The Boston Red Sox managed to split a quick series against the Atlanta Braves after waiting out a long rain delay to pick up a win last night. It was an interesting series for both sides, and with both teams snatching one win apiece, it was ultimately rather inconsequential. After getting no offense going against Charlie Morton Tuesday night, the Sox were able to snatch the lead in last night’s game right before the game was sent to a rain delay, and ultimately held on once play resumed.
With the Tampa Bay Rays losing their game yesterday, the Sox had a quick chance to move back into first place with a win over the Braves last night. Things got off to a good start, as the Sox immediately loaded the bases in the first inning with no one out. Yet they only managed to bring in one run, which came from Rafael Devers getting hit by a pitch. That would be all Boston got, as they only mustered up two more hits the rest of the way. Garrett Richards did his best to hold off a potent Atlanta offense, going 5.2 innings giving up three runs. Unfortunately, Charlie Morton was dealing on the other end, and went seven innings giving up only the one run while striking out nine. It was a bad time for the bats to go very quiet, leading to a 3-1 defeat.
Thankfully the bats showed up tonight, and right in the nick of time. Things didn’t look so great after Nick Pivetta had a rough start to his outing, giving up three runs in the first two innings. But the Sox would get it back through a solo shot from Hunter Renfroe and a two run blast from Devers to tie the game at three by the end of the fourth inning. Pivetta promptly gave up a solo homer to Austin Riley the next inning, but as the rain began to pick up in Boston, so did their offense. Bogaerts grounded into a fielder’s choice to tie the game, and was followed up by an RBI double from Devers. Christian Vazquez added two more runs on a single to give Boston a 7-4 lead right before this game entered a rain delay. After a nearly three hour wait, play resumed, and the Sox would tack on a couple runs and hold onto a 9-5 victory.
This was a weird series for Boston, as the long rain delay seemed to disrupt the shortened series. Their pitching was suspect and their bats went hot and cold for the majority of these two games. The good thing is that despite their bats not showing up for most of the short series, Boston still managed to split these games, and find themselves just a half game behind the Rays in the AL East as a result.
Based off what we saw, this was certainly a mixed bag for Boston. Richards and Pivetta had iffy starts, with Richards continuing his bad habit of racking up too many walks, and Pivetta coming out of the gate slow in this one. The starting pitching has been coming back down to earth after a scorching start to the season, so working on making the necessary adjustments to get these guys back on track after some rough outings is going to be key as the season progresses.
As for the Sox bats, they appear to have become quite streaky during the month of May. Some games they will struggle to make any sort of contact, while others they tear the cover off the ball. It leads to series like these where Charlie Morton flummoxes this team for seven innings, and then they chase Drew Smyly while putting four runs on the board with ease the next night. Developing some more consistency on a nightly basis is going to be key to hanging around with the rest of the AL East for the remainder of the season.
After a day off today, the Sox will return to Fenway for a three game set with the Miami Marlins. After being one of the surprises of the season by making the playoffs last season, the Marlins haven’t been able to reach those same heights to start this season. They will head into this upcoming series just a game under .500, and in a currently lackluster NL East, they could make a move up the standings with a good series. Of course, the Red Sox could do the same with a good series for them, so it should be an interesting interleague matchup for Boston this weekend.