Mookie Betts owns the Baltimore Orioles and there is nothing they can do about it. Tuesday night, Betts hit another 2 home runs while collecting 5 RBI’s. The 5 runs that Mookie drove in accounted for the entirety of the Red Sox offense, which was just enough to hold off the Orioles 5-3. This is the third time this season that Mookie Betts has come into the Orioles house, and asserted his absolute dominance with a multi-home run game.
He may as well have walked directly into the Orioles dugout and pissed on their bench, because that’s his territory. If they didn’t know it already, they sure as hell know it now. In his last 3 games, Betts is hitting .538 with 5 home runs, 13 RBI’s, in only 13 at bats. There really wasn’t much left to say about Betts after his 3 home run game on Sunday. Tuesday night was just another chance for Betts to show why he has a legitimate shot at the MVP award.
The forgotten man in this game was Eduardo Rodriguez. It looked as though he was on track to pitch the best game of his young career after pitching 4 no-hit innings while striking out 7. As fate would have it, he had to be removed from the game after just 2 pitches in the 5th inning due to left hamstring tightness. E-Rod and Farrell claimed that it has since loosened up and have not ruled out Eduardo making his next start. It really stung to see him have to come out as he was pitching an amazing game. However, it could have been much worse. On the NESN broadcast, Dave O’Brien and Dennis Eckersley originally believed that E-Rod had re-injured his right knee that delayed his start to this season. This could have caused Rodriguez to miss an extended period time and possibly derailed his career. Rodriguez is going to be a crucial member of this rotation going forward and it is a major relief to Red Sox fans that a DL stint is not likely.
Now for the not so bright side to Tuesday nights game. Fernando Abad. Fernando Abad could not possibly be more hated if he tried. The Red Sox acquired him thinking that they were getting a lefty killer who still is not a pushover when it comes to righties. He wasn’t a superstar by any means, but he was an upgrade over Tommy Layne. He has been anything but an upgrade in any sense of the word. He can’t throw strikes. When he does throw strikes, he can’t get outs. And when he can’t get outs, he gives up runs and gives up leads. Robinson Cano took him so deep that he had to change his jersey number from #43 to #58. It’s now funny that he chose 58 because I would not at all be shocked if he got DFA’ed to make room for old friend Jonathan Papelbon in the bullpen so he could reclaim his old number. Even if we don’t acquire Papelbon, Abad is so bad that he deserves to be DFA’ed regardless. I’m sick of watching him blow games, and I’m even more sick of seeing all of the “That was really Abad trade.” tweets every time he comes in and gets shelled.
The Red Sox have taken the first of two games against the Orioles, and are now tied for second place in the division just 1 game back of Toronto. With David Price on the mound tomorrow night, the Red Sox need to take the second game so they can continue to gain ground. Orioles ace Chris Tillman has been scratched from the start due to shoulder discomfort, so the Red Sox will take on Dylan Bundy. Bundy is not bad but he’s not great. The MLB’s best offense shouldn’t have any problems providing some run support for Mr.Price. The only obstacle is the killer offense on the opposing side. Price is here to end losing streaks and keep winning streaks going. He has the opportunity to push the streak to 6 games, but will he? If he’s going to be successful against a team like Baltimore, he’s going to have to pitch fearlessly and throw the ball with conviction. Rodriguez was able to do this today, and they weren’t even able to manage one hit against him. Price can’t be afraid to come inside. He can’t be afraid to go to his off speed pitches in 3 ball counts. He just needs to go out and throw each pitch with purpose. No waste pitches, just go right after guys. If he can do this, we may be able to move up into a tie for first place with Toronto.