First impressions of the Boston Red Sox' 8-3 loss to the Houston Astros:
Clay Buchholz needs to buckle down when the pressure’s on.
Buchholz needs to get away from the big inning. One pitch was the difference between him throwing a quality start and what he did today.
He played things too safely against Colby Rasmus, who was hitting .125 against Buchholz entering the afternoon. If Buchholz executes that pitch -- or maybe selects a different one -- then he wiggles out of two jams (the other being the second inning) and there’s a different conversation being had.
The Red Sox are leaving too many runners on base.
Boston left nine runners on, most notably coming in the sixth when it only scored one run after loading the bases with one out.
While it’s tough to keep getting up every inning when your pitching is blowing the lead frequently, the offense has to execute when opportunities present themselves.
Just like the offense, Boston’s defense has no quit.
The seventh-inning play where Mookie Betts got the ball into Dustin Pedroia to gun José Altuve down at third was the display of heart the Red Sox position players approach the game with.
Chris Young still can’t hit right-handed pitching.
Mike Fiers didn’t throw a ball over 91 mph, but he still had Young guessing, striking him out looking on curveballs in his first two at-bats. Although Young was convinced they were balls, there’s no question the pitches were too close to take.
But it’s clear he struggles identifying pitches that righties throw on the outer half. And guess what -- other teams know it. Of the 18 pitches he saw, 15 were on the outer half.