The Red Sox were in a rough place coming into Tuesday’s game at home against Seattle. They were losers of four straight, had won one of their last seven, and had just been outscored to the tune of 19-2 over the last two games, each by different opponents. On paper, a Nick Pivetta vs. Luis Castillo matchup reeked of yet another game of despair.
While Nick Pivetta was mostly solid for most of his outing, he slightly unraveled in the fourth. But luckily, the bats didn’t plan on leaving this game in his hands.
It took exactly two batters to put a run on the board, when Masa Yoshida struck a line drive to the wall to bring Alex Verdugo home, and Justin Turner returned the favor with a shot into the seats to make the game 3-0 before a single out was recorded. Triston Casas also homered to make it 4-0 before the first inning ended.
Pivetta threw a few shutout innings, getting out of jams in his signature way, until allowing a Teoscar Hernandez triple to right to cut the lead in half, and then a Taylor Trammell two-run home run to tie it up. Thoughts of “oh, here we go again” echoed through the minds of Fenway faithful.
But Yoshida came up big again in the bottom of the fifth on a double to score Verdugo. Devers just couldn’t get it going at the plate tonight and whiffed, but Jarren Duran brought Masa home with another home run, the third allowed by Castillo. The score was 7-4, and the Sox never looked back.
The bullpen — between new call-up Ryan Sherriff, dynamic bullpen arm Josh Winckowski, and other new call-up Justin Garza — held their own, not surrendering a run for the remainder of the game. In the meantime, two more runs scored in the eighth, one via that pesky Duran again, to take the game out of the “save situation” territory, at 9-4, and that is how it stayed.
Trust me: this team still has issues. We can’t pretend this last week didn’t happen. But, it’s nice to be able to almost not worry if this game was going to be blown or not, because it never felt possible that the lead would dwindle... at least not after the fourth inning. As someone who enjoys watching this baseball team, nights like this are needed. Let’s hope that tomorrow brings another night like this... but I’ll even settle for another night I don’t have to watch a game like the last two nights.
- Masataka Yoshida: 2-5, 3 RBI
- Alex Verdugo: 2-4, 3 R, 1 BB
- Jarren Duran: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K
- Rafael Devers: 0-4, 2 K
- Enmanuel Valdez: 0-3, 1 BB
- Nick Pivetta: 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 6 SO, 4 BB 1 HR
Play of the Game
I could argue that it was any home run hit this game, but I would say the point-of-no return at-bat was Duran’s long-ball to make the score 7-4. That was truly the play that made this game feel in the bag. I know, never say never, especially with new call-ups on the mound, but it just felt like a W from that point forward.