This was pretty damn tough to watch. The Rays had lost 11 straight games. The Red Sox had the chance to feast on a rookie pitcher. But by the end of the first inning, none of that mattered.
Top Play (WPA): Top honors here go to Logan Morrison’s one-out RBI single in the bottom of the first (.113), but that was truly no more devastating than, say, Nick Franklin’s two-run double in the same inning, or Logan Forsythe’s two-run homer in the third, or Franklin’s two-run bomb in the seventh. It was a brutal night.
Bottom Play (WPA): Hanley Ramirez struck out with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the fifth. It was “just” 9-3 at the time, so had Hanley driven in a few runs the game might’ve been a bit more interesting. But as Linkin Park taught us so many years ago, in the end, it doesn’t even matter.
Key Moment: There wasn’t one. Rodriguez was pummeled from the get-go, and after the first few batters there was never really any question that he’d be hit around for as long as he stayed in the game. Thank god he stayed in the game for 2.3 innings, then.
Trend to Watch: Eduardo Rodriguez isn’t a major league pitcher right now. After allowing nine earned runs and 11 hits in 2.2 innings, it’s pretty clear that Ed needs to head back to Triple-A to build up his legs, rediscover his changeup and learn to throw his slider for a strike every now and then. I’m fully aware the Red Sox don’t really have better options, but Rodriguez is too important to the future of the franchise to risk ruining him by letting him get shelled in the majors every give games. Even if it means more Joe Kelly or Henry Owens or Sean Freaking O’Sullivan, E-Rod shouldn’t make his next several starts in Boston. (Editor’s Note: Rodriguez was indeed optioned to Triple-A after the game.)
Also, why was Rodriguez allowed to be shelled to that degree? I get needing to save the bullpen, but the Rays were on everything Rodriguez was throwing all night. It’s not like he had one bad inning that snowballed on him or a grand slam to truly change the complexion of the game. John Farrell allowed Rodriguez to be battered and bruised, and it apparently took Xander Bogaerts giving him the “pity this man” look for Farrell to remove Ed from the game. Curious managing, to say the least.
Also Koji Uehara might be kinda done. He gave up the aforementioned two-run bomb to Franklin on a splitter that your average Division II cleanup hitter probably could’ve taken deep. We miss you, Carson Smith.
Coming Next: Rick Porcello faces off against Chris Archer in the trop at 7:10 p.m. EST. John Farrell apparently held a team meeting with the Red Sox after last night’s walloping, so look forward to that being a part of the narrative based on whether the Sox win (it was the kick in the ass they needed!) or lose (no one listens to Farrell!) tonight.
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