Another quick recap of last night’s game with the early start today.
It would appear that Rick Porcello has a Tampa Bay Rays problem. On April 14, Porcello made the start against the Rays in basically the same situation, that being a Friday night home game in the red alternates. In that start, Porcello gave up eight earned runs over 4.1 innings. On Friday night, Porcello was not much better, finishing with a line of 6 IP, 9 H, 5 R (3 ER), and 7 K’s. After getting through the first three innings without giving up a single run, the Rays did all their damage in the fourth and fifth innings. Porcello has been far from awful this season, but we have yet to see him retain that 2016 Cy Young Award winning form. The Red Sox bullpen, which consisted of Robbie Ross, Heath Hembree, and Robby Scott on Friday, did not allow a single run over three innings pitched.
Like the Rays scoring all their runs in two consecutive innings, the Red Sox did all their scoring in only one, that being the bottom of the seventh. After looking lifeless for most of the game, the Red Sox bats nearly took the lead against the Rays. Aided by the Rays sloppy defense, they scored four times in the inning, highlighted by a Sandy Leon double that scored Mitch Moreland and Josh Rutledge. With Jackie Bradley on second with only one out, Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia both had the chance to drive in that run, but failed to do so. They also had a similar opportunity in the next inning, with Xander Bogaerts on third and Andrew Benintendi on first with only one out. Mitch Moreland and Josh Rutledge had their chance to drive in those runs, but they too failed to do so.
It feels like this team needs a shot in their arm to get out of this funk. Although the shaking up of the lineup has helped, it hasn’t helped enough in the wins column. The defense from third base continues to be a problem, as Josh Rutledge committed another error Friday night. I know it’s only May, but today’s game is kind of big. The weather has forced the timing of this game to be moved from 7 to 1. Chris Sale is on the mound, and another loss puts this team right at .500. Need Sale to come through, first pitch in about one hour.
18 down, 76 to go.