Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Rangers
Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Texas Rangers . . .
1) David Price’s peaks and valleys are too far apart.
Boston was able to overcome Price’s poor outing, but more important than coming from behind, the bullpen just can’t handle shortened outings from Price with the way Clay Buchholz has thrown -- and given Boston had an extra inning win the day before.
Price was riding a remarkable run, throwing seven innings or more in five of his last six starts -- so it’s safe to say there was no way to anticipate the rough outing. But his “bad starts” have to take up more than 2.1 innings.
John Farrell had to pull him from the game without question. And Price understands what his biggest problem was in his shortest start for Boston.
“I just didn’t execute pitches. It’s not mechanics, it’s not pitch selection -- it’s executing pitches,” Price said after his start. “That’s all it is. Whenever I throw the baseball well, it’s execution. When I don’t, I didn’t execute. That’s what it is.”
The lefty threw far too many pitches thigh high against a deadly offense, so they smacked 12 hits off him in a very short time.
“Just wasn’t good,” he said. “Didn’t execute enough pitches. Didn’t have anything good happen. Whenever both of those are going the wrong way for you, you’re not going to have good results.”
2) The Red Sox offense may have cooled off, but it’s still ready to fight late.
The Red Sox had scored two runs or less in four of the last seven contests following their historic start to the season.
They were bound to slow down. The rate they scored at was impossible to maintain.
However, one thing that hasn’t change is the ability to perform in the clutch.
Following the walk-off win Friday night, Boston took its first lead in the ninth inning, and held fast.
Between the team’s patient approach at the plate, and the ability to hit the long-ball -- the Red Sox can rely on almost any hitter to give them a boost last -- not just David Ortiz.
3) Sandy Leon’s hot start is looking more like the evolution of a player than a lucky start.
The backup catcher has always been known for his defense -- but has been used as the pinch hitter in his last two contests.
And he’s hitting .545 (12-22) to start his 2016 MLB campaign. Now that’s not maintainable for any hitter, but he’s put together quality at-bats in limited opportunities.
His 11-pitch at-bat not only extended the ninth inning and gave Mookie Betts the chance to time the game, but after he did, Boston had all of the momentum when Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts came to the plate.
Leon fought off some bad pitches and some good ones. As much as he was locked in, he tried to stay relaxed in the pivotal at-bat.
“[I was thinking] just get a good pitch to hit, just try to put the ball in play and get a good swing,” Leon said. “Don’t try to do too much.”
Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar