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Game Three: Red Sox 9 – Tigers 7
- After five games of mediocre offense, the Red Sox lineup broke out on Wednesday. They pounded Tigers pitching for nine runs on 12 hits and showed improved patience at the plate by working six walks. Every starter except Christian Vazquez had at least one hit, and Kike Hernandez, Trevor Story, Bobby Dalbec, and Jackie Bradley Jr. collected multi-hit games.
- With two on and nobody out in the top of the fourth, Christian Arroyo laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to advance both runners. This marked the second time in as many days that Alex Cora ordered such a play. You have to wonder whether this is just a sign of a struggling team trying to generate some offense or if it indicates a change in philosophy that ranked 24th in sacrifice hits in 2021. I would guess the former.
- It was tough to see Eduardo Rodriguez get rocked like that. He was a staple of the Red Sox pitching staff for over half a decade and came up huge in last year’s postseason. Yet the inconsistency that plagued him in Boston came back to bite him on Wednesday. His location was spotty at best, and he had no answer when the Red Sox started squaring up his low-90s heater. On this day at least, the Red Sox’s decision not to match the Tigers’ offer proved to be a smart one.
- It was nice to see Jackie Bradley Jr. break out of his slump with a pair of RBI doubles. This doesn’t mean he’s going to be an offensive force by any stretch of the imagination, but when he uses the whole field as he did on Wednesday, he can be a somewhat competent hitter
- You have to appreciate what Trevor Story did in this one. After food poisoning caused him to miss three games, Story unexpectedly came back for the series finale, though he was clearly not at 100%. He got blown away in each of his first two at-bats but bounced back with hits in two of his final three plate appearances. Story’s talent was already well-documented, but his toughness might be equally as impressive.
- Nathan Eovaldi did not have his best stuff on this day. His fastball velocity clocked in only around 95 miles per hour, and he struggled to finish batters off as a result. He hung a number of breaking balls, including the one that was launched out of the park by Jonathan Schoop. But Eovaldi did what aces do: Keep the team in the game even when you’re not at your best. He pounded the strike zone even as Tigers batters fouled off pitch after pitch and gutted through five innings to earn his well-deserved first win of the year.
- If there was any doubt about who would be the odd lefty out when Josh Taylor returned, Wednesday’s game sealed the deal. Austin Davis entered with a 9-1 eighth-inning lead and couldn’t even make it out of the inning, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk. With Matt Strahm and Jake Diekman both off to hot starts this season, it’s only a matter of time before Davis gets sent to the minors.
- I don’t want to make too many conclusions about the arms on the hills today, however. The weather was terrible, and the grip on the ball was just as bad. Kutter Crawford and Diekman both pitched well in New York, so they get a pass for having shaky outings in Detroit.