I can’t say I saw that one coming. The bats came alive for the Sox at Fenway last night, getting 20 hits and 11 runs, 7 of those runs driven in by Big Papi himself, which was a career high. Kinda surprising for him, but he did have 6 RBI games six times before. (Side note, on July 24th, it was Nomar’s birthday, and 13 years ago on that date, he hit 3 home runs, one was a grandslam, and had 8 RBI. So while Ortiz had a career night last night, Nomar’s birthday bash was a tad better. Anyway, back to the current guys..)
Eduardo Rodriguez pitched another gem, and it’s really been hit or miss with this guy. Mostly hit (but that’s a little confusing since for the purpose of this analogy or metaphor or whatever literary device I just used, hits are good in this sense, even though the opposing batters didn’t get hits. Jeez, another long parenthetical sentence. I keep going off track here. But it’s good stuff, you know?)
E Rod has made 11 starts for the Sox, compiling at 6-3 record. The wins look like this:
- Win 1 – 8 innings, 3 hits, 0 ER
- Win 2 – 7 innings, 2 hits, 1 ER
- Win 3 – 6.1 innings, 6 hits, 1 ER
- Win 4 – 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 ER
- Win 5 – 6.1 innings, 5 hits, 2 ER
- Win 6 (last night) – 7 innings, 3 hits, 1 ER
There was also a no decision that he pitched 6 innings, gave up 3 hits and didn’t allow a run. So when he’s on his game, he is on. Two earned runs is the most he’s given up in a win. Pretty good stuff.
Now, lets look at the losses.
- Loss 1 (vs TOR) – 4.2 innings, 8 hits, 9 ER
- Loss 2 (vs BAL) – 3.2 innings, 7 hits, 6 ER
- Loss 3 (vs LAA) -1.2 innings, 6 hits, 7 ER
That’s quite a difference. Hits and earned runs WAY UP. Innings WAY down. I don’t know if it was his issue of tipping pitches that came to light earlier or what, but it seems if teams get to him early, he gets rocked. So when he’s on, he’s on, and when he isn’t, well, it isn’t good.
I like to think Pedro’s induction into the Hall of Fame sparked the Sox a little. They need a Pedro again. (Looking sharp)
Now let’s get back to the Red Sox as a team. Buchholz is most likely done for the season, with September being the most likely return date, and at the point, why even risk any more damage when the Sox probably won’t be doing anything.
Pedroia is on the DL again with his reoccurring hamstring injury. Thankfully All Star Brock Holt is there to fill in. It’s hard to say you can’t miss a beat without Pedroia, but the Brockstar actually makes it possible. They Sox CAN play and win without Pedroia.
Mike Napoli has had somewhat of a resurgence (anything is a resurgence compared to what he was doing). He has 10 hits in the last 6 games, 4 doubles, and a home run. It’s nice to see his bat doing something for a change. His average is up almost 20 points (from an abysmal .191 to a slightly less abysmal .209). I don’t know if this does anything for the trade dealine, but we will see.
The team scored 11 runs, the second highest winning run total of the season (they scored 12 runs vs Toronto on July 2nd, and 13 against KC on June 21th.) Both of those games were also blowout wins. Sometimes you see them score all these runs and wonder how they lose 1 run games so many times. In 22 loses, the Red Sox have lost by only 1 or 2 runs. They can’t close out these close games. Hopefully this is something they can fix heading forward.
Coming up, the Red Sox take on the White Sox, winners of 4 straight over Cleveland.