First impressions of the Boston Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Texas Rangers:
Boston’s offense is always in striking distance.
The Red Sox had an uphill battle from the get-go thanks to David Price’s tough outing.
But somehow they took advantage of Texas’ equally bad pitching—that just happened to be more spread out than Boston’s bad pitching.
If Jackie Bradley Jr. doesn’t earn a walk, or Sandy Leon doesn’t fight tooth and nail for a two-out double in the ninth, that Mookie Betts homerun can’t happen.
The Red Sox need another long outing from Steven Wright.
Obviously they’d prefer a strong performance -- but the knuckler may need to bite the bullet if he’s off Saturday night.
Boston’s bullpen has been used and abused of late, and needs some rest following the Chicago series and a 2.1 inning outing from Price.
Price continues to struggle against the Rangers in his career.
Even when he was able to walk out of the first with just the one run after a bases loaded double play, but couldn’t clamp down with two outs.
The biggest reason he struggled wasn’t his velocity—although it seemed down most of the night—but his location. He left a lot of pitches up in the zone and Texas is not the team you can do that with.
Although Price was bound to have a rough start, this start went worse than anyone could’ve anticipated. To say this was a bad start is putting it nicely.
Texas gave him a nice wake-up call. He still has room to grow.
Matt Barnes had a solid performance.
It wasn’t his best, but given the situation, he did well. First off, the Rangers are a very hot team and swing early in the count. Barnes left the ball up time after times, but only surrendered the one run.
Additionally, he entered the game far earlier than he’s used to -- in the midst of a blowout where his team was on the wrong end. That’s not an easy thing to walk into for a reliever, especially one who’s used to pitching late in tight ballgames.
He gave Boston a chance when the offense started to gain momentum.
Hanley Ramirez’s power continues to show.
Although he’s not hitting at the rate he did to start the year, Ramirez laced another homer against the Rangers Friday night.
This homerun may have been his most impressive, coming on a 1-2 slider away, driving it to straightaway center -- the deepest part of the ballpark.
Boston just saw what they look like when they almost blow games.
All season the talk around the league has been how explosive the Red Sox lineup is.
Well, the Rangers offense is right there with them. The league’s hottest team didn’t waist any time scoring, and had 15 hits before Boston pitching recorded an out in the fifth inning.
Although the Red Sox outslugged Texas late, they saw what a potent offense outside the AL East can do -- and how bad pitching can undo all of that.
Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar