It happened again. In a game that could’ve been won had the offense shown up, Boston’s bats went cold and they lost another low scoring game. I’ll never understand how one night, we’ll use Friday as an example, they can put up 13 runs on the board while looking completely unstoppable, and then just one day later fail to push across 3 runs. It didn’t help that by the 4th inning the Sox were already trailing 3-0, but that shouldn’t matter when you have this offense. This game was the difference between having a 3 game lead in the division, and having a 1 game lead. The difference between going for the knockout punch on Sunday afternoon, and grasping at straws just to stay ahead.
Eduardo Rodriguez didn’t have his best outing on Saturday, but it was pretty much what you’d expect from a 4-5 starter. 6 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), and 5 K’s is exactly the kind of start that you’re looking for from a bottom of the rotation arm. However, there is 1 reason that I’m not satisfied with the start from E-Rod. This reason being that E-Rod has shown flashes of his uncapped potential this season with 4 no-hit innings against a dangerous Orioles offense, and an 8 inning 1-hit outing his last time out against Oakland. This may have been a solid outing, but when it comes to Rodriguez I am looking for dominant. Maybe my expectations are too high, but we’ve seen him do it before and I want to see him do it again as the games become more meaningful.
Dustin Pedroia went from being the Red Sox hottest hitter to being the only offensive bright spot on Saturday. Pedroia accounted for just 1 of the Red Sox 4 hits, but he made his hit count. Dustin belted a solo home run down the left field line in the top of the 6th inning. Since Yoan Moncada has already risen through the ranks, Pedroia has proven why it’s their best call to move Moncada around the diamond as opposed to pushing Pedey out the door. He is now 2nd in the AL batting race just 11 points behind Jose Altuve. I would’ve expected Xander Bogaerts to be the one to give Altuve a run for his money, but I guess if Bogaerts has forgotten how to hit then Pedroia stepping up is the next best thing.
The Red Sox go into Sunday just one game up on Toronto in the division. Inexplicably, this has turned into a 4 team race in this final month of the season. There is just 3 games separating Boston at the top of the division and New York at the bottom. It would appear that the two teams that finish in 2nd in 3rd will play each other in the Wild Card game. As of today, Boston is on top and hopefully will stay there and not have to worry about a one game playoff. Clay Buchholz takes the ball in the series finale Sunday in Toronto. Ordinarily I’d be worried. However, since July 21st when he lowered his release point, Buchholz has a 2.95 ERA. So I guess he’s doing something right. Since he is such a streaky pitcher, I wouldn’t be bet against him when he’s on a roll like this. The race for the AL East crown is going to come right down to the wire and these games against tough division opponents are ones that the Sox need to win.