep in mind that a league-average CSW% (called strike plus whiff rate) is 30%. Oof. Hansel Robles, Austin Davis, Martin Pérez, and Jonathan Araúz followed and gave up runs. The offense put eight hits together but only four runners came across home plate.
We had a doubleheader on Saturday and one of the more dominant outings we’ve seen all year from any Red Sox pitcher, this one courtesy of Nick Pivetta. Unfortunately, hitters could not do anything against Robbie Ray. Pivetta went six innings and struck out five in only 76 pitches, but was taken out for closer Matt Barnes in the bottom of the seventh. Well, his outing lasted only one pitch as he gave up a first-pitch game-winning home run to Marcus Semien.
The team returned to Rogers Center after one of their most deflating losses against new Blue Jays pitcher Jose Berríos and (gasp) won a game?!? Tanner Houck returned to the rotation, and while the Jays made him work, he got through 3 2⁄3 innings and finished with six punch outs. The offense was able to get two runs across home plate while Berríos was pitching, and it was enough to take the win.
Then we get to Sunday. If I would have told you that Garrett Richards faced off Hyun-Jin Ryu and was the better pitcher, you would have thought the Red Sox won this game easily. Well, that did not happen. The offense, after not scoring many runs in that last handful of games, really got to Ryu and knocked him out of the game 3 2⁄3 innings while putting up seven earned runs. However, that was not enough. Hirokazu Sawamura (who left with elbow soreness), Adam Ottavino, and Barnes gave up a combined five runs and the Sox ended up dropping this game 9-8. They had been leading 7-2 at one point.
After losing three out of four against the Jays, the Red Sox have a much-needed off-day before facing off against the first-place Tampa Bay Rays. However, things are looking up as they have their (currently) best starting pitchers starting. Hopefully, things go better in this series and hey....some guy named Chris Sale is returning on Saturday.
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