If you haven’t been paying attention, the Cleveland Indians have won 21 games in a row, their last loss coming against the Red Sox. This doesn’t put any pressure on the Red Sox, but it does take away any attention they may get if that streak is not happening. The good thing about this is the fact that the Indians have now passed the Astros for the best record in the American League. That means that if the season ended today, the Astros would play host to the Red Sox in the ALDS. That would also mean that the Red Sox could end up playing the Astros in nine straight games, since their season ends with a four game series against Houston in Boston.
Anyway, the Red Sox had the chance to take this series from a last place team last night, but they came up short. For the first time since August 14th, Doug Fister failed to pitch at least seven innings. The righty could only make it through four innings, all while surrendering six runs on six hits and a walk. The A’s managed to score four times off of Fister in the first, and scored an additional two runs in the third. Old friend Jed Lowrie and A’s forst baseman Matt Olson did the most damage last night, combining for 4 RBIs on 4 hits, including a two-run home run from Olson in the first. I’m not going to say I’m concerned about Fister because last time he was this bad, he went on that great run for four straight starts. In relief of Fister, Fernando Abad, Heath Hembree, Matt Barnes, and Blaine Boyer combined to go five innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out five. Nothing spectacular, but they kept their team within four runs, which is doable.
Offensively, Jharel Cotton was much better than I thought he was going to be last night. The Red Sox scored once in the first to cut the A’s lead to three, but that’s the closest it got. Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi both had RBIs on this one, while Jackie Bradley Jr. took Cotton deep for his sixteenth long ball of the season.
That was all the scoring they could manage against a team that is ranked 26th in team ERA.
Drew Pomeranz, who was pretty good last time out against the Rays, is making his 29th start of the season this afternoon against one of his former teams. Daniel Gossett, who owns an ERA of 5.02 this season, is making the start for the A’s, so hopefully the Red Sox can capitalize on that.
82 down, 10 to go.