After an off day on Monday, I was looking forward to last night’s game, even if it was against the Oakland Athletics. The Red Sox looked like a first place team in every aspect last night, while the lowly A’s maintained their last place reputation. Eduardo Rodriguez made his 21st start of 2017 last night, and he was matched up against fellow southpaw, Sean Manaea. If you take away the four walks, ERod was nearly perfect in the six innings he pitched. One hit is all he gave up, and that came in the first inning, along with the only run he surrendered. From the second to the end of the sixth, the Venezuelan was great, only scattering three walks over that span. I didn’t think he’d be able to make it through six given the fact that his pitch count was north of 100 after five, but he did by ending his outing by only facing three batters in the sixth. The last time ERod got a win was all the way back on May 26th, which has to be something to feel good about.
Brandon Workman would be called upon for the seventh inning, and he struck out the only three batters he faced. Carson Smith, making his third appearance since being activated on September 5th, was not nearly as good as Workman. His control was off, and that lead to him loading the bases while facing five batters. Austin Maddox came in with two outs in the inning, and he got out of the jam with a strikeout, then went on to pitch a scoreless ninth to secure the win. Watching Carson Smith struggle was not very comforting, but you gotta like what you have seen out of Austin Maddox. Since he was recalled on September 1st, the righty has appeared in five games while pitching seven innings, and he has yet to allow an earned run in his young career. Similar to how Robby Scott performed last September, Maddox’s performance this season could really benefit him going into 2018.
On the other side of things, Sean Manaea stood no chance against Mookie Betts and the Red Sox. In his two career starts, Manaea has a line that he probably wouldn’t want to share; 6.1 IP, 21 H, 15 ER, and three home runs allowed. Last night, he managed to pitch a clean first, then things began to unravel. Five of the first six batters in the second reached base, which led to three runs scoring. A two-out, Mookie Betts triple scored the final two runs of the inning, and Mookie was just getting started. In the fourth, Betts went deep for his 20th long ball of the season, scoring Dustin Pedroia and giving his team a six-run lead. Two more runs crossed the plate in the fifth thanks to Christian Vazquez and Jackie Bradley Jr., then Mookie was back on his bs in the sixth. He connected with his second home run of the day and drove in his fifth and sixth runs of the day by doing so.
We haven’t seen a performace like this from Mookie since July 2nd when he drove in eight runs against the Blue Jays. Recently though, Betts has been looking better coming off that month-long slump. In the ten games he has played in this month, the right fielder has already hit three home runs while driving in nine runs. I know more than half of this production came last night but still, it looks like he’ll get to 100 RBIs for the second straight season.
Doug Fister gets the start later tonight, and I believe the Athletics are a team he has had success against in his career. It also helps that the opposing pitcher, former Dodgers prospect, Jharel Cotton, owns a 5.82 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP in 119 IP this season. A win guarantees a series win, which would be the third one this month. I’ll leave you with this:
82 down, ? to go.