A couple thoughts on this weekend’s Sox-Jays series right after I (sort of) flash some leather from the broadcast booth…
- The good news: The Red Sox took the middle game of the three game set. The bad news? That win was bookended two losses in which the opposing pitchers took no hitters deep into games. The Sox have lost four of their last five, and have dropped back into second place as of Monday morning, with only a three game buffer on Toronto, who has won 12 of their last 17 games.
- Obviously Boston’s bats were going to cool down, however when the pitching isn’t there to help out at all, it can make for some frustrating games. Toronto’s offense is lethal, sure, but it’d be nice to steal one of these games where the offense isn’t clicking purely on the back of a top notch pitching performance. David Price wasn’t bad on Friday, allowing 2 earned runs in 7 innings of work, but he definitely wasn’t dominant. While he’s been much better since The Great Leg Kick Debacle of 2016 was taken care of, I’m still waiting for a signature Price game where he goes 8 shutout innings and strikes out 10 guys. We really haven’t seen that yet (no, I’m not counting that start against Atlanta).
- RIP Xander Bogaerts‘ hitting streak, we hardly knew ye. Here’s the final line: 26 games, .385/.419/.581, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 45 hits, and 8 doubles. Fortunately, Bogaerts is now free to bunt with runners in scoring position whenever he chooses.
- Hanley Ramirez from May 18th to June 4th: 16 games, .186 BA, .459 OPS, 0 XBH (no, that’s not a misprint). He finally doubled in the 9th on Sunday to end the drought, but his average has dropped nearly 40 points in two and a half weeks. Hitting coach Chili Davis has no idea what’s going on. Maybe he should ask Dustin Pedroia, that guy seems to have all the answers these days.
- Here’s a fun Eduardo Rodriguez stat: In night games, Rodriguez is 9-2 with a 1.95 ERA, .222 BAA, 6 HR allowed, and a 2.8 K/BB ratio in 87.2 IP. In day games, he’s 2-5 with a 7.88 ERA, .306 BAA, 11 HR allowed, and a 2.07 K/BB ratio in 45.2 IP. In other words, the gap between the two performances is as large and as obvious as the difference between Batman and Bruce Wayne. Rodriguez’s velocity is down a tick as well. Check out this handy dandy chart from Brooks Baseball:
- The important numbers on that: Last year E-Rod’s “hard” pitches clocked in, on average, at 94.75 mph. This year, he’s down to 93.35 mph. Of course, that’s only a two start sample, which means it’s subject to change, but it’s at least worth noting that Rodriguez is still working his way back into peak shape following his knee injury this spring.
- I wrote all the way back on May 19th that Junichi Tazawa should take over the set-up role for the fading Koji Uehara. Since then, Taz has given up 5 runs in 5.2 innings over six appearances, good for a 7.94 ERA. Plus, Carson Smith has headed to the DL in need of Tommy John surgery. Granted, Uehara hasn’t been much better (He’s allowed 4 runs in 6 innings), but I’ll take the blame for jinxing that one.
- Both Blake Swihart and Ryan Hanigan were placed on the 15-day DL after Sunday’s loss, and just like that the Sox have gone from three catchers down to one. But don’t worry guys, that just means we get to have Sandy Leon and Rusney Castillo back in our lives! Isn’t this great? (No, it’s not. I am not having fun).
- The Red Sox are 14-15 against the AL East and 5-7 in one run games. There’s still plenty of time for those trends to reverse, but at the moment that worries me.
- Updated Red Sox Trade Deadline Shopping List: Another starter, a reliever to replace Smith, and a bat off the bench so that Hanigan/Marcelo Hernandez (or, I guess, Leon now) aren’t the dudes being counted on in high leverage pinch-hitting situations.
Up next, a two game set with the NL West (and inevitable 2016 World Series champion) San Francisco Giants. The games are on late, which is a bummer, but make sure you catch as much of Wednesday night’s Price/Madison Bumgarner showdown as you can.