The Boston Red Sox got some fantastic pitching performances to lead them to a two game sweep over the New York Mets. Garrett Richards and Nick Pivetta were dealing in their respective outings, and the bullpen didn’t give up a run over the six innings they were called upon to help close things out. The lineup struggled for the most part, but that’s typically what will happen when you run into Jacob deGrom and company. Either way, they did enough to pick up two solid victories over one of the top teams in the NL East.
The opening game of the series was all about Garrett Richards. Richards had been pretty disappointing in his first couple of starts with the Red Sox, but he was phenomenal in this one. Richards went seven innings, striking out 10 and walking none. His lone blemish was a solo home run to Jeff McNeil in the second inning, but he was pretty much spotless otherwise. Bobby Dalbec would hit a solo shot of his own in the third inning, his first of the season, to tie the game, and Rafael Devers would hit an RBI single in sixth that proved to be the game winning score. Matt Andriese and Matt Barnes would lock down the eight and ninth innings, picking up the hold and the save respectively, and the Sox would come away with a solid victory to open the series by a score of 2-1.
Tonight’s game followed a very similar storyline. Going up against Jacob deGrom, who has been absolutely dominant to start the season, they were going need to be perfect to pull out a victory, and they were. The Sox got a quick run in the second inning off a pair of doubles from Xander Bogaerts and Christian Vazquez, which turned out to be all the run support they needed. Nick Pivetta was spectacular for the second straight start, giving up only one hit over five innings while striking out seven. The bullpen took over to close this one out, with Garrett Whitlock, Adam Ottavino, and Matt Barnes combining to finish off the last four innings. This was a huge win against arguably the best pitcher in the MLB right now, and got the Red Sox a sweep as a result.
Overall this is arguably the best series sweep we have seen from the Sox this season. Despite both contests being of the low scoring variety, the pitching staff came through in a huge way to help pick up the sweep. Garrett Richards finally showed up, and put up a dominant performance in the series opener. He had great command of his fastball, and his offspeed pitches finally showed some movement to help compliment it perfectly. Nick Pivetta picked up right where he left off from his last start against the Seattle Mariners, and has cemented himself into the 5 slot in the rotation.
As for the bullpen, it was more fantastic performances. Matt Andriese has thrived in every role he’s been called upon for, and his clutch eighth inning in the opener was a huge performance that shouldn’t be overlooked. Matt Barnes was spectacular in both games, and easily mowed down all six batters he faced on his was to picking up two saves. Garrett Whitlock continues to be an absolute workhorse out of the pen, as he pitched two more scoreless innings tonight, and has yet to give up a run on the season. And finally, Adam Ottavino finally looks to be settling in after a bumpy start to the season, as he dealt a perfect eighth inning tonight to pick up the hold.
And the cherry on top is easily picking up a victory against Jacob deGrom. Even with tonight’s loss, deGrom still has a 0.51 ERA on the season, along with 59 strikeouts, which is just absurd. Just getting a run off this guy should be considered a victory in its own right, but they managed to pull out a hard fought victory to go along with it. The bats struggled as expected, but two wins is two wins, no matter how you get them.
Boston will continue their road trip with a four game set against the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are currently sitting at the bottom of the AL West, but still have a dangerous lineup that can inflict some damage when they get hot. The pitching will need to keep up their recent stretch of dominance, and hopefully the bats will heat up too with a trip down south.
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