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 to come for the Boston Red Sox. Keaton and Bob reviewed the Oakland A’s series on this episode and previewed the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Red Sox finally came back home after a ten-game west coast swing to welcome the Oakland A’s, a team that they had just swept to open the road trip. On Tuesday night, Nick Pivetta continued rolling with eight strong innings, allowing only one run. The Sox scored in each of the first four innings to take an early 6-0 lead, with a Rafael Devers three-run shot being the dagger. Rob Refsnyder’s three hits and two knocks from Xander Bogaerts made this one an easy 6-1 victory. With Tanner Houck getting loose but not needed for the save, we discuss whether his apparent closing role is the right move.
On Wednesday, we saw nearly a carbon copy as the Sox scored in each of the first four innings again to lead 6-0 after four innings, complete with another home run from Devers, Josh Winckowski got his first career win, throwing five shutout innings, and Alex Verdugo added a long ball. The final was 10-1. With Jarren Duran activated to replace Christian Arroyo’s Covid-IL visit, how do we see the outfield shaking out in the short and long term?
On Thursday, the Red Sox could not complete the sweep, disappointed a bit by their defense. Rich Hill gave them a chance to win, pitching into the sixth inning allowing four runs (three earned). A third-inning double that could have been caught by either Trevor Story or Duran started a three-run rally, and a Devers error led to the final run in the sixth. Boston was stymied by the command of Paul Blackburn on this afternoon. The Sox made it interesting in the eighth, thanks to some shaky Oakland defense and an RBI single by J.D. Martinez to cut the lead to one but could not tie the game. We discussed whether Rich Hill might be the pitcher to go when Chris Sale returns, or whether a six-man rotation could be considered.
The Red Sox now welcome the St. Louis Cardinals, who lead the NL Central by two games entering the weekend. Adam Wainwright vs. Michael Wacha, Dakota Hudson vs. Kutter Crawford, and Andre Pallante vs. Nick Pivetta await us. Give Albert Pujols some applause if you’re at the Park this weekend, he deserves it.