After winning six in a row, it looked like this Red Sox team had started to find their way as a whole. Well, now the Red Sox have hit another snag, dropping their second consecutive game on Memorial Day. This game had plenty of hype beforehand, and that was because David Price, the $31 million dollar man, was making his first start of the 2017 season. For someone who has not faced Major League batters since last October, Price was mostly good throughout the 5 innings he pitched. Like I said yesterday, I was expecting the worst for Price, and many people were, but I was thoroughly impressed with what I saw from the 2012 Cy Young Award winner. He really only got into trouble in the third inning, when he walked two of the first three hitters he faced. Melky Cabrera would come up to the plate next, and he took full advantage of Price, taking him yard to left center, driving in three, and giving the White Sox a 3-1 lead. Price would go on to pitch two more innings, getting taken out after five full with only 88 pitched because of a pitch limit. So, the bullpen was responsible for the last three innings of the game, and they had a one run lead to work with. Joe Kelly walked one while pitching a shutout sixth, and he was relieved by Matt Barnes, who was awful. Barnes gave up three hits and two earned runs, which gave the White Sox a 5-4 lead, and that would be the final score. Blaine Boyer made his second appearance for the Red Sox, and he retired the White Sox in order to end the eighth inning. The biggest takeaway pitching wise is obviously David Price’s strong return to this rotation. Sale, Price, Porcello, and even Rodriguez could really be something special if they all pitch the way they are capable of. Another thing I took away from this loss is the bullpen. Yesterday it was Hembree, today it was Barnes. Two guys John Farrell relies on heavily in key situations. With the returns of Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg still being question marks, these guys need to pitch on a more consistent basis.
Offensively, the Red Sox were flat for the second game in a row, only recording four hits on the afternoon. They got the first run in this one, which usually results in wins, but that didn’t help on Monday. Xander Bogaerts drove in the first run of the game, hitting a sac fly that allowed Mookie Betts to score from third. After not scoring in the second and third, two more runs crossed the plate in the fourth. The first coming when Hanley Ramirez scored on a Christian Vazquez double, the second coming on a Jackie Bradley Jr. ground out, which scored Sam Travis from third. The final run the Red Sox scored, which was the go-ahead run at the time, came in the fifth, when Mookie Betts drilled one out barely over the left field wall, his fifteenth of the season. Seeing Mookie going 2 for 4 on Monday was definitely encouraging to see. It was kind of a weird game for substitutions, since the Red Sox made plenty of them. Dustin Pedroia had to leave the game early with a wrist issue, and he was replaced by Josh Rutledge. I just saw that he is heading back to Boston for an MRI, so that’s discouraging. Sam Travis only played like the first four or five innings, he was defensively replaced by Mitch Moreland. It was also interesting to see Sandy Leon, a .240 hitter this season, pinch hit for Deven Marrero in the ninth. That move didn’t work, to nobody’s surprise.
If you really want to be an optimist, you can take Price’s performance and say this game was a positive. But, I’m looking at it more like this team is heading back down to earth after that win streak. I wouldn’t be surprised if Farrell’s on the hot seat again in one-two weeks.
27 down, ? to go.