Red Sox roll over Astros; Price improves
There were two questions on everyone’s minds coming into Thursday night’s game that saw the Red Sox hosting the Houston Astros at Fenway Park: Could the Red Sox offense keep up the torrid pace they had set against Oakland the three nights? … and…Would David Price be able to improve after his last outing in New York that saw his season ERA balloon to over 6.00? The answer to both of those questions was a resounding YES!
Throughout the week leading up to Thursday’s game, much was made about rumored adjustments David Price would be making to his wind-up and delivery. Those changes were most definitely apparent from the get-go. The most obvious differences in Price’s delivery were his raising his right knee higher during his wind-up and also raising his glove higher on his body.
Overall, things seemed to work out better for Price against Houston, although he did let two base-runners on in each of the first two innings on three singles and a double. The Astros were also able to get on the board in the second inning when LF Jake Marisnick, the ninth batter in the order, reached first base on a Dustin Pedroia error and 3B Luis Valbuena scored. In the midst of this seemingly rough beginning for Price, he did manage to strike out the side when it was all said and done in the first two innings.
In the third, Price walked SS Carlos Correa to start and then later gave up a single to 1B Marwin Gonzalez. He got out of the inning by forcing CF Carlos Gomez to hit into a double-play. After those first few shaky innings, Price settled in getting Houston to go 1-2-3 in the fourth inning, striking out the side yet again in the fifth inning and getting another 1-2-3 inning in the sixth. He managed to get a couple outs in the seventh before John Farrell elected to send Junichi Tazawa in the game. Price’s night: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB and 12 SO.
As far as the offense was concerned, Boston continued to roll, even with last season’s Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel on the mound. They were able to score in six of the eight innings in which they had a turn at the plate. With Dustin Pedroia on base after a single, Xander Bogaerts got things going with a two-run shot into the Monster seats in the first inning.
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Jackie Bradley Jr. continued his hot streak with an RBI single in the second inning that drove in Christian Vazquez who walked and reached second base on a wild pitch. The third innings started with a ground-rule double for David Ortiz, a Hanley Ramirez RBI double and Chris Young (got the start in LF) driving in Hanley with a single to give the Sox a 5-1 lead.
Things were quiet in the fourth and fifth innings, but then business picked up big time with Mookie Betts shattering a three-run homer in the sixth. Travis Shaw would get in the mix with an RBI double in the seventh, and Bogaerts and Ortiz would drive in two more in the eighth to give the Red Sox another monstrous run total of eleven on the night and 11-to-1 victory.
Next: Something is clicking with these Red Sox
These two teams will get back at it at Fenway on Friday night. Highly successful knuckleballer Steven Wright (3-3, 1.52) will take the mound for Boston, while twenty-two year old right-hander Lance McCullers will make his first start of the season for the Astros.
- Every starting positional player for the Red Sox had at least one hit. Bogaerts and Bradley Jr. both had two hits, while Hanley went 3-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored. The Red Sox totaled 14 hits on the night and are clearly the most potent offense in the league right now.
- Bradley Jr. extended his insane hitting streak to 18 games. The guy is just on fire right now. He is now hitting .328 on the year, but is hitting over .400 in those 18 games.
- Keuchel has actually struggled this year for Houston. On Thursday, he went 6.0 innings allowing eight runs on ten hits and three walks. His ERA is now 5.58.
- Junichi Tazawa and Heath Hembree cleaned up the final 2.1 innings of work for Boston.
After a few mishaps early on, David Price truly did look much better on Thursday night. He made some obvious adjustments to his mechanics and what he referred to as his “power position”, and it seemed to pay off. During the NESN broadcast, former Sox great Roger Clemens joined the broadcast and offered some great insight into what he saw from David Price against Houston compared to what he saw from Price in New York. He threw strikes, was able to locate his fastball and looked to be more confident and in-command. This is what Sox fans wanted – and needed – to see from the 30 million dollar man.
Another night where it is tough to pin-point one offensive player to highlight, but I’ll go with the guy that started it all off with a big homerun in the first inning. The X-Man went 2-5 on the night with three RBI.
Tazawa came in to get the final out of the seventh and three more in the eighth. He ensured that the Astros didn’t start to breathe some life again after Price left the game.