Three things we learned from the Red Sox' 5-2 loss to the Angels
By Nick Friar
Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim . . .
1) The Red Sox are scuffling against bad teams, too
Earlier in the season, one of the major criticisms of the Red Sox was their inability to beat winning teams -- and that they were only beating up on the weaker ones.
Well now they’re even struggles to accomplish that, now having los two of three to the Angels with one game left in the series.
This comes only a weak after splitting a four game set with Minnesota -- who’s now boasting a 39-64 record. Not to mention, the Red Sox lost two of the first three in that series, as well.
“It’s been all or nothing it seems like this stretch that we’re through offensively,” John Farrell said following the 5-2 loss.
And truthfully, this series has been on the offense more than the pitching.
David Price and Rick Porcello both pitched great and deep into their outings. And although Pomeranz wasn’t great, he gave Boston’s typically explosive offense a chance.
Not to mention that Hector Santiago walked six Red Sox batters in five innings of work, but somehow only gave up those two runs.
It’s clear the top of the order has been producing, but the major concerns to the point are the six, seven and eight slots -- which, for example, went 0-10 with two walks Saturday.
2) Joe Kelly isn’t a strong option to enter with runners on base
Yes, the Red Sox have to figure out who they can use in close games to help fill the void Koji Uehara could leave for the rest of the season.
And yes, John Farrell only has so many guys he can use until Dave Dombrowski gets another reliever -- if he does.
But Joe Kelly might not be that guy. And Saturday was a perfect example of why.
First, he gave of a double right away, scoring the lone inherited runner he had to deal with. Strike one.
The next inning, was a non-issue.
But in the third frame he appeared in, Kelly gave up a liner into center to the leadoff hitter. Strike two.
While there wasn’t a chance for a strike three for Kelly Saturday, it’d be best for Farrell to not test those waters again.
Because if Saturday’s appearance is at all representative of the flamethrower as a reliever, he has a 67 percent chance of giving up a hit to the first batter he faces each inning.
So he’s another guy who needs to enter in a clean inning -- something the Red Sox already have too much of in the bullpen.
3) Drew Pomeranz still isn’t quite there yet
Although he made his return to California, Drew Pomeranz couldn’t repeat his impressive start against Detroit earlier this week.
And while John Farrell said Pomeranz has been a mixed bag, the lefty thinks he’s been fine since his shaky first outing.
“The first one wasn’t me. I had a lot of time off -- had a lot of things going on,” Pomeranz said. “The last one was more myself -- I fell like. Tonight, I made a bad pitch too (Albert) Pujols, walked a couple guys. But overall, I feel like I did a decent job.”
Well five runs in 5.1 innings isn’t exactly spectacular either.
While Joe Kelly didn’t bail him out for the fifth run, Pomeranz still gave up a run right after Boston scored two for him.
Then he later walked Yunel Escobar, a big no-no with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols batting behind him.
Walks can’t happen with homerun hitters due up -- especially on four straight pitches -- it’s a recipe for disaster.
Although his outing might normally classify as serviceable for the Red Sox typically strong offense, Dave Dombrowski didn’t bring in the All-Star pitcher to be serviceable.