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Red Sox/Yankees Game Three Thoughts
- Tanner Houck is infuriating to watch. His sinker-slider combination is absolute filth, and he made Josh Donaldson, a very good hitter, look like a minor leaguer on three separate occasions. Far too often, however, he can’t locate his pitches, and he doesn’t have enough confidence in his splitter to be able to get lefties out with any consistency. The Red Sox can’t afford to have a starter unable to make it out of the fourth, and Houck needs to show improved control to avoid being moved to the bullpen
- Kiké Hernández has gotten off to a rough start season, going hitless in his first 13 at-bats. I’m not worried. He had some good takes in his at-bat against Schmidt, and his flyouts in his last two at-bats both exceeded 100 miles per hour. He’ll be fine
- Jake Diekman spring training struggles were well documented, but he looked like a new man in this one. It’s hard to find three more imposing hitters than Judge, Stanton, and Gallo, and they stood no chance against the lefty. The Red Sox have been searching for a late-inning reliever, and Diekman looked like one on Sunday night.
- Kevin Plawecki may not exactly be Hank Aaron at the plate, but he always gives you a quality at-bat. That’s rare in a backup catcher
- I don’t know how any right-hander gets a hit off Jonathan Loaisiga. His upper 90’s sinker eats up bats like a bunch of termites, and J.D Martinez and Christian Arroyo never had a chance.
- Kutter Crawford throws way too many pitches over the heart of the plate, but the stuff is nasty. His cutter should allow him to excel versus both lefties and righties
- Finally, I want to give credit to Alex Cora. He was forced to navigate this game without his premier reliever, and he could not have done it better. Going with Diekman in the ninth in particular proved to be a stroke of genius.