It’s Week-In-Review time! Here’s what was happening in Red Sox Nation, 9/26/22 - 10/2/22.
A lopsided sweep to the Blue Jays put a sour end to the Red Sox’s penultimate week of the year. Three losses in a row north of the border started a new losing streak right after the Red Sox had broken a six-game skid.
After beating up on the Orioles for a couple of days, the Red Sox met their match in Toronto. They scored three runs over three games and got shut out two days in a row. This is some real going out with a whimper as they fall to a season-worst 22.5 games out of first place.
Player of the Week
J.D. had a good week, primarily against the Orioles. He hit .333 and mashed a couple of homers while posting an OPS of 1.126. It’s a good sign but too little, too late in my opinion. This guy is fourth in the American League in double plays grounded into and has just 14 homers this year. He’s making too much money to be a part of the Red Sox’s future, especially with Xander and Devers contracts looming. But I still appreciate all he did in Boston and am enjoying this final push.
Play of the Week
You could talk me into believing that Kiké could play just about any position on the field well.
Crazy good play by Kiké at short pic.twitter.com/pnydfEvx54— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) October 1, 2022
Nemesis of the Week
The Red Sox are 3-15 against the Blue Jays in 2022 and 2-8 when they have to play at the Rogers Centre. They’ve been outscored by 27 runs over those eight games in Toronto too. This week proved more of the same as the Blue Jays dominated the Red Sox during a three-game sweep north of the border.
Alex Cora: "Next year, we have to show up against the division because I’ve never seen anything like this.”— Christopher Smith (@SmittyOnMLB) October 1, 2022
Anthony Santander also hit four home runs for the Orioles while they were in Boston, so he deserves some consideration as well, but the Red Sox won three times so it didn’t really amount to anything.
Favorite Red Sox Content
From May 2007: Julian Tavarez rolls a put out to first instead of just throwing it?
I will say that this is something a lot of us have done more than we realize. You overthink a simple task that you’ve done over and over again a million times and it looks like your brain is going through the motions for the first time. That’s not really why I think this clip is funny, it’s really more the face that it’s Julian “just being Julian”, as Don Orsillo puts it. You never really knew what you’d get from Julian as a pitcher or person and this play kind of exemplifies that. Not everything he did was practical, but it was Julian.
Dennis Eckersley Quote of the Week
This week will feature Dennis Eckersley’s last game. It’s a sad thought. There’s a good crop of NESN commentators waiting in the wings I’ll admit that I usually listen to the radio broadcast but I find myself watching NESN. This one hammered home the passage of time and reminded me that his finale is two days away.
"I've had my fun. I played 24 years in the big leagues. That's a long time. And then 20 up here. It's time to get the hook, man." -Eck on his retirement— The Ecktionary (@ecktionary) September 29, 2022
I think one of the things I appreciated most about Eck was his brutally honest commentary. It was rarely - if ever - mean, but he spoke his mind. He knew how hard the game was and talked about it often, so when he said someone wasn’t cutting it, I trusted him. And I trust him now when he describes himself as “ready for the hook”. Selfishly, I’d like to keep that comforting voice and insightful mind around for another couple of years, but 44 years in baseball is a long time and sometimes it’s obvious when it’s best for everyone if a weary pitcher gives way to a fresh arm from the bullpen.
The Red Sox will close out the season with three games against the Tampa Bay Rays. Two 7:10pm starts on Monday and Tuesday before a 4:10pm finale on Wednesday (Eck’s final broadcast, if you’re interested in that kind of thing). Rich Hill, Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta are scheduled to make starts on the hill in that order.
This Week in Red Sox History
September 28, 2011 was one of the darkest single days of Red Sox history from my lifetime. Needing just a win or Rays loss to clinch a playoff spot, the Red Sox lost to the Orioles on a walkoff while down in Tampa, Evan Longoria lifted a home run that would send the Rays to the postseason almost simultaneously.
It was the 20th loss of the month for the Red Sox, who became the only team to blow a nine-game lead in the month of September. Sure, the end of this season has not been particularly “fun” per say but at least we were spared the indignity and torture of watching a 2011-like meltdown happen in real time.
This was an interesting introduction to emotional hedging for me, a young sports fan still developing a consiouness about a team that had won a lot during my life to that point. In that moment, you tend to choose optimism because you want to hold off on the dispair for as long as you can. Even if you can see the result coming from a mile away, you never want to be the one who walked out too early. I didn’t and paid the price.