First impressions from the Boston Red Sox' 1-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics:
Replay ruined a no-hit bid.
Less than 24 hours after Rick Porcello put in his own no-hit bid, Eduardo Rodriguez gave it a try himself.
Unlike Porcello, he was undone by replay on a ground ball where it first seemed like he had Marcus Semien out at first.
Ironically, replay was something instituted to help prevent the Jim Joyce blown call, which ruined Armando Galarraga’s perfect game in 2010.
Yoan Moncada still has a lot to learn.
The rookie third baseman went through an inning span in which he showed off his rocket arm, committed an error on a routine play, logged a single and got picked off on the next pitch.
Clearly he’s got talent, but he’s still not refined just yet. That should come with time, like with most young players.
The worry isn’t so much will this move to the majors slow that process, more that Boston is in a playoff hunt and the routine plays can’t be a concern down the stretch.
Moncada’s bat, right now, is clearly better than Travis Shaw or Aaron Hill’s of late. But the youthful growing pains aren’t something the Red Sox can afford to go through in the midst of a playoff hunt.
Rodriguez took advantage of Oakland’s weak offense.
Rodriguez located his fastball well, and had it cooking at 94-95 for much of his start.
One big reason for his success, once again, was how he used his change-up selectively. The pitch that became his pacifier earlier this season was the pitch he utilized least.
His slider has come along well, and, when he feels healthy, Rodriguez clearly has more confidence in his fastball -- with good reason.
Kendall Graveman is someone Dave Dombrowski should keep his eyes on.
The righty was effective and efficient against the Sox lineup that had scored double-digit runs in back to back games -- not a small feat by any means.
Graveman struggled to start the season, posting a 5.49 ERA through his first 11 starts, but he’s since turned a corner. After Sunday’s outing, he’s thrown 105 2/3-inning through 16 starts, with a 2.90 ERA.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s a sinkerball pitcher with the ability to throw in the mid-90s -- sound familiar?
Not to mention he turns 26 in December, with three years of MLB experience under his belt.