Red Sox Strut: Outfielder Andrew Benintendi, LHP Chris Sale

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 05: Andrew Benintendi
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 05: Andrew Benintendi /
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BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 06: Craig Kimbrel (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – AUGUST 06: Craig Kimbrel (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Pitching Candidates

It’s a shame that Addison Reed‘s meltdown on Friday night cost the Red Sox the game. It’s always painful dropping a game to the Yankees, but in this case Eduardo Rodriguez deserved better. He deserved the win after tossing six shutout innings in the Bronx, allowing only two hits and striking out seven. E-Rod is developing his own reputation as a Yankees nemesis. He’s 4-1 with a 2.31 ERA in his career against them. If he can ever stay healthy for a full season, Rodriguez has the upside to be a solid No. 2 starter.

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Manager John Farrell has stated that he wants to avoid using closer Craig Kimbrel in the eighth inning. He wants to avoid extending him for over an inning of work or forcing him to sit between innings before trotting back out to the mound again. That was the explanation for why he wasn’t used on Friday when Reed and Joe Kelly combined to allow the lead to slip away. So naturally, Farrell contradicts that logic by using Kimbrel for four outs in Sunday’s win. Were the rules different because the game went to extra-innings or did Farrell change his mind in light of Friday’s mess, knowing the Red Sox bullpen couldn’t afford to blow another game? The move paid off this time, yet we couldn’t help being concerned about Kimbrel losing control after sitting for a long time between innings.

Rick Porcello‘s latest start was a bit of a mixed bag. He earned the win by tossing six innings and giving up only two runs on four hits. That’s a solid line, although there is some concern that both runs scored on solo home runs. The long ball has been an Achilles heel for Porcello, who has allowed the third most homers in the league this year.

Brandon Workman contributed 2 1/3 flawless innings over two appearances last week. The opposing team can’t score if you don’t let them on base. This is what the Red Sox need in the later innings. At this point, I trust Workman in the setup role more than Matt Barnes. He’s getting close to surpassing Reed as well, although the former Mets closer deserves a longer leash due to his track record.