It was a disappointing game for the Red Sox offense as they were shutout by the Rays yesterday. In a game where the Sox accumulated just 3 hits and left 7 runners on base, while Rick Porcello came out and pitched a gem. Porcello threw 8 innings allowing 6 hits, 1 run and struck out 7 without walking any batters. With how good Porcello was, Alex Cobb was just a little better. Cobb tossed 7.2 innings of shutout baseball allowing 2 hits, walking 1 and striking out 3. What made it worse too was having to watch Cobb and his weird wind-up completely dominate the Sox all night.
The biggest issue I had in yesterday’s game was: Why keep Jackie Bradley Jr. out of the lineup? JBJ is the best offensive player on the team lately as he’s just been a hitting machine. Bradley hit .353 with 15 RBI through all of June, putting his early season struggles way behind him. So why is John Farrell leaving him out of the lineup? It can’t be because he needed rest, the all-star break is coming up and he’ll get 4 days of rest then. Farrell must’ve thought Chris Young was the better play in yesterday’s game. Young is a career .226 hitter against RHP, usually when he draws a start it’s against LHP. Young proceeded to go 0-4 in the game.
Farrell also could’ve made the decision to have JBJ pinch hit for Young in the 9th inning yesterday. The Sox threatened in the 9th as Xander Bogaerts got on base, followed by a Mitch Moreland double that got Bogaerts to 3rd. Hanley Ramirez then struck out after a few terrible looking swings on Alex Colome breaking balls. Andrew Benintendi was intentionally walked to load the bases with 2 outs as Young came to the plate. I was fully expecting to see JBJ grab his helmet and bat and start walking out to the on-deck circle. But that would be too good of a move to be true for Farrell. I know JBJ has better splits this year against LHP and Colome is better against left-handed hitting, but I don’t have any type of confidence in Young this season. And why wouldn’t you want your hottest hitter to get an at-bat with the game on the line, bases loaded, 2 outs and down by 1 run in the 9th? The fact that Farrell left Young in was just a head-scratcher.
I always like watching pitchers duels because it’s not very often that both pitchers are dealing. The result didn’t go in favor of the Sox, but a good takeaway is how well Porcello pitched. This was the 9th out of Porcello’s last 19 starts that he got no run support, as he picked up his 11th loss on the season, becoming the first to do so in all of the majors. I think Porcello needs to find that nasty hat he was wearing all last season that led the RHP to a Cy Young Award, maybe that’ll help him have a much more productive second half of the season, which he’ll need to have for the Sox to win the AL East.
Since the Red Sox couldn’t get to Cobb in last night’s game, hopefully the story will be different today against Chris Archer as he and David Price will battle for the last game before the all-star break.