Saturday, June 9, 2018

Game 64: Chicago White Sox at Red Sox (June 8, 2018)

We have a new contender for worst loss of the season for the Red Sox. On a night when Chris Sale did everything you'd ever want out of your ace, the Sox turned in one of their most pathetic and embarrassing performances of the season. I turned the game on when I get home after coaching my youngest daughter's softball game and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It still blows my mind to think about this game even after a little time has passed.



There's not much to write about for this one. Sale pitched eight full innings, striking out ten and walking one. He gave up one run, in the seventh inning, and for his troubles he got the loss. It's been an old saying of mine for years and years and I know I've said it here and elsewhere, but if your starter is only giving up one or two runs, you'd damn well better be winning those games. Especially when they're against one of the worst teams in the league in the White Sox, a team that is intentionally tanking the season and going through a tear-it-down-to-the-studs rebuild. Even worse is that Boston only mustered a measly three hits the entire night: one from Andrew Benintendi, one from Andrew Bogaerts, and one from Rafael Devers. The lone Chicago run came on an RBI single in the seventh from Trayce Thompson. Sale deserved better and so did Red Sox fans.

I place an equal amount of blame on Alex Cora in this one. Yes, the Red Sox are still one of the best teams in the league and yes, he's a huge step up from John Farrell as a manager. But he has a maddening tendency to over-rest players and after the way he seemed willing to just throw away that final game against Detroit, I expected better for this series. He put one of the weakest lineups of the season out on the field (and that's saying something!) and he's managed the last two games as though they were up ten games on the Yankees in late September and the playoff seeding was set. Well, now they're behind New York! Someone online during the game said that Boston is going to have the most well-rested team to miss the playoffs and while it was in jest, there's a kernel of truth to it, especially if they keep doing what they're doing. As I said yesterday, the schedule gets absolutely brutal for the rest of the month following this White Sox series. I proclaimed, somewhat exaggeratedly, that anything less than a sweep of the lowly White Sox would be a disaster. I guess the Sox put it to me right away with this debacle, huh?

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