After losing three out of four to the second-place Yankees, the Red Sox got their three game series against the last-place Blue Jays off to a disappointing start. Rick Porcello was bad again, even though he looked great against this same team less than a week ago. While not even making it through six complete innings, Porcello surrendered SEVEN earned runs on ten hits and a walk to go along with three strikeouts. The long ball is what really hurt the righty though, as the Jays took him deep three times, and those accounted for six of the seven runs. Right from the start, the Red Sox were down by three runs, which has happened a lot lately. Porcello was better after the first, only allowing one run over the next four innings, but then the sixth inning happened. After recording the first out, the next three batters all reached base, with the third, Raffy Lopez, taking Porcello deep and making it a 7-2 game. John Farrell would come to get Porcello after that, but the bullpen didn’t do much to stop the bleeding. I say bullpen, but it was really only Matt Barnes since Brandon Workman, Austin Maddox, and Fernando Abad all pitched well in their 2.2 combined innings of work. When Barnes entered the game in the ninth, the Red Sox were not dead yet, only trailing by three runs. Unfortunately, Barnes let that lead inflate, all after getting the first two outs on strikeouts. Four straight hits, including a home run, allowed the Jays to score three more runs and that pretty much put the final nail in the coffin. Roenis Elias, who has not pitched in the Majors since last August, had to come in the game, and he put an end to the top half of a long inning. Going back to Porcello, he has looked awful in his last two starts at Fenway Park, both against division rivals. He got blown out by the Orioles two weekends ago, and the Jays pretty much did the same against him last night. Somehow, I still have some level of confidence in him, despite the bad season. Hopefully, he can make up for this start with a good one against the Rays next weekend.
Offensively, the Red Sox had a solid amount of opportunities to score more than four runs, but could not capitalize. JA Happ was not great for the Blue Jays, but he definitely limited the damage in the 5.2 innings he pitched last night. Before they even came to the plate for their first AB’s, they were already losing 3-0. Eduardo Nunez made it a one run game in the second, but that was the closest the deficit ever got. Nunez really carried the offense last night, driving in the first three runs they scored, which kept them in the game up until the ninth. Mitch Moreland drove in the fourth run in the seventh, on a fielder’s choice, and that was that. Leaving runners in scoring position is a persisting problem for this team, and a solution may be hard to find. Bryce Brentz, who has around 30 homers with the PawSox this season could be a possibility, but it doesn’t look like he’ll make his way on the 40-man roster this month. Throughout the Red Sox lineup, there is no real threat for opposing pitchers to be afraid of, like I said, there’s no real solution for this season.
Marco Estrada, who has pitched below his standards this season, gets the start against ERod tonight, so hopefully the Red Sox bats can do a lot of damage off of him. For now, the Yankees have moved to within 2.5 games of the division lead, which is a concern based on how each team has been performing lately.
77 down, ? to go. (Probably won’t get to 95.)