Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 16-2 win over Arizona
BOSTON -- Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 16-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks . . .
1) Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia are pretty comfortable in their new spots.
The two had monstrous days -- particularly Betts, who overshadowed Boston’s new leadoff man.
Betts moving to the third spot in the order never seemed to be an issue regarding how it’d effect his production, but more so Pedroia’s -- given he’s preferred batting second in years past. But the second baseman made the case to stay in the leadoff slot, and confirmed after the game that he’s fine with it.
“Yeah, I like leadoff. I hit there most of my life, so it doesn’t matter -- I don’t care,” Pedroia said.
While Betts was expected to see a bump in his run production, no one could have expected a three-home run, eight RBI performance -- especially since no one had knocked in that many runs since Bill Mueller knocked in nine over 13 years ago.
“When we made this move, there was some thought that if Mookie’s going to stay on power run that he’s on, maybe it’s got a chance to be with some people on base,” John Farrell said after the 16-2 massacre. “But he hasn’t change his approach . . . He’s taking what the pitcher’s giving him.”
2) Rick Porcello has become a legitimate Cy Young candidate
With David Price not living up to the “ace” billing in 2016 and Steven Wright losing the title after the All-Star break, Porcello has continued as the model for consistency in Boston’s starting rotation. Not only has he not lost a game at home yet this year, he’s tied for the Major league lead in wins with 16. While wins aren’t always a good representation of a starting pitcher, consider this: He’s posted a 2.39 ERA in his last nine outings (17 earned runs in 64 innings) and gone 8-1.
In fact, the Red Sox have won 10 of his last 11 outings and are 18-6 when he takes the mound in 2016.
“When we look up towards the end of September, he’ll be in the [Cy Young] conversation,” Farrell said on Porcello following his seven-inning, one run performance.
Not only does Porcello’s run provide great stability for Boston’s pitching, but it also provides hope for a better future -- for Price that is.
Because much like Price, Porcello wasn’t a good pitcher when he first came Boston last year.
“Is David Price going through something similar this year? I don’t know that exactly, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the similar comments [to those on Porcello] come out [about] David,” Farrell said prior to Sunday’s game. “The guys that are conscientious, smart, intelligent, and care, they’re aware of their surroundings. And sometimes that can get in the mix a little bit.
“From the time [Porcello] went on the DL last year to now -- a chance to maybe to take step back and regroup -- he’s been outstanding.”
3) The Red Sox lucked out in not getting Zach Greinke
As much as David Price hasn’t been as advertised for the Red Sox this year, Zach Greinke made him look like an ace with his Sunday performance.
The former Cy Young winner couldn’t make it out of the second inning without giving up 10 hits and nine earned runs to Boston’s lineup.
In his defense, the Red Sox can hit.
But at the same time, the Red Sox have been shut down plenty of times this season, particularly by some top-flight arms like Greinke.
Given he’s had problems with his mental game in the past, it’s a safe bet that Boston wouldn’t have been the best home for him -- especially after outings like this.