In their final tune-up before the start of the 2020 regular season, the Red Sox only managed to play 4 1/2 innings of exhibition baseball against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night due to the weather. If games were official after only 4 1/2 innings, the Sox would have lost by a final score of 2-0, but it’s not like that matters too much anyway.
Zack Godley got the start for Boston in this one, and he made a solid case for a spot in the back end of the Sox’ rotation by working three scoreless, no-hit innings to go along with just one walk and two strikeouts on the night.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 35, 24 of which were strikes, the veteran right-hander turned to his curveball exactly 40% of the time he was on the mound Wednesday while also topping out at 91 MPH with his cutter, a pitch he threw 16 times.
If things align the way he wants them to, Godley could open the season as Boston’s No. 4 or 5 starter, meaning his first official start in a Red Sox uniform would come in next week’s interleague series against the New York Mets.
In relief of Godley, Brian Johnson was the only other Sox hurler to get some work in on Wednesday due to the weather, and he did not look his best given the fact that he served up a two-run blast to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on a hanging, 3-2 curveball down the heart of the plate in the top half of the fourth.
Still, if there is any positives to take away from the left-hander’s rather rough outing, it’s that he tossed a scoreless fifth inning right before this game was going to be called.
On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup, fresh off plating six runs on Tuesday, was matched up against Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton to begin things on Wednesday.
As it turns out, the Boston bats were only able to muster one hit off of Thornton, a two-out single from former Blue Jay Kevin Pillar in the third, and another hit off of Toronto reliever Shun Yamaguchi in the fourth. That being a two-out single off the bat of Xander Bogaerts.
Other than that, not much to report on seeing how Mother Nature cut this exhibition contest short.
Some observations from this one:
Should Zack Godley start over Brian Johnson? The answer at this point seems to be leaning towards ‘yes.’
Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette is pretty good.
Next up for the Red Sox, the games finally start to count. Opening Day is this Friday and a three-game weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles is on tap.
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will be making his first career Opening Day start for Boston, while lefty Tommy Milone will be doing the same for Baltimore.
The Sox won 63% of their games against the O’s last year. That would translate to six wins in 10 games against their divisional foes in 2020.
First pitch Friday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. eastern time on NESN. Real baseball is back, folks.