'What we learned': Sox' 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays
TORONTO -- Three things we learned from the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays . . .
1) It's the same old story with the offense
If the loss looked familiar, there's a good reason: all season long, the Red Sox' offense has been an all-or-nothing proposition.
Friday night, the Sox scored 13 runs and won by double-digits. On Saturday, they scored just two.
It's been like this throughout the road trip. In their five wins on the current road swing, the Red Sox have scored 52 runs, or 10.4 runs per game. In the three losses, they've scored a total of three runs, or one run per game.
No matter what they do, the Sox can't seem to win the low-scoring, close games. In games in which they've scored fewer than three runs, the Sox are now 4-30.
"People make adjustments," shrugged Jackie Bradley Jr. "it's a cat-and-mouse game and you have to continue to make adjustments, day-in and day-out and kind of let things fall where they may. We've got to find a way to win, no matter what -- whether's it's a low-scoring game or a high-scoring game."
Should the Sox reach the post-season, they're likely to see more games like Saturday's. It would behoove them to improve in those in the final three weeks of the season.
2) It's not just the batter's box where Yoan Moncada looks lost
Moncada's struggles at the plate have been well-documented, including the eight straight strikeouts -- and counting. But Saturday marked his second mistake on the bases in the last week.
Last Sunday, he was picked off base, leaning the wrong way. And Saturday, inserted as a pinch-runner for David Ortiz in the eighth inning, he seemed to lose track of the number of outs when a pop-up by Mookie Betts had him first going half-way, then returning to the bag even as the third out was recorded.
"That's been addressed," said an unhappy John Farrell. "We've got to be better than that."
For his part, Moncada copped to some "simple confusion...that's basically it."
Moncada was asked about the difficulty of struggling at the big league level for the first time.
"I've had a tough time lately," he acknowledged. "What I've learned is you have to have patience and learn from every situation. It's been a tough week, but it's all a part of the process and what I have to do to learn to be in the big leagues."
3) It's not just the starters who have been strong of late
For all the season-long issues in the bullpen, the Sox relievers have been improving.
They've not allowed an earned run in 14 1/3 innings since Sept. 1 with a strikeout to walk ratio of 20-2.
It may be difficult to truly evaluate the bullpen until the Sox play a number of game in which they're protecting close leads late in games. Many of the recent performances have come in one-sided wins, or games in which the Sox trail by a run in the seventh and eighth.
Still, there's an uptick in the quality of the relief work, including Joe Kelly, who has made four appearances covering four innings since rejoining the team after the Sept. 1 roster expansion and allowed just two hits to go along with seven strikeouts and one only one walk.