Orioles Take Series 2-1 from Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox came out of the gate ready to go in game one of the three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles. But the team started to struggle as soon as they got to the next starting pitcher after Nathan Eovaldi. It was well documented that the Red Sox starting staff wasn’t going to be the most polished group in the world, but they could be even worse than people expected. While the Red Sox struggled to keep Orioles off the base paths, the offense wasn’t exactly pulling their weight either in the final two games of the series.
Meanwhile, the Orioles didn’t necessarily do anything spectacular in each of the three games besides take advantage of some of the worst starting pitching you’ll see on a Major League field.
Pitching Even More Suspect than Expected
The Red Sox took game one of the season with ease by way of a 13-2 final. That game quickly felt like a distant memory, however. The starting pitching got worse with each passing day after Eovaldi went 6 innings allowing one run on five hits on Opening Day. Martin Perez took the hill in game two allowing four earned runs on six hits through five innings. Ryan Weber got the ball in the finale. The soft-throwing starter only lasted 3 2/3 after letting up six runs on six hits. He also allowed three walks and two homers.
The Orioles didn’t need to do a ton with what they were given. Perez and Weber consistently left pitches out over the middle of the plate — specifically Weber in game three. The right-hander needs to be able to paint the corners to be effective. He couldn’t find the movement or the location he needed on Sunday to make it through the fourth inning.
There’s really no way to sugarcoat this. The rest of these Boston starters make Eovaldi look like Nolan Ryan. It certainly doesn’t help that the team only has three somewhat realistic options at starting pitcher. Manager Ron Roenicke will be forced to turn the ball over to the “opener” for the fourth and fifth turns in the rotation. The Red Sox also haven’t been a club known for the talent that trots out of that bullpen every day over the past few seasons, so it’s not just the starters that are in trouble this season.
Offensive Stars Disappoint
The Red Sox lineup isn’t off the hook either for how they looked in the final games of this opening series. The first four hitters in the Red Sox lineup — Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers, and Xander Bogaerts — combined to hit .174 in the series with no home runs. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Jackie Bradley Jr., Jose Peraza, Kevin Pillar, and Christian Vazquez hit .487 with two home runs in the first three games.
The Red Sox offense had a particularly tough time in game two against Alex Cobb. Cobb lasted 5 1/3 giving up just one run while striking out six. He kept Benintendi, Devers, and Peraza all hitless in this game.
It’s a good sign for the team that the guys down towards the bottom of the order have been productive to this point. However, once you have to start relying on the bottom part of your lineup that’s when a team really knows they’re in trouble. It’s still early, but in such a short season those first four guys will need to find their stroke before they head into Yankees Stadium next weekend.
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