Sure, it was Craig Breslow‘s fourth loss of the season. Sure, he doesn’t have a win all year. But the Boston Red Sox knew that he wasn’t going to shut down the Cleveland Indians completely in their second last game of the regular season. What was interesting was that Breslow held the opposition to only two runs in their own home of Progressive Field for over five innings.
More from Red Sox History
- Two notable Red Sox anniversaries highlight current organizational failures
- Contemporary Era Committee doesn’t elect any former Red Sox to Hall of Fame
- Johnny Damon calls Red Sox out, reveals hilarious way he skirted Yankees’ grooming policy
- Remembering the best Red Sox Thanksgiving ever
- Red Sox World Series legends headline 2023 Hall of Fame ballot
The only problem for the Red Sox was that the Indians were the only ones scoring.
In the bottom of the second inning, Carlos Santana took a 79-mph changeup for a strike before punishing an 89-mph four-seamed fastball over the left center field fence for a leadoff solo shot. It wasn’t until the bottom of the fourth inning that Breslow gave up the other run, as Ryan Raburn took an 85-mph slider deep to the same location for a leadoff shot of his own.
The game was well within reach for the Red Sox, had they been able to solve the rubic’s cube that was Corey Kluber, the Indians’ righty starting pitcher.
Kluber went eight full innings, allowing no earned runs on only three hits, two walks, and nine strikeouts for his ninth win of the season. The performance helped him end his season with a 9-16 record and a 3.49 ERA.
Cody Allen came into the ninth inning and shut the door on any sort of comeback, earning his 33rd save of the year.
Ian Browne covered the story for MLB.com, reporting Breslow’s thoughts after the game. Breslow was happy about getting his second start of the year: “Going from a start, preparing and then having another start, I certainly can appreciate the routine and the structure. It was a lot of fun. Whereas last time I thought it was fun and it was a new experience, this time I at least had different expectations. I feel like it’s something I could do.” Browne added, “a free agent again this winter, it certainly doesn’t hurt Breslow’s resume that he posted a 1.93 ERA over these two starts, serving as the front man in what the Red Sox labeled ‘bullpen games.'”
- Before the game, second baseman Dustin Pedroia and designated hitter David Ortiz were reported as unavailable for the lineup due to wet conditions. Of course, injuries will happen more often in bad weather than in fairer conditions, but it still seems a tad wimpy to have the club declare it like that. Red Sox, just say that they are healthy scratches next time. And if it was the media pressure that caused that declaration, did they have to press the issue that much?
- As a team, the Red Sox had three hits, two walks, and 10 strikeouts. Breslow never had a chance in this ballgame to pick up the win if the bats were going to sleep for the entire game.
- Brock Holt got the start as the designated hitter. After he did nothing with the bat, Allen Craig pinch-hit for him with similar results.
Without those two leadoff homers, Breslow would have been pitching a gem of a game. He allowed those two runs on five hits, no walks, and two strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work. Out of 66 pitches, 45 of them were strikes. He also imposed six groundouts to two flyouts, keeping the ball low for mistakes by the opposing bats to be swallowed up by the defense. That’s what you want from your starter: doing the job right. It’s not his fault that there was no offense.
Considering Breslow is a reliever, the bullpen had a heck of a night.Matt Barnes
gave up two hits and two walks that came to nothing, while striking out two hitters in 1.1 innings.Tommy Layne
finished off the remaining 1.1 innings by blanking the Indians, as well. The bullpen definitely did the job.
The Red Sox bats did not do their jobs. Leon was the only one in the lineup to have two hits, going 2-for-3 and bringing his lowly batting average up to a mere .189 for the season.Travis Shaw
had the other of Boston’s three hits, going 1-for-4. The team struck out 10 times; that’s never going to get the job done. It also didn’t help that they couldn’t buy more than two walks. Hard to score runs with almost nobody on base for the game.
More from BoSox Injection
- Boston Red Sox setting Trevor Story up for failure amidst Xander Bogaert departure
- Red Sox missed perfect free-agent signing to torment Yankees
- Red Sox finally get validation after Andrew Benintendi-White Sox contract
- Red Sox fans’ concern about Justin Turner signing speaks volumes
- Latest Red Sox-Rafael Devers contract update might be final straw for fans