Sean Manaea owns the Red Sox.
It was bad enough that the Red Sox had to go up against the same guy who no-hit them a few weeks ago in Oakland, but this game found the Sox in a much different position than they were on April 21st. When Manaea no-hit Boston, the Sox stood at 17-3 and a comfortable 6.5 games ahead of the New York Yankees.
Fast forward to less than a month later, and the Red Sox are 1/2 of a game out of first place after losing to Oakland 6-5 on Monday evening. The Yankees had the night off, but the recent stats suggest they probably would have won if they played. Since the Red Sox were no-hit by Manaea, New York has exploded for 123 runs and have gone 18-3 compared to Boston’s paltry 11-9.
I’m starting to run out of Red Sox starters to support for Cy Young. My Spring Training pick, David Price, has been dealt a poor hand as of late; and Slick Rick Porcello reverted to his odd-year self and gave up some serious deep balls tonight. He avoided a complete meltdown and kept the Sox in the game considering, but the team really could’ve used another shut down performance from him.
Porcello gave up two solo home runs, which is fine in the big picture. He had a tough 3rd inning giving up three runs, including one of his homers given up to former Tampa Bay Ray great Matt Joyce. He got outs when he needed to and aside from this one poor inning, he had a respectable game.
The Red Sox bullpen didn’t really have a chance to blow anything this time, so that’s a good sign. Carson Smith managed to give up a run when Khris Davis took him to another planet, but that was the only smudge on the Sox’ bullpen. They threw three innings giving up only two hits and the one run.
The good part about this loss? J.D. Martinez is an absolute animal and went deep again tonight for his 11th of the season. Martinez continues to play, on the whole, much better than Giancarlo Stanton has in New York; but that gap is getting closer each time the Yanks take the field. Rafael Devers broke out of his mini slump, too, hitting his 7th dinger of the season against Manaea. Martinez and Devers tried to lead the rally in the 7th and 8th innings, but it was too little too late. The Sox drop the first game of this series with Oakland.
The Red Sox look to redeem themselves tomorrow, as they send Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0, 4.58) against Oakland righty Daniel Mengden (2-4, 4.06). Rodriguez hopes to build off of his promising start against Texas, where he showed some electric stuff and finally looked healthy. Mengden, on the other hand, doesn’t strike out a lot of guys, 10 in his last 3 starts and has only five walks all season. The point is, he pitches to contact. This should be a favorable match-up for the Red Sox as they need to bounce back and keep pace with the Yankees.
It’s also worth noting that Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia had a decent showing tonight with the PawSox, including a nice defensive snag as well as a base hit. The team also has activated troubled knuckle-baller Steven Wright, following his injury and 15 game suspension; they have sent Hector Velasquez to the 10-day DL to make roster room for him. By the time Velazquez is ready to return, could it mean the end of Blake Swihart in Boston? We’ll see.