Good morning, the Red Sox have won four consecutive games.
It’s the first football Sunday of this new season, so I’ll keep this light, and I think I can do a good job of that given how last night’s game went.
Chris Sale made his 29th start of 2017 on Saturday, and he didn’t have to pitch to the best of his abilities to get the win in this one. By the time he took the mound for the top of the second, he already had a three run lead, and by the time he came out for the third, he had an eight run lead to work with. He wasn’t great in the six innings he pitched, but he looked very good. No runs on six hits, a HBP, and a walk to go along with eight strikeouts. You may consider this a hot take, but Chris Sale is usually the star on the days he pitches and I honestly don’t think he was last night. That’s not a knock on him, in fact, I like that he was not put back out for the seventh, which could have easily happened back in June or July. Instead, he gets additional rest, after already receiving an extra day this past week. In the 29 starts Sale has made, he has gone at least six while allowing two runs or fewer 62% of the time. Similar to Friday;s game, the Red Sox bullpen was not put under any pressure given a nine run lead when Sale departed after six innings. Carson Smith, Heath Hembree, and Blaine Boyer combined to go for three scoreless innings of relief, with Smith being the only one to give up any hits.
Offensively, Matt Andriese stood no chance. Dustin Pedroia got the scoring started with a two-run home run, his sixth, over the monster in the first. Mitch Moreland drove in another run in the inning, and the onslaught continued into the second. Andrew Benintendi, Moreland, and Hanley Ramirez all drove in runs in the inning. Benintendi wrapped up the scoring in the third with an RBI single in the third. Eduardo Nunez, Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia, Andrew Benintendi, Mitch Moreland, and Rafael Devers all recorded multi-hit games. Unfortunately, Nunez had to leave the game in the second after getting a spike off the back while successfully stealing second. Surprisingly, Xander Bogaerts, his replacement, was borderline outstanding. Two hits on three at bats, two runs scored, and some great plays made defensively. Like Jerry Remy said, hopefully this performance Bogaerts was not prepared for will get him going.
With their 81st win of the season, the Red Sox have guaranteed that they will finish the season with a winning percentage north of .500 for the second straight season. Rick Porcello will look to rebound from his last start this afternoon, as the first place Red Sox look for the sweep over the Rays.
81 down, 11 to go.