Welcome back to another episode of The Pre-Cap Podcast, your spot on the OTM Podcast Network to hear the latest from every series as well as a preview of whatever is next on the Red Sox docket. In today’s show, we look back at the weekend in Fenway against the Baltimore Orioles and take a look at the upcoming series against the New York Mets.
After taking two out of three games in Seattle, the Red Sox made their way back to the east coast to faceoff against the Baltimore Orioles. On Friday night, Chris Sale made his return to the rotation after testing positive for COVID. It was an odd outing for Sale, as he only went five innings while striking out one batter. He said after the game that he did not have a feel for his four-seamer and had to rely on his secondary pitches. The bullpen (Garrett Whitlock, Hirokazu Sawamura, Matt Barnes, and Martín Pérez) locked it down after Sale left and only gave up two hits. Hunter Renfroe was the major highlight for the offense with a three-run double in the fifth inning.
Moving on to the second game, this was one of those bad Nick Pivetta outings. It was surprising to see him look so great against the White Sox and then to see him struggle against the Baltimore Orioles. Sigh. (Can we call him Jekyll and Hyde?) After Alex Cora gave Pivetta the hook, Darwinzon Hernandez got the last out of the inning. Tanner Houck followed and he killed it in his new role. He went 2 2⁄3 innings and gave up one hit with three strikeouts. This is the perfect role for Houck, especially with that four-seam/slider combo. Xander Bogaerts had a massive 3-run home run in the sixth inning, which was great to see as he as been on the struggle bus recently.
In the final game of the series, Nathan Eovaldi looked solid against the Baltimore lineup. In typical Eovaldi fashion, he racked up the punch outs and limited walks, but did fill up the strike zone too much and gave up seven hits. We see these games from Eovaldi from time to time, and thank goodness this was against the Orioles and not a more lethal lineup. Things got a bit interesting after he left after Whitlock left the game with an injury and Sawamura walked two batters before giving up a two-run double to Trey Mancini in the the seventh inning. However, Renfroe saved the day again with his double in the seventh that let Hernández to score that put the Red Sox in the lead for good.
After sweeping the Orioles, the Red Sox have a two-game set against the New York Mets on Tuesday and Wednesday. We will see Eduardo Rodriguez face off against Marcus Stroman and then Chris Sale against Tylor Magill. While their record does not show it, the Mets lineup is still pretty scary. Hopefully, we get good Rodriguez in the first outing.
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