Red Sox

First impressions: Rodriguez pounded by Rays in 13-7 loss


First impressions: Rodriguez pounded by Rays in 13-7 loss

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - First impressions from the Red Sox' 13-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays:


This felt like a bottoming out.

The Red Sox had themselved a bad week, losing series to both Chicago and Texas. But the prospect of a three-game series with the slumping Rays offered some hope for a reprieve.

Guess again.

The Rays, losers of 11 straight coming into Monday night, pounded Eduardo Rodriguez for nine runs in just 2.1 innings and romped to a one-sided win.

Rodriguez's start was the second straight game in which the Red Sox gave up multiple runs in the first inning. The Red Sox have been outscored 22-0 in the first inning over the last 15 games.

It's impossible to win being in a big hole so early night after night. It's demoralizing to the entire club.


Just when it seemed like Eduardo Rodriguez had figured some things out. . . 

Rodriguez allowed four runs - three earned - in six innings last week against White Sox, but made some significant steps. His fastball had more power and he seemed to have worked out some delivery issues, improving location and command.

But Monday night represented a huge step backward, with Rodriguez hammered for five runs in the first and four more in the third before he could retire a second hitter.

The stuff was flat. And Rodriguez's body language wasn't particularly great.

It seems hard to believe that this is the same guy who was so impressive at times a year ago. Then again, clearly, -- he's not the same guy.


Dustin Pedroia still cares.

In the second inning, with Eduardo Rodriguez having already given up five runs in the first, the Red Sox infield gathered on the mound as pitching coach Carl Willis came out to talk to the pitcher.

NESN cameras showed an animated Pedroia airing out Pedroia with a forceful speech. Rodriguez was shown simply nodding along in agreement, and Pedroia seemed to close his exhortation with "Let's go!''

It's impossible to know what Pedroia was said or even what the general message was. But there's no doubting Pedroia's competitive spirit, ever.


Give some credit to Bryce Brentz.

Brentz's career has been pockmarked by injuried, some of them very poorly timed. There have been times when the Red Sox needed outfield help and Brentz was on the DL in Pawtucket.

He's likely not long for the major league roster as some injured players are soon to return, leading to his likely return to the minors.

But Brentz, who hit his first major league homer Sunday, continued with the hot bat Monday, smacking two doubles and a single. He's now 7-for-15 since being called up last Friday.


John Farrell joins ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ as analyst

File Photo

John Farrell joins ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ as analyst

John Farrell can add another job to his resume.

The former Boston Red Sox manager has joined the crew for ESPN's "Baseball Tonight," according to The Boston Globe. His debut will be on Wednesday for a season-preview show.

The Red Sox fired Farrell on Oct. 11, 2017 despite a second-straight A.L. East crown. Alex Cora will begin his first season in Farrell's old role during the 2018 season.

Farrell added the broadcast work after the Cincinnati Reds hired him as a scout and adviser with a focus on pitching. He interviewed this offseason for the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals managing jobs, but both teams passed on him.


Red Sox minor league team invites Trump, Biden to settle it in ring

File photos

Red Sox minor league team invites Trump, Biden to settle it in ring

In this corner, the challenger out of Scranton, Pa., Joltin' Joe Biden...In the other corner, straight out of Queens, the President of the United States, Dandy Donald J. Trump!

The venue: LeLacheur Park, Lowell, Mass., home of the Red Sox Class-A affiliate, the Lowell Spinners.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's The Slasher at LeLacheur!

After the former Vice-President told a crowd at the University of Miami earlier this week of the current President, "If we were in high school, I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him, President Trump fired back on Twitter Thursday morning. 

The Spinners, the Sox' short-season New York-Penn League affiliate, have offered to host a boxing match between the Republican President and Democratic former Vice President on Aug. 17 by the flagpole at LeLacheur. Former light-welterweight champ and Lowell native Micky Ward has agreed to referee.

No word yet if Trump, who'll be 72 by then, or Biden, 75, have accepted the invitation.

The Spinners' press release announcing the invitation says that if the two do accept, "the boxing match will take place regardless of the weather, no matter how stormy it may get."