The Red Sox looked great in the first two games of this weekend series, not so much on Sunday. Rick Porcello got the start in this one, and he did not look nearly as bad as he did last time out against the Blue Jays on Labor Day. In the five innings the righty pitched, the Rays managed to score twice on five hits and three walks, all to Logan Morrison. They did strike out four times though, and Porcello did not give up his first hit until the fourth. I don’t think his pitch count was that high, but he did not come back out to start the sixth inning. The bullpen struggled a little bit in the four innings they pitched, but I’d still say they kept the Red Sox in the game. Brandon Workman and Robby Scott both allowed a run, but Addison Reed, Fernando Abad, Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel combined to pitch 2.2 innings of scoreless relief. The highlights of this were Fernando Abad’s eephus pitch for a K, and Craig Kimbrel striking out the side in the top of the ninth. In his next start, it looks like Porcello will face the Rays again, this time on the road, but it might not be at Tropicana Field.
On the other side of things, the bats looked lifeless similar to the way they did earlier last week against New York and Toronto. The only run they managed to score off of Alex Cobb came in the second, when Christian Vazquez drove in Mitch Moreland on an RBI single. Vazquez should have scored later in the inning, but was later ruled out after a lengthy, incorrect replay review. The call was so incorrect that the Rays players took the field after seeing the replay for themselves. Anyway, the Red Sox had one legit shot to score a few runs in the sixth, after Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts reached base with no outs, Moreland grounded into a double play and Rafael Devers grounded out to end the inning, stranding Benintendi at third. After Cobb left in that inning, the Rays bullpen did a great job of shutting down the Red Sox over the next three innings, limiting them to only one hit over that span. So, shout out to Falmouth, MA native Steve Cishek for his scoreless inning.
An off day tomorrow will give this team time to prepare a team very similar to the Rays in the Oakland Athletics. They are a club that strikes out a lot and hits the ball deep a lot. I haven;t watched him play a ton in Milwaukee or Oakland, but I like what Khris Davis has evolved into with the 39 home runs he has this season. ERod gets the first start on Tuesday, facing off against Sean Manaea, who got lit up last time he pitched in Boston last May.
81 down, 11 to go.