Red Sox go 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, drop second straight to Yankees in 4-2 loss

For the second straight day, the Red Sox found themselves with an early lead over the Yankees but were unable to hold onto it in the end.

Boston fell to New York by a final score of 4-2 at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon, marking their second consecutive loss to open the 2022 campaign.

The Sox lineup did all of their damage off Yankees starter Luis Severino in their half of the second inning. After going down in order in the first, J.D. Martinez led off the following frame with a single and was driven in when Alex Verdugo took Severino deep to right field for his first home run of the season.

Verdugo’s two-run blast came on a 2-1, 98 mph fastball from Severino and left his bat with an exit velocity of 104.1 mph. It also traveled 382 feet into the right field seats to give Boston the early 2-0 lead.

Nick Pivetta, on the other hand, was in the midst of his first start of the season when Verdugo went yard. The right-hander faced first the minimum nine batters through his first three innings on the mound.

Jackie Bradley Jr. helped him out by gunning down Joey Gallo, who was attempting to stretch a two-out single into a double, at second base for the final out of the second and recorded his first outfield assist of the year in doing so.

Josh Donaldson, the hero of Opening Day, led off the fourth with a line-drive single. Aaron Judge then lifted a 411-foot flyout to the deepest part of the park in straightaway center field that Enrique Hernandez was able to come up with.

Anthony Rizzo, who homered off Nathan Eovaldi on Friday, proceeded to mash his second two-run home run in as many days by depositing a 93 mph Pivetta fastball 389 feet to right field to pull the Yankees back even at two runs apiece.

After standing two more base runners in the fourth on a pair of walks, Pivetta bounced back by retiring the side in the fifth. He was unable to carry that momentum into the sixth, though, as he issued a leadoff walk to Judge and a booming, 437-foot two-run blast to Giancarlo Stanton that had an exit velocity of 112 mph.

Stanton would be the second-to-last batter Pivetta would face, as he was pulled by Red Sox manager Alex Cora after recording the second out of the inning. The 29-year-old finished his day having allowed four runs (all earned) on four hits, three walks, and four strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work. 50 of the 81 pitches he threw went for strikes.

In relief of Pivetta, left-hander Austin Davis came on to finish things in the sixth and did just that by getting Gallo to fly out to left. From there, Hirokazau Sawamura twirled a 1-2-3 seventh inning and Phillips Valdez did the same in the eighth. It was a combined perfect showing for the trio of relievers making their 2022 debuts.

While the likes of Davis, Sawamura, and Valdez did their job by holding the Yankees to four runs, the Yankees bullpen did their job by holding the Red Sox to just two.

Severino may have lasted just three-plus innings in his first start since 2019, but six different New York relievers held their own from there. The Boston bats stranded Rafael Devers at second in the third, and Bradley Jr. and Verdugo at first and third in the fourth.

Fast forward all the way to the ninth, Christian Arroyo came on to pinch-hit for Bradley Jr. and reached base off Aroldis Chapman via a throwing error committed by Isiah Kiner-Filefa.

Arroyo was able to advance to second on the error and brought the potential tying run to the plate with just one out in the frame. Chapman, however, did not lose his composure. The Yankees closer got Christian Vazquez to fly out and Hernandez to ground out to secure his first save and send the Red Sox to 0-2 on the young season.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went a whopping 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Saturday and left eight runners on base as a team. They did that while still outhitting the Yankees, 5-4.

Saturday’s contest took less than three hours to complete and was played in front of 46,882 spectators in the Bronx.

Next up: Houck vs. Montgomery

Looking to avoid a three-game sweep to start the year, the Red Sox will turn to right-hander Tanner Houck in Sunday night’s series finale against the Yankees, who will roll with left-hander Jordan Montgomery.

First pitch Sunday is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. eastern time on ESPN.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

New Podding the Red Sox episode: Breaking down trade deadline moves with Pitcher List’s Sarah Griffin

On this week’s installment of Podding the Red Sox: A BloggingtheRedSox.com Podcast, I am joined by Pitcher List writer Sarah Griffin.

Among the topics Sarah and I discussed were the moves the Red Sox made ahead of last week’s trade deadline, how the team is in the midst of a season-worst four-game losing streak, the role Kyle Schwarber may play once he returns from the injured list, why Tanner Houck was optioned to Triple-A Worcester, how Chris Sale could fare in his first major-league action in two years, what other clubs — such as the Brewers and Dodgers — did to bolster their rosters at the deadline, how the final two months of the 2021 regular season will play out, and much more!

The episode is available to listen to on iTunes and Spotify, among other platforms.

Thanks to Sarah for taking some time out of her Tuesday to have this conversation with me. You can follow Sarah on Twitter by clicking here and read her work for Pitcher List by clicking here. Also, check out her new podcast — Saturdays n Seltzers — by clicking here.

Thank you for listening and we will see you next time! Please make sure to subscribe and leave a five-star review if you can!

(Picture of Fenway Park: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Former Red Sox Prospect and Cubs Star Anthony Rizzo Donates Meals to Doctors and Nurses Across Maine

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has not been part of the Red Sox organization for more than nine years, but that did not stop the three-time All-Star from keeping his past in mind as part of his efforts to aid in coronavirus containment efforts through the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation.

On Friday, Rizzo donated lunches and dinners to several hospitals across the state of Maine, including the Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute in Lewinston.

Dr. Paul Weldner, whose family hosted Rizzo when Rizzo played for the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs in 2010, is a cardiologist at CMHVI. The two still stay in touch to this day, and Rizzo recently reached out to his former host parent about how he could help in the midst of this pandemic.

“He basically reached out to me and said, ‘Paul I am giving out meals to a bunch of hospitals in your area and I would like your unit to benefit from it,'” Weldner told the Sun Journal’s Nathan Fournier. “So, we arranged it and that happened [Friday].”

Food was ordered from a popular local spot among the nurses, and “They ordered two sets of meals,” Weldner said. “One for the afternoon shift and I guess another meal is coming for the evening shift. And they just ordered a whole bunch of individual meals so people didn’t have to gather in one place.”

Weldner, who went to see Rizzo play in Game 4 of the 2016 World Series in Chicago and attended Rizzo’s wedding in 2018, was also gifted an engraved baseball from the first baseman.

Per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal:

“As of Friday, the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation will have delivered approximately 3,500 meals to front-line workers at 23 hospitals in six different states (Florida, Arizona, New York, New Jersey and Maine), according to executive director Abby Suarez.

Friday’s efforts also will include a shipment of 1,000 boxes of medical gloves to Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, with 50 gallons of hand sanitizer set to be delivered to the same facility on Monday. Next week, the foundation plans to expand its delivery of meals to nursing homes. It also is preparing care packages for pediatric cancer families and seeking to purchase a large amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) to donate, Suarez said.”

For a little more background, the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation was founded in 2012, four years after Rizzo was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma as an 18-year-old in April 2008, just as he was about to begin his first full season as a professional in the Red Sox organization.

Fortunately, Rizzo was able to overcome that adversity and was told by his doctor that he “could live a normal life” again that November.

The main goal of Rizzo’s foundation is to “support pediatric cancer patients and their families,” but in these unprecedented times, it’s certainly encouraging to see them broadening their horizons.

For more information on the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, click here.