Tuesday night represented an opportunity for the Red Sox to stay on a roll. Coming off of two straight comeback wins, this was a team that was feeling very good about themselves. This was also a day full of great optimism for Red Sox fans, who now had lefty reliever Fernando Abad and No. 2 prospect Andrew Benintendi at their disposal for the first time. Their chances couldn’t have seemed much better with their ace taking the mound, but as they’ve has shown us time and time again, this Red Sox team will always find new unthinkable ways to lose ballgames. When they took a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the 8th inning, nobody had any reason to believe this demoralized Seattle team actually had a chance.
That was until the first pitch of the inning when Mariners catcher Mike Zunino took Price deep to left field. Even at this point, it was 4-1 and one mistake in location could not discredit the past 15 innings where Price had been nearly untouchable. After the Mariners strung together 3 consecutive singles plating one more run, Price’s night was over. Matt Barnes came in did his job as he has all season, setting the stage for the Red Sox newest bullpen addition to face Robinson Cano with men on 1st and 2nd with one out. As we now know, that didn’t go so well as Cano took Fernando Abad very deep to right center. This gave Seattle a 5-4 lead that they would not relinquish. Now that we’ve been over how the Red Sox blew the game, let’s talk a little bit about why this one hurts a little extra.
Robinson Cano had been 1-11 against Abad going into that at-bat, which is why I have no problem with Farrell bringing him into that situation. Abad actually got ahead of Cano and got the count to 1-2, making him look absolutely ridiculous in an 0-1 breaking ball in the dirt. The one thing that Abad couldn’t do in this situation was give Cano something inside that he could pull into the stands in right field. Of course, Abad proceeded to throw hanging a 79 mph breaking ball on the inside part of the plate for Cano to demolish. It is inexcusable to give Cano a pitch that he can even make contact on in that situation, not to mention the one pitch everyone knew he was looking for. Unlike the typical Boston fan, I’m not going to say that Abad is already a bust. However, the fact that this makes Drew Pomeranz first impression look good certainly says something about the severity of what happened.
For the second straight start, David Price pitched well enough to win the game. Once again, the Red Sox bullpen found a way to lose the game, hand Price a no decision, and dishearten Red Sox fans across the country. It’s great to see Price pitching like the true ace that he is, but they can not be wasting these stellar performances because they have not come very often this season. Hopefully Price can continue to pitch well, but if he can’t we’ll be pointing at these games if we find ourselves on the outside looking in come October.
Andrew Benintendi was called up and came off the bench to make his major league debut. As a Sox fan, I wanted to see him do well at the plate, and do even better in the outfield’s post game dance. Instead, I got to see him go 0-2, and strikeout looking to end the game on a 99 mph fastball that was way off the outside part of the plate. Hopefully his first career start Wednesday night will be a little more like what I was expecting. Your Major League debut is supposed to be something you never forget. Yet if I were Andrew, I’d want to completely erase that game from my memory and start fresh on Wednesday.
The Red Sox need to bounce back next game. With Rick Porcello set to take the mound, they are in a good position to do just that. For the time being, all we can do as fans is try and find ways to distract ourselves from the fact that if we continue to lose games like this one, October is going to belong solely to the Patriots for the third straight year.