Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tonight's The Night

Last night was an absolute shitshow at Fenway Park.

The Yankees lost their starter, Nathan Eovaldi, after one inning, due to elbow soreness (uh-oh). So they had to patch together the rest of the game with their bullpen. Meanwhile, Drew Pomeranz would go 5 1/3 innings, allow just one run. He left with the lead, and you would think the Sox won this game easily, right?

Guess again.

The Red Sox had the New York bullpen on the ropes in the middle innings, loading the bases in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and came away with only two runs, both on ground outs. And worse, they had them loaded in the fifth and got nothing. The same old act in the clutch again. They left 11 men on last night, while going 2-for-11 with RISP.

Matt Barnes came on in the 7th and game went right to hell from there. New York scored five in the 7th and tacked on three more in the eighth to salt away a 9-4 win. Four relievers allowed eight runs. Putrid to say the least.

The Sox continue their slide to mediocrity. Going back to the All-Star break, they came out with 5 wins out of 6, with the high water mark being the 13-2 wipeout of Minnesota on July 22. They are 7-12 since. After the losing road trip that just concluded, I figure they need to go at least 4-2 on this homestand. Toronto currently has the best record in MLB since July 1, and continue to play good ball.

There is just no way the Red Sox can drop this series to New York and consider themselves players for October. The Yankees have long since raised the white flag on the 2016 season and are just playing out the schedule. You can't let a team like this come into your building and push you around. A message has to be sent tonight.

The pressure is squarely on the shoulders of Eduardo Rodriguez tonight. With Steven Wright missing a start because of shoulder tightness, Rodriguez gets the start a day earlier than expected. He's got to give the club a quality start, 6 of 7 innings at minimum. What we don't need to see is another start of him nibbling and getting the pitch count sky-high by the 4th or 5th inning. He's got to prove he's a major league pitcher who is here to stay.

And the offense has to back him up. Stop screwing around in clutch situations letting scoring opportunities go to waste. It's been happening way too often lately. The Red Sox will be without Mookie Betts and David Ortiz, who both left last night's game with minor injuries, and both are day-to-day.

This is a far more important game than it appears. Granted, the season isn't on the line tonight. But it is time for the team to man up and beat a far lesser opponent in their own home building. Another 11-game road trip is looming starting on Monday. The Sox have to dominate at home and split the game away from Fenway.

Time to start dominating. Tonight.

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