Red Sox starter Josh Winckowski raises eyebrows with comments
Winckowski got his first taste of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry on Thursday when he took the mound to start the opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park. The right-hander took his third loss of the season after getting shelled for six earned runs over five innings.
The Yankees were playing without Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo, both of whom missed the game with minor injuries. A commanding 14.5 game lead in the AL East gives New York the luxury of resting players, even against a top division rival.
The Bronx Bombers didn’t need two of their best bats to clobber Winckowski. Most of the damage was done in the third inning when Josh Donaldson hit a grand slam, followed immediately by an Aaron Hicks solo shot.
When asked about his first experience facing the Yankees after the game, Winckowski responded with a comment that will rile up Yankees fans, according to Julian McWilliams of The Boston Globe.
"“I think Rizzo and Judge lengthen their lineup,” said Winckowksi. “I’m not gonna say the guys they had in there today are bad, by any means, but it felt like another big league lineup, to be honest.”"
That’s a bold statement to make about a team that lit him up for six runs. Imagine what they could have done if the Yankees had the MVP front-runner and their three-time All-Star first baseman in the lineup.
Before we jump to criticize Winckowski for his asinine assessment made at a most inopportune time, we have to acknowledge the context behind his words. The line about the Yankees having just “another big league lineup” is paraphrasing his controversial comments about Wrigley Field following Boston’s recent trip to Chicago. Winckowski also took the loss in that one and was roasted on social media for disparaging one of MLB’s most beloved ballparks.
Winckowski wasn’t actually throwing shade at the highest scoring offense in the majors, which would have been ridiculous considering he couldn’t beat them when they were missing a combined 52 home runs with their two stars sitting out. Winckowski was trolling himself over the Wrigley Field comments, which he must have learned to regret.
We’ve learned from his brief time in the majors that Winckowksi isn’t afraid to be blunt. In this case, his comments about the Yankees seem to be aimed at making fun of himself in the wake of the firestorm that his Wrigley quote created rather than any attempt to add fuel to the rivalry.