Three things we learned from the Red Sox' 21-2 loss to the Angels
Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 21-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim . . .
1) John Farrell isn’t giving Clay Buchholz extra chances anymore
Following the game Farrell would not commit to whether Buchholz would retain his spot in the rotation. And with good reason. Not only did Buchholz have a subpar performance, but he showed up Farrell when the manager came to pull him.
“Yep,” Buchholz said on if he was surprised that he came out after 66 pitches in 4.1 innings. “Yeah we talked [later] . . . Still didn’t want to come out of the game . . . It happened -- he’s the manager, that’s what he gets paid to do.”
Farrell -- who has protected Buchholz all season -- seemed to think the conversation after the move went better than his starter did.
“We have had a chance to talk about it,” Farrell said following the game. “It was a quick exit. I know he’s frustrated. But still, there are some things within the game you’re still trying to execute.”
The staff has even helped Buchholz make adjustments to his pregame routine -- but it only worked for a short time Saturday.
Farrell and Carl Willis explained how they had the righty throw a simulated inning prior to the game -- with the hopes of removing the first inning feel.
“I felt like he carried that into the beginning of the first inning -- again it was just that mistake to [Albert] Pujols that turned that whole inning around.”
2) The Red Sox keep finding new ways to look sloppy
As much as Clay Buchholz’s start to the game initiated the chain reaction of poor pitching that took place, his hand in the game is far from the biggest concern.
In large part because that’s what everyone has come to expect from Buchholz this season.
Although Heath Hembree didn’t give up an earned run, he didn’t look as sharp as usual. Then Robbie Ross, Jr. was all over the map -- giving up six runs in 0.1 innings. And of course Pat Light had a Fenway Park debut that he will hopefully soon forget.
But the pitching has been a major concern all season.
The off night at the dish happens. Not a starter you expect to shutdown Boston, but that’s definitely not a concern.
The fielding was possibly at it’s worst.
“Too many extra outs, far to many extra-base hits -- honestly, we’re embarrassed by tonight’s ballgame,” Farrell said following the loss. “There’s really no other way to put it. We got kicked around the ballpark tonight and we need to put this one behind us and come back with the opportunity to win the series tomorrow.”
The Red Sox had four errors in the game -- and a rare misread on a liner hit to Jackie Bradley Jr. that turned into a triple.
Two errors came from Travis Shaw early that played a part in six of the seven unearned runs in the start.
Xander Bogaerts made another error, misreading a routine grounder. But the worst of all may have come from Bryce Brentz after Kole Calhoun’s single to left in the seventh.
Brentz dropped the ball on the ground, giving Andrelton Simmons a chance to score from second. Simmons had made the move back to the base -- but when he said Brentz casually move to pickup the ball he booked it home. By the time Brentz realized what was going on, he had to throw it as fast as possible, still making a bid at getting Simmons at the plate.
Simmons would’ve scored later in the inning, but it’s more about Brentz -- a career AAA player finally getting a chance -- not taking every moment seriously.
3) Mookie Betts is becoming just as much of an MVP candidate as Xander Bogaerts
It’s hard to argue that any player is MVP-worthy when his team has as bad of a game as Boston did Saturday, but Betts played just as well as he does any other night.
After his 3-for-5 performance Betts is now in impressive company.
Betts is one of three Red Sox hitters to have 100+ hits, 70+ runs and 15+ homeruns heading into the All-Star break. The only other two to do so are Manny Ramirez in 2003 and Wade Boggs in 1987.
He continues to be an elite leadoff hitter, now 44-for-113 (.389) as the first batter of the game -- adding to the total with his leadoff double off Hector Santiago.
Betts is also creeping his average towards the .300 mark (.296) -- which would give Boston’s hitters from one to four an average of .300 or better.