Eovaldi’s Start Spoiled By the Bullpen

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Nathan Eovaldi turned in a quality start last night against the New York Yankees.  The hero of the bullpen in the playoffs last year had his first good start in 2019.  Eovaldi went six innings, only giving up three hits, six strikeouts, no earned runs allowing one run. 

Photo courtesy of the Boston Globe
That was however all spoiled by the Red Sox bullpen when Ryan Brasier gave up a Grand Slam to Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora went to his bullpen, and specifically Brasier, in a high leverage situation with the bases loaded, and Gardner gave the Yankees a 5-3 lead.  Gardner buried a high fast ball into the right field seats. 

Photo courtesy of 12up.com
Through 19 games last season the Red Sox were 17-2 and the best team in baseball.  Flip the calendar a year later and the Red Sox are 6-13,  8.5 games out of first place and in last place in the AL East. 

The Red Sox did not lose their 13th game last year until May 14.  The last team with 12 or more loses at this point of the season to go on and win the World Series was the 2002 Anaheim Angels. 

Up until last night the backend of the Sox pen hasn’t been a question mark.  Brasier has now cast doubt in the minds of the Sox faithful after the grand slam to Gardner. 

“We felt that was a matchup,” Cora said of using Brasier against Gardner. “We recognized it before the series – top of the order, Gardner, (Aaron) Judge, we felt his fastball could play there, the slider. So we decided to go with that one.”

Gardner who was lifetime 1-5 against Brasier and was hitting .200 on the season prior to his at bat.  The matchup made sense from a analytic perspective. 

“Gardner did a good job staying with that pitch,” Cora said. “It kind of was right in his swing path.  He hit the grand slam.”  Gardner just got the better of Brasier in a year where it seems everyone is getting the better of the Sox. 

Big Savings for Big Fans at Fanatics.comThe Sox will now head to St. Petersburg, Florida, and take on the first place Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay is 14-4 and holds the best record in the American League through the first 19 games. 

Eduardo Rodriguez will get the start in Game One of the series.  He was dealing in his last start when he dazzled the lowly Orioles.  Rodriguez held Baltimore to two runs while walking none and striking out eight over 6 2/3 innings. 

The Sox will turn to E-Rod to end this poor play and get them back in the win column.  The team will hopefully also get left fielder Andrew Benintendi back as well.  He has missed the last few games with a right foot contusion after fouling a ball of of his foot. 

The Red Sox have Thursday off to clear their minds and get back to focusing on winning baseball.  April is almost over and it’s time the Red Sox start to figure this out.  They can start this on Friday against the first place Tampa Bay Rays.  Either the Red Sox will cut into the first place lead or they’ll be completely out of it... in April. 


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Boston Sports Syndicate: Eovaldi’s Start Spoiled By the Bullpen
Eovaldi’s Start Spoiled By the Bullpen
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