Three things we learned from the Red Sox' 10-3 loss to the Rangers
Humidity's all wrong for Wright, which is why the Sox need to play a lot better defensively behind him than they did Saturday.
Humidity has a different effect on the knuckleball than rain
Although he cruised through the first three inning, it was clear Steven Wright lost control of his knuckler in the fourth -- something that hasn’t happened to him often this year.
Although the righty made it clear he should’ve overcame the adversity he faced in the game, he explained how the humid night affected his knuckleball delivery.
“The ball was spinning a lot out of my hand. It was a little bit hard to grip the ball because the humidity,” Wright said following the start. “But it was the opposite -- it was real sticky. That’s the first time I’ve had that ever. But I still felt like I should have figured that out. It was one of those things where I think I started trying to hard.”
To make up for his poor control Wright incorporated more fastballs and curveballs -- but still couldn’t find success.
“I was trying to the throw the kitchen sink at them but it wasn’t working,” Wright said.
Unfortunately for Boston, the learning experience proved costly and came against the one of the best lineup in baseball.
Texas has a lineup just as deep as Boston’s -- if not deeper
Top to bottom, the Rangers were a threat to destroy the ball all night.
After logging 16 hits Friday, the Rangers turned 11 hits into 10 runs -- getting at least one hit from eight of the nine starters.
With the lone exception of Robinson Chirinos, the Rangers have great depth in their lineup.
Adrian Beltre continues to be the mainstay of the lineup, despite his advanced age. And Ian Desmond seems to have been one of the best off season acquistions based on his first half performance -- batting .322 with 13 home runs, 53 runs and 49 RBI.
Definitely not a lineup you want Clay Buchholz to take on when it’s imperative for him to work deep.
Boston’s fielding can’t be off behind Steven Wright
Although he gets some baffling swing and misses, Wright’s not a strikeout pitcher.
And he hasn’t been as much of a fly ball pitcher as typical knuckleballers.
So Xander Bogaerts and Hanley Ramirez’s errors can’t happen -- especially in the same inning.
Bogaerts now has four errors on the year, tied for 8th most among MLB shortstops. He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes in the field, but it seems that every one he makes is pivotal.
“[Wright’s] night would’ve been good if we didn’t mess up in the infield there,” Bogaerts said about his error and Ramirez’s in the fifth inning.
Boston’s starting rotation is mainly made of contact pitchers, so pivotal errors like that can’t keep happening -- much like the ones by Bogaerts in Minnesota a few weeks ago or the game-ending miscue by Ramirez at the Rogers Centre earlier in the season.