Nathan Eovaldi and Red Sox bats stifle Orioles
We got ourselves a winning streak Red Sox Nation! That’s right, Boston has now run their consecutive win total to two games and it was one hell of an outing by everyone. Well almost everyone, there were some bats that didn’t make it to Baltimore, looking at you J.D. Martinez. But on this night, it was all about Nathan Eovaldi and the run support that the Sox gave him.
Nasty Nate strolled into Camden Yards looking to erase the memory of his last start from the minds of fans and pundits. Against the Yankees, this past Saturday Eovaldi got tuned up for nine hits and eight earned runs in just 5.1 innings pitched. A far departure from what we’ve seen the fireballing righty do up to this point in 2020. If last night was any indication, I think that the last start is long forgotten in his mind.
He wasn’t perfect last night but it may have been the best we’ve seen him look from start to finish all year. Not to mention, it was the best overall start from any Red Sox starter in 2020. The righthander went for a 7.0/5H/1R/1BB/6K line and kept the recently hot Baltimore bats silent all night. With this rotation in utter shambles and half the season left to play, this was a statement outing for Eovaldi and a much-needed one for the Red Sox.
One big thing that we saw last night that hasn’t been around as much in 2020 was the run support for Eovaldi. Going into last night’s clash with the Orioles the Red Sox have been just atrocious at putting runs on the board. On this night at Camden Yards, though, the bats were hot as hell. The biggest showings came from Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland, with several other guys pitching in here and there.
Bogey needed a bounceback game himself and he didn’t waste any time getting himself hot again. A 3-5 night for Boston’s shortstop also carried a solo homer and two RBI, much of the early scoring came from Xander’s bat. One thing we also saw last night was aggressiveness on the basepaths which has gone absent since 2018. A few times runners went from first to third on singles and were agitating Orioles pitchers all night.
The hottest man in the Red Sox lineup didn’t miss his chance at hurting Baltimore either as Mitch Moreland had a solid 2-4 night with a walk and a 3-run bomb in the ninth. Boston had a 3-1 lead heading into the top of the ninth before A Bogey single gave them some more cushion. Then Big Mitch got to the plate and did what he does best. Now the Sox were up 7-1 and had breathing room for the bottom of the ninth where Phillips Valdez did the damn thing once again.
I only brushed upon some of the highlights as I’m not here to give you a game recap. You more than likely watched the game or at least caught the highlights. I want to talk about the feeling that I had watching the Red Sox play last night. After losing nine in a row they were finally able to get a win on Wednesday afternoon and get back towards the positive. Last night had a different vibe to it knowing that the loss monkey was off their backs.
Eovaldi had moments where pitches missed or guys were able to connect off of him but he never once felt like he was in trouble as many Boston pitchers have been lately. And to see the bats light up the field like a Fourth of July fireworks display was awesome. This was the closest I’ve felt to this team working at its full potential this season. Even when Ron Roenicke went to the bullpen, Ryan Brasier and the above mentioned Valdez were electric and didn’t give me a single heart palpitation!
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I actually enjoyed watching last night’s game. How often have we been able to say that as Red Sox fans in 2020? Probably not since Opening Night, but last night definitely had that vibe. Dennis Eckersley said it a few times during the broadcast, there was just a feeling in the air that one of these guys was going to hit a big bomb. Low and behold, Eck was right with Bogey early on and Mitch putting the game away late.
From start to finish there wasn’t a single inning, play, or at-bat where I was truly frustrated. Yeah, I wish J.D. could figure out whatever the hell is going on with his offense but he’s a level of player that I don’t doubt he’ll get it squared away. Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo also continued to be absolute menaces at the plate. This was a full, all-around, team win where everyone contributed something towards the victory.
Last night was a statement game from the Red Sox, hell, it may have been a turning point in the season for the team. I know that sounds incredibly naive and overly optimistic but in my eyes, it could’ve been. The pitching was stellar and the offense showed that it could still hang and bang with the best of ’em. If Boston can start to pick off these weaker teams like they should’ve been doing from the get-go, then October may go from a forgotten dream to a reality.