Red Sox: 6-2 win gives the Sox a big series win against the Cubs

Apr 30, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (52) pitches during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 30, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (52) pitches during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

A wild pitch and big error provide the runs needed for the Red Sox to win the game, the series and finish April on a strong note.

The Boston Red Sox scored four in the bottom of the eighth after the Chicago Cubs came back to tie it up in the top of the inning. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched one of the best games of his career against one of the best teams in baseball. The Cubs might not have the record to show for it now, but they are the defending champs and need to be respected for it.

Rodriguez went 6 IP with 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, and 9 SO. He now owns the second lowest ERA on the starting staff with 2.70. He was fantastic, with his only fault being his amount of pitches thrown. He threw 108 pitches and would’ve been out in the seventh if it wasn’t for that high count.

He was getting a lot of swing-and-misses. He got 16 for the game with nine of them coming from his changeup. Rodriguez has been getting swing-and-misses on more than 50% of all swings this year. His total of swing-and-misses for strikes on the season is at 15.3%. Only Jacob deGrom, Chris Sale, and Danny Salazar are better this year. Sale is an AL CY-Young candidate, so that is pretty good company. Everyone in Boston has known the potential Rodriguez has had, yet he has never fully reached it. Maybe this is the year that he reaches it and shows Boston what he’s all about.

Hanley Ramirez provided the run support early for Rodriguez with a monster 2-run home run that ended up on Lansdowne. It is projected to be between 440 to 460 feet. Hanley is getting hot at just the right time for the Red Sox. He did this last year too. When Hanley clicks, Hanley clicks. He looks locked in and ready to roll. The month of May should be a very big one for Hanley!

Joe Kelly came into the game in the top of the seventh with the Sox up by one and two outs later left to a tie game. He threw a wild pitch that Vasquez couldn’t find. It was a 50/50 split on responsibility in my mind. Vazquez should’ve found the ball faster because he was moving in the right direction in the first place, but Kelly should’ve pointed out where the ball was faster. It was very ugly, and luckily the Sox were able to bounce back from it.

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Koji Uehara started the eighth for the Cubs and left before even making an out. He left the bases loaded after giving up three straight singles, one of them being a close call between Uehara and Hernandez. He was charged with three earned runs.

Hernandez has some speed and is playing very well. With Panda out for who knows how long, Hernandez looks like he’s ready to step up and really make the role his own. A run scored with Hanley at the plate after a wild pitch by Pedro Strop and then the rest got ugly very fast. Oh how sweet revenge is!

After a Moreland RBI fielder’s choice, the Cubs defense lost it. The Sox defense was very bad yesterday, and I guess the Cubs had to one-up the team today. With a Pedroia ground out, Addison Russell threw the ball into the dirt, but Anthony Rizzo couldn’t save him with a pick, so two more runs scored.

Craig Kimbrel came on in the ninth to close out the game. It wasn’t a save opportunity, but he didn’t care. He showed his electric pitches off and shut them down. His ERA is now at 1.59. A big series win for the team. The Sox now have some momentum going into May, which is very much needed. They’re still the reigning AL East champs and team to beat in the division. Gold Bottles!

Next: Red Sox and Cubs destined to meet in World Series says Maddon

The Sox are now 13-11 only 2.5 back in the AL East. Let a wild May begin!

P.S. ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball is awful. All the announcers, but Dan Shulman, are terrible to listen to. It’s so boring and offers nothing to the game. No one cares about Addison Russell’s Pokemon card collection.