'What we learned': Red Sox' 10-9 win over Astros
' What we learned': Red Sox' 10-9 win over Astros
By Nick Friar
Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox' 10-9 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday . . .
1) Boston’s bench can be clutch, too
Ryan Hanigan and Josh Rutledge played a big part the Red Sox’ offense in Sunday’s win.
Rutledge scored three times, including the game-tying run on Hanigan’s ninth-inning hit. Hanigan knocked in four runs, and scored twice, including the game-winner.
“Any time you can go to your bench and step in and we don’t seemingly skip a beat, I think it says a lot about the depth of the roster,” John Farrell said.
Rutledge, in particular, has been impressive, hitting .407 this season, being brought in as a strong defensive utility man, with a fairly weak bat.
Hanigan is still only hitting .196, but his situational hitting is what he brings to the plate for Boston -- and that doesn’t necessarily mean getting a base-hit in the clutch.
“He can do some things as far as manufacturing a run -- moving the runner over, hitting behind the runner,” Farrell explained.
2) The Astros are really, really bad
Although the Red Sox are red-hot, they let late leads slip away in back-to-back games, after winning a tight contest Friday night.
It’s arguable that the most valuable player for Boston was Carlos Gomez in Sunday’s win.
First he completely missed a fly ball -- not by much -- because he lost it in the sun. The Red Sox had their issues, but nothing like that. And what’s worse is Carlos Correa had done the same thing the previous day.
It’s not as if they typically play in bad weather either. Not to mention Gomez is a former All-Star and Gold Glove winner.
So that cost them a run, then when the sun hid itself later on, Gomez and George Springer somehow miscommunicated on a fly ball in the right-center, allowing another run to score, and open the door for Mookie Betts to knock in the run.
On Betts’ game-winning triple, Springer was playing very shallow. It’s the seventh time the two teams have played this year; you’d think he knows by now that Betts has that kind of power. Or at least the coaches tell him you can’t get beat over you head. A single wouldn’t have hurt Houston in that situation, given that Hanigan was only on first.
3) The Red Sox need Eduardo Rodriguez or Joe Kelly to get healthy right away
With Sean O'Sullivan designated for assignment following his Sunday start in Boston, the Red Sox are hoping to bring up E-rod or Kelly -- or both -- soon.
And after watching Boston’s offense bail out a rough pitching once again, it’s clear that, aside from the three consistent late-inning relievers, the bullpen can’t really be trusted.
“We’ve got areas to improve upon,” John Farrell said. “We’re working at that. And while we’re in a little bit of a state of flux in the rotation and we’re working to get a couple of guys back, Sean O’Sullivan steps in, makes a couple of starts [and] we win both games. The offense we’re operating at, yeah, it can cover up some miscues in some other areas.”
The pitching needs to figure their situation out soon, especially since Boston is only hitting .266 against teams over .500 through 15 games, as opposed to their .316 clip against teams under .500 entering Sunday.