Game 136: Red Sox at Chicago White Sox (August 31, 2018)

I can think of a lot of things that would have been better to do on a Friday night than spend it watching this game...a LOT of things. Seeing as though the Red Sox had won three straight heading into the game and seemed to be getting back to normal, it was reasonable to assume that they would take care of business against a talented but weak White Sox team. Friday's game was also a chance to get an up close look at former Red Sox prospect Michael Kopech. However, the night was pretty much a failure on all counts including the weather.

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For the second game in a row, Chicago jumped on a Boston starter in the first inning and once again, it was Avisail Garcia who did it. His double drove in a run and was promptly followed up by another former Red Sox prospect, Yoan Moncada, who crushed a home run to make it 3-0 at the end of the first inning. It was yet another bad start for Nathan Eovaldi who was probably fool's gold after his first two starts in a Boston uniform, but we're only now realizing it. To add insult to injury there was a very long (2+ hours) rain delay such that it was pushing midnight when the game resumed. I think I speak for most Red Sox fans when I say I was hoping for the game to get called, but there was no such luck. When it finally resumed, the White Sox picked up where they'd left off in beating up on Boston pitching. Tyler Thornburg, another guy who has looked lousy in 99% of his appearances, gave up a three run home run to Matt Davidson in the seventh to really put the game out of reach for Boston. Andrew Benintendi's solo homer in the eighth to help the Sox avoid the shutout was almost pathetic in how feeble it was and Boston dropped this game 6-1. They were completely outplayed in every aspect of baseball: outhit 15-4 by Chicago and outpitched as well. Eovaldi turned in another stinker with three hits and three runs given up in only two innings. He didn't even strike out anyone (although he also didn't walk any batters) and at this point I'd be shocked if he made the postseason roster even in the bullpen. Boston's most effective pitcher on Friday (and it wasn't even close) was...Drew Pomeranz?! He threw four innings of relief and while he gave up seven hits, he also struck out six, didn't walk anyone, and kept Chicago off the scoreboard. Kopech looked good even in his limited action: three innings, one hit, one walk, and one strikeout. It's still too early to tell what he's going to end up being, but for now it looks like both teams made out pretty well in the trade.

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The loss combined with the Yankees win (more on this in a second) cut the AL East lead to 7.5 games. The Yankees victory really irks me because on what should have been a strikeout for the third out on a check swing that clearly went 3/4 of the way around, the umpire called it ball four after which the Yankees scored three runs to win their game. It was a completely blown call that once again showed that if any team is going get the benefit of those calls on a regular basis, as always it's the Yankees. It doesn't matter though because I've never been a believer in scoreboard watching or letting other teams help you out in the standings; teams need to make their own success and I'm confident the Red Sox will do that. They're in a dogfight with the White Sox right now and the series continues Saturday night with the long awaited return of Eduardo Rodriguez to the Red Sox rotation. All eyes will be on him to help get the Red Sox back on the winning track and to keep Chicago off the scoreboard in the first inning for the first time this series so that the Red Sox aren't playing catch up from the beginning.

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