Game 21: Red Sox at Oakland Athletics (April 22, 2018)

Well, the Red Sox have another streak going...unfortunately now it's going in the opposite direction of the previous one! The team dropped their second straight game and their first series of the season to the lowly A's with a 4-1 loss on Sunday afternoon. I only had a chance to watch the ninth inning because I was busy coaching my son's travel baseball team in their doubleheader all afternoon. What little I saw seemed to mirror what happened over the last two games in Oakland...the offense suddenly went quiet. The Sox didn't get their lone run until the top of the seventh. Starter David Price pitched 7.2 innings, striking out six and only walking one. Heading into the eighth he'd only given up one run and the game was tied, but a three run home run he surrendered to Khris Davis put Oakland up by three and would prove to be the difference. Cora also went with a very unusual line-up, one that included moving Jackie Bradley to right field, Andrew Benintendi to center field, and JD Martinez to left field. While I understand the need to give Mookie Betts a day off, moving Jackie out of center makes no sense to me given his stellar defense there, nor does putting JD in left given his atrocious defense. I personally would've left Jackie in center, Benintendi in left, and hidden JD in right, but what do I know? The batting order was also unusual, with Bradley leading off. Whether it was a result of this strange line-up or whether it was just an off day, the offense couldn't get anything going.

With an day off for travel Monday, the Sox head to Toronto to being a series Tuesday with the Blue Jays who have had a surprisingly good start to their season. The Jays always play the Sox tough so it will be another early season test for this team. I'm hoping for a bounce back after the disappointing end to the west coast trip. Some winning momentum would be nice heading into their mini home stand at the end of the month because after that is another extended road trip with some tough series against the Yankees and Blue Jays. It's time to see how good these Red Sox really are.