Red Sox relying on pair of aces in double-header clash
Today is going to be a long day for the Red Sox and their fans as we’re about to jump into the deep end of a double-header. A postponement earlier in the week has led to both teams shuffling their schedules in order to fit in all four games of this series. Boston took game one in a come from behind manner and will be charging into today’s clash with two of their best on the mound.
Alex Cora decided to keep his rotation intact and follow the usual plan of attack with his starters. That means we’ll be seeing righty fireballer Nathan Eovaldi in the opening game today and Eduardo Rodriguez in the nightcap. Obviously, AC could’ve done some shuffling of his own but he didn’t want to sacrifice his rotation in the long run for an early-season series in April.
It is being said that Tanner Houck may get recalled for Saturday’s game with the White Sox if the weather holds up. Brining Houck back will allow the Red Sox to give their main rotation the time they need to be on regular rest. It could also mean a full-time return to the main roster for Houck as I’m sure Chaim Bloom doesn’t want to keep burning his options with these spot starts. But we’re not here to talk about Saturday as it’s all about today and we’ve got ourselves a long day of baseball coming.
As I mentioned above, Eovaldi gets the call for Game 1 and will be looking to build upon his first two starts this year. Nasty Nate may only be 1-1 on the year but that should have a massive asterisk next to it. He was pitching a damn gem when his defense failed him and allowed the Orioles to take advantage. He wouldn’t give anyone a chance to steal a win from him in his second start though and tossed seven strong innings and only gave up one run on three hits while striking out seven. He carries a 1.46 ERA in 12.1 innings with 11 strikeouts to 4 walks, not a bad way to kick off your season.
We know how good this Minnesota lineup is and how much damage they can put on opposing pitchers. Nate will need that fastball at full strength today and his location has to be pinpoint. If he loses even a bit of his command it won’t take long for the Twins to make him pay for any mistakes. Luckily, based on what we’ve seen from Eovaldi in those two starts I don’t think it’ll be an issue as he’s lived up to his nickname’s sake, Nasty.
Tonight is a big test for Rodriguez as he’s making just his second start of the year after beginning the regular season on the IL due to a case of dead arm. He would make his first regular-season start in nearly 600 days against the Orioles over the weekend and you keed see the emotion on his face. Some early inning energy would surround the big southpaw but he’d settle right into his groove and get back to work as if he hadn’t missed a day.
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E-Rod finished his return outing with a 5.0IP/4H/3R/7K/0BB line that gave the Red Sox every chance to win the game, and they did exactly that. The runs came on the backs of a pair of homers but other than that Eddie Aces packed his lunch and went to work. He’s known as a guy who isn’t afraid to walk a batter and actually led the AL in walks back in 2019 with 75. He didn’t hand out a single free pass in Baltimore which is a massive boost for a guy who should be rusty as all hell.
The Red Sox are riding a seven-game winning streak and have a chance to further the distance themselves from the rest of the AL East. They’re carrying a 2.5 game lead into today and can round that up some more if they steal the double-header and the rest of the division falls the right way. A disappointing opening weekend has turned into a serious tour de force in Boston and this team seems determined to wreck all of baseball.
We’re seeing a fight from this Red Sox team that I don’t think I’ve seen since 2018. If they got behind on the scoreboard over the last two seasons the game felt more than done. This year is different, though. This season it doesn’t matter what they have to overcome it feels like these guys don’t believe they can or will lose. They’re going to keep pushing until the score falls back into their favor and they get that “W.” Boston will get a chance to extend that streak again today with two of their aces taking the bump and primed to do the damn thing in Minnesota.