I was coaching my son's travel baseball team all day today, but I was excited when I got home in time to pick up the game in the fourth inning. After watching for a bit though, I wish I hadn't. What a disaster! The Sox took the early lead but David Price was awful, giving up six runs in 5.2 innings and walking four while only striking out five. For the first five innings, the Sox and Rays traded runs and were deadlocked at five heading into the sixth. It was the sixth when the wheels fell off the cart. After giving up a run in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, Red Sox reliever Brian Johnson pitched an abysmal ninth inning, giving up four runs and putting the game completely out of reach. The final score was 12-6 and in dropping the first two games against the Rays, the Sox have lost this series.
It seems that, regardless of what the Rays' record is in any season, they're always a tough matchup for the Red Sox. This season is no exception, but the bigger concern is that the pitching has not looked good lately. Chris Sale hasn't been sharp for his last two starts, Drew Pomeranz appeared to not be back to full strength, and David Price is still much too inconsistent. I'm also a little tired of these strange lineups Alex Cora has been putting out lately. I'm by no means souring on him or the job he's doing as manager, but it does seem like he's been putting out some very strange lineups over the last several games. I'm very old school when it comes to baseball and prefer set lineups and batting orders that only vary slightly once in a while over the course of a season. I know that the game and the approach to it has changed and that my mentality is probably seen as anachronistic, but I do think a stable lineup where players know who is going to be playing and where is good for team chemistry. In the meantime, I really hope the team can get on track and back in the win column to finish this series. The Yankees are playing really well right now and closing in on the Sox; with a series in the Bronx looming next week, now is the time to keep them at bay or, if possible, put a little more distance between them.