First Impressions after the Red Sox' 9-5 loss to the Baltimore Orioles:
Clay Buchholz's second start wasn't much better than his first
This time, Buchholz got into the sixth before failing to get an out; last time out, in Cleveland, he got into the fifth before not being able to record an out. That's cold comfort for the Red Sox and an already over-worked bullpen.
Here's a sobering thought: the only Red Sox starter who's pitched into the seventh inning is a starter whose spot in the rotation is temporary (Steven Wright).
Red Sox starters have allowed 29 earned runs in 35 2/3 innings, translating to a 7.32 ERA.
The Red Sox continue to say that Blake Swihart has made great strides with his receiving and game-calling, but one thing that definitely needs work is handling foul pop-ups
A week into the season, Swihart has had trouble tracking a few pop-ups, including one indoors at Rogers Centre last weekend. On Tuesday night, his inability to snare a foul pop-up between home and first resulted, a few pitches
later, in a two-run homer by Mark Trumbo.
The starters are having a tough enough time as it is. Giving away extra outs isn't helping.
Seven games into the season, Tommy Layne finally found his way into a game
On Tuesday night, with Buchholz lifted and the lefthanded Chris Davis due, John Farrell opted for Robbie Ross Jr. Ross did his job with Davis, getting him to strike out, but Ross unraveled after that, yielding a run-scoring double, an RBI-single, a fielder's choice and a two-run homer to J.J. Hardy.
Presumably, he liked Ross's chances better against the righties that followed Davis, since Layne often got hit hard by righthanded hitters last year (.950 OPS).
Layne then got the call to mop-up in the ninth.
The poor work of the rotation has handed too much work to the weaker spots in the bullpen
Too often in the first eight days of the season, the Red Sox have been forced to go to relievers in the fourth, fifth or sixth inning.
Middle relief is the soft spot for most teams. Instead of being able to turn the game over to Koji Uehjara, Junichi Tazawa or Craig Kimbrel, the Red Sox have been regularly going to Ross, Matt Barnes and Noe Ramirez.