Red Sox Take Series 2-1 Over Blue Jays Behind Six Home Runs

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Red Sox Win Series 2-1 Over Blue Jays

The Boston Red Sox finally won their first series of the condensed 2020 season. The team took two of three at Fenway Park against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Red Sox saw some major improvements from the pitching staff and an increase in power from their lineup, but don’t be fooled though, this team still has a long way to go.

Pitching Showing Signs of Improvement

While the Red Sox starting pitchers still aren’t making it deep into ballgames — with the exception of Nathan Eovaldi — the staff as a whole kept the Blue Jays off the board far more than they have with any other team this season. In the team’s first 12 games they allowed an average of 5.16 runs per game. In this three game set against the Blue Jays they only let up an average of 2.67 runs.

The bullpen specifically looks like they’re starting to get their act together. The unit pitched 14 innings over the weekend and only gave up three runs. The issue still remains that no team should have to rely on their bullpen as much as this year’s Boston Red Sox have. Ryan Weber only lasted three innings before turning it over to the bullpen, and Zack Godley only made it through four before he nearly fell apart.

At this point Eovaldi and Martin Perez are the only staples in the rotation. The team optioned Weber to their alternate training site after his last start. Godley will likely find his way into the third spot in the rotation, but nobody really knows where the team will turn after that. They pitched Eovaldi a day earlier in the series finale on Sunday which will most likely mean a bullpen day on Monday to open up against the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Red Sox sit just one and a half games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the second playoff spot in the division and will need to find answers quickly in regard to the rotation if they have any chance of climbing back into the race. The bullpen won’t be able to keep up this kind of production if they’re expected to throw as many innings as they have been.

Moreland and Verdugo Lead the Lineup

The Boston Red Sox hit six home runs over the weekend blasting three on Friday and Sunday. Alex Verdugo stole the show Friday sending two over the Green Monster while Mitch Moreland added one. Sunday was Moreland’s time to shine, however, as he hit two more including the series walk-off with two outs in the ninth. Rafael Devers also hit one out on Sunday in hopes of breaking out of a season long slump.

While Xander Bogaerts, Christian Vazquez, Verdugo, and Moreland continue to heat up the team is still patiently waiting for Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez, and the aforementioned Devers to return to form. This trio currently combines for a .142 batting average with just two home runs — both from Devers.

Questionable Decisions

Despite the fact that the Red Sox are just one and a half games out of second place in the division, some of the decisions made this weekend may have fans scratching their head in terms of the team’s intentions for 2020.

Andrew Benintendi, who currently owns the worst batting average, slugging percentage, and second worst OPS in baseball started all three games against the Blue Jays this weekend. Kevin Pillar currently ranks third on the team in batting average among players who have played in at least 10 games and is slashing .310/.326/.476. Pillar, who is also far superior than Benintendi on the defensive front, did not appear in Friday’s game and pinch hit for the Arkansas product in each of the last two games.

When asked about replacing Benintendi in Saturday’s game Ron Roenicke expressed his reluctance to make the move. The manager repeated the fact that he didn’t like making the ┬ámove multiple times in his response. These decisions and these responses smell like an agenda trickling down from the front office.

Benching their former seventh overall pick and giving Pillar the starting job would signal a lack of confidence in Benintendi — and rightfully so. The team seems to be more concerned with the public perception of one of their more marketable players as opposed to winning baseball games.

Red Sox Welcome the Rays into Town

The Red Sox and the Rays will play the first of a four-game series on Monday at 7:30 Eastern. Left-hander Ryan Yarbrough (0-2, 3.78) will get the nod for the Rays. The Red Sox are yet to announce their game one starter, but it’s expected to be a bullpen game for the home team.

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