The Red Sox should be embarrassed and infuriated
What the hell happened last night? Seriously, I think I blacked out once we got into the back half of the game and realized the Red Sox simply didn’t want to get a hit. Just as we thought the offense was starting to turn things around we’re right back to square one. Yeah, it may only be April and they may have plenty of matchups to make up for an early-season loss, but things are looking pretty scary so far.
Before I go into my rant and vent all of my frustrations with this team so far in 2022 I’m going to take a deep breath. As I mentioned above, we’re still in the first couple of weeks of the season and there’s a lot of sand in the hourglass. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, you can’t win the season in April but you sure can make it really easy to lose it.
After last night’s demoralizing loss to the Rays, the Red Sox find themselves in fourth place in the AL East, three games back of the Blue Jays. So far the division has stayed pretty close to one another as nobody has set themselves apart yet. Boston is in the middle of a divisional gauntlet and can’t afford to lose games, let alone get no-hit through nine by a bunch of schmucks.
I’ll give credit where it’s due, Tampa went into yesterday knowing they would be using their opener gameplan and they played it perfectly. Each and every arm that came out of the bullpen knew they weren’t going to get much time to work so they needed to make it count. The thing is, yesterday was built for this Red Sox offense to tee off and show they can still hang and bang with the big boys.
Beyond getting embarrassed by the Rays pitching staff, the Red Sox wasted a gem of a start from Garrett Whitlock. The bullpen assassin made his first-ever MLB start and showed that he can be the future of the Boston pitching staff. Whitlock was on a pitch clock and would last for just four innings, but in that time he gave up just one hit, walked none, and whiffed 7 batters. This offense needed to get behind him and back him up, and they let him down.
On top of that, the surprisingly strong Red Sox bullpen held up their end of the bargain as well. Austin Davis and Tyler Danish each tossed an inning while Kutter Crawford had a much-needed dominant three-inning performance. Crawford has been hit hard lately but he struck out five and gave up just one hit, one hell of a confidence booster. Then the ball was turned over to the deadman himself, Hansel Robles.
Robles has been absolute nails since August of last year and is actually one of Alex Cora’s best relievers. A quick pair of strikeouts made it feel like we were about to get a win and then the train went all the way off the damn tracks. A balk, an error, and then the blast. And just like that, one of the most pain-inducing games we’ve seen in recent times finally came to an end. We were all put out of our misery thanks to Kevin Kiermaier.
Now that I’ve highlighted some of the positives, though not many, it’s now time to get into why we should all be a bit angry after last night. How the hell does that happen? The Red Sox offense is one of the most potent in the league and will more often than not find a top-5 finish by the end of the season. I know it’s April. I know there was a short spring training. But there is no excuse for not posting a single hit until the tenth inning!
Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts both want to get paid, not gonna happen going 0-9 against a parade of guys who aren’t allowed to work more than a few batters. This was a game when we needed specifically those two to step up. They both played major parts in Friday night’s win and we needed to see that again from them last night. I also understand not starting J.D. Martinez, but it was reported he was available and he’s a much better DH option than Travis Shaw.
Not only was the offense absent, but the defense was just disgusting. The very same defense that delivered a win the night before was at fault for the loss on Saturday. We’ve got guys nearly colliding in the outfield. Simple throws that have been made hundreds of times getting tossed away, it just can’t happen. Outside of the pitching, this was an all-around awful game from Boston.
I’m putting a lot of blame on a few names here and that may be wrong of me but when you have guys that want to be superstars they need to put in superstar performances when the team needs it the most. Whitlock and the bullpen did everything in their power to win this game and they were left out to sea without any help. Alex Cora needs to get on the phone and talk to these guys and light a fire under their asses if they want to keep pace with the rest of the AL East.
I hope they wanted tape, I hope they read the articles, I hope they listened to the radio shows, they need to use that as motivation. This Red Sox side is far better than what we saw on the field last night and it’s high time they start living up to what they’re capable of. If they don’t start taking more of these divisional games then they’re going to be in one deep hole that will be hard to get out of.