( I’m writing this after the Bruins just lost. So, sorry if that has any effect on this recap.)
The Red Sox were looking to avoid the sweep on Sunday heading into their off day on Monday. Eduardo Rodriguez took the mound, making his first start since coming back from paternity leave. Rodriguez put on a solid performance, not giving up a hit until the fifth inning. Overall, the Venezuelan-born southpaw went seven innings, allowing only the one hit, while walking five and recording seven strikeouts. This performance out of Rodriguez was nice to see, especially after Steven Wright’s disaster of a start Saturday night. The Red Sox bullpen did an okay job in relieving Rodriguez, allowing two runs in 3 innings pitched. The biggest controversy of the game came from reliever Matt Barnes.
In the bottom of the eighth, Manny Machado came to the plate and, not surprisingly, was thrown at by Barnes. Again, I did not find this surprising at all. Going for the head is a bit much, but if Barnes just hit him in the back, it really wouldn’t be that eye-opening. As Barnes and John Farrell were being ejected, the cameras picked up an interesting exchange between Manny Machado and Dustin Pedroia, who was in the Red Sox dugout. Basically, Pedroia said that hitting Machado was not his idea and if it was, it would have happened sooner. We’ll get Pedroia’s postgame comments later.
Back to the game, the top of the Red Sox lineup put on a show on Sunday. Batters 1-2-3, Bogaerts, Benintendi, and Betts all recorded multiple hits, going a combined 9 for 12 at the plate with one home run and four RBIs. Rookie left fielder Andrew Benintendi had himself a day, becoming the youngest Red Sox player to collect five hits since The Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth. With his performance, Benintendi’s batting average now sits at .347, currently the 12th best in all of baseball. With 11 RBIs on the season, Benintendi is on pace to collect 99 total by the end of the season. Now, that probably won’t happen, but it’s something I like to look at. The biggest highlight of the game came in the top of the first when Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez hit back to back home runs to make it a 4-0 game right away.
Now, let’s talk about Dustin Pedroia’s comments postgame. Here’s what he had to say:
“That’s not how you do that, man,” Pedroia said. “I’m sorry to (Machado) and his team. If you’re going to protect guys, you do it right away. He knows that. We both know that. It’s definitely a mishandled situation. There was zero intention of him trying to hurt me. He just made a bad slide. He did hurt me. It’s baseball, man. I’m not mad at him. I love Manny Machado. I love playing against him. I love watching him. If I slid into third base and got Manny’s knee, I know I’m going to get drilled. That’s baseball. I get drilled, and I go to first base. That’s it.”
I honestly think this came off as unusual. This whole series has been weird. From the way he has looked in the dugout, it would appear that Pedroia has been uncomfortable with what has been going on. We’ll have to wait until next Monday when the Orioles come to Fenway to see how this rivalry plays out.
11 down, 83 to go.