In the second of a four-game set against the Chicago White Sox, the Red Sox were looking to win their fourth straight game for the first time since August 12th on a rainy Friday night.
Making his 17th start of the season last night was Nathan Eovaldi, who entered the day with a 7.41 ERA over his last four starts and a 3.52 ERA in two career appearances (one start) at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Only able to pitch into the third inning of this one because of a lengthy weather delay, the right-hander’s struggles continued, as he got shelled for three earned runs on three hits and zero walks while recording six total outs.
Unable to strike out any of the 10 batters he faced on the night, the White Sox collected all three runs they scored off of Eovaldi in the bottom of the first. The first of which came on an Avisail Garcia RBI single, while the other two came off the bat of former Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada on his 17th home run of the season.
After holding Chicago scoreless in the second, the Texas native came back out for his third inning of work with his team in a 3-0 hole, but in the middle of the first at bat, the rain really started to pour, and that is when Crew chief Ted Barrett decided it was time to bring out the tarp.
With the rain delay officially lasting more than two hours, Eovaldi’s, along with White Sox starter Michael Kopech’s night, would come to a rather quick conclusion.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 35 (22 strikes), it was pretty obvious that the adjustments Eovaldi made with his landing foot, at the discretion of Pedro Martinez, these past few days did not come with the results he was necessarily looking for.
Out of those 35 pitches thrown, the 28-year-old turned to his four-seam fastball 53% of the time he was on the mound Friday. He also topped out at 100.8 MPH with the same pitch in the first inning.
Although this particular outing was on the short side, let’s go ahead and take a look at how Eovaldi has been performing since he tossed eight scoreless innings against the New York Yankees on August 4th.
4 GS, 0-3, 8.05 ERA, 19 IP, 38 H, 24 R (17 ER), 3 BB, 12 K, 3 HR. Not great.
In relief of Eovaldi, the Red Sox bullpen would be turned to rather early once again on Friday night, and it was Drew Pomeranz who got the first call coming out of the rain delay.
Having only appeared in one game over the last week, the left-hander put in some solid relief work, as he scattered seven hits and six strikeouts over four scoreless frames. He also received some defensive help from the Red Sox outfield.
Next out of the ‘pen was Tyler Thornburg, who entered this contest with his team trailing by just three runs, but by the time he left, that deficit had increased to six after Matt Davidson launched a two out, three-run home run to left center field.
Thornburg was able to end the seventh inning, but that home run was essentially the final nail in the coffin for Boston.
Finally, just trying to keep his team within the five runs they were trailing by, Brandon Workman retired three of the four batters he faced in a scoreless eighth.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against another young right-hander for Chicago in the form of rookie Michael Kopech.
Kopech, a former Red Sox prospect who was part of the Chris Sale trade in 2016, received the call up to the majors on August 21st and is ranked as the top pitching prospect in the White Sox organization.
Making just his third career start on Friday, Kopech was up against his toughest opponent yet, and it showed early, as he hit the first batter he faced in Mookie Betts, then followed that up by walking Andrew Benintendi.
Thanks to some poor base running on Betts’ part though, the Texas native was able to get out of the first unharmed.
After working his way around a two out double from Ian Kinsler and a Sandy Leon HBP in the second, Kopech would be unable to resume his outing because of that two-hour rain delay.
For Kopech, out of the three starts he has made this season, two, both of which came at home, have been shortened due to weather.
Following the delay, Dylan Covey, who was part of the White Sox rotation the last time the Red Sox saw him, went out and pitched three scoreless innings of relief from the third until the middle of the sixth.
In fact, the only scoring Boston could manage in this one came in the eighth, when Andrew Benintendi mashed his 16th homer of the year off of Juan Minaya to make it a 6-1 game, which would go on to be the final score.
Some notes from this 6-1 loss:
From @RedSoxStats: Covey vs Red Sox this year 9 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K
Covey vs everyone else 87 IP, 70 R, 41 BB, 60 K, 6.18 ERA, 1.63 WHIP
Xander Bogaerts received his first ejection last night, as he was tossed in the top of the eighth for arguing balls and strikes. Rick Porcello was also ejected.
Since moving to the bullpen, Drew Pomeranz owns a 2.93 ERA in his last 15.1 innings pitched.
Tyler Thornburg, on the other hand, has given up five earned runs in his last five innings pitched.
Finishing August with a 18-9 record, the Red Sox will look to get back on track and guarantee a series split later tonight, as Eduardo Rodriguez will make his long-awaited return to the rotation and make his 20th start of the season.
Before spraining his right ankle against the Toronto Blue Jays on July 14th, Rodriguez had not surrendered a run in his last 19 innings pitched. He has never appeared in a game at Guaranteed Rate Field, but does own a 3.75 ERA over two career starts against the White Sox.
Opposite Rodriguez will be another southpaw in Chicago’s Carlos Rodon, who made his first start of the 2018 season against Boston back on June 9th.
Since that time, Rodon as arguably been the White Sox’s best starter, as he has posted a 2.70 ERA and .178 BAA in 14 starts this year.
First pitch of the third game of the series is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET, weather permitting.