April 11th, 6:10 PM
The Red Sox Home opener yesterday did not go how Boston wanted it to. To put a finer point on it, the first 12 games of the season have not gone how Boston has wanted them to.
Now 3-9 after a 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday, the Red Sox have a lot of questions to be answered about who they are and what direction their season is going. They are now at the bottom of the AL East after Wednesday’s loss, and questions are starting to pile up. A win on Thursday to avoid a sweep would go a long way.
“We have to play better, I’ve been saying it all along,” Red Sox skipper Alex Cora said. “Better defense, better offense, pitch better. Everybody knows we go with the starters. The starters are our strongest point, and so far it hasn’t been good.”
Thursday’s game will pit right hander Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, 8.10 ERA) against the Jay’s righty Aaron Sanchez (1-1, 1.64 ERA).
In his first two starts for the Red Sox (money line -192, total u9½-117, run line -1½-104) this year, Eovaldi allowed nine runs on 12 hits in 10 innings. This will be the fifth time in his career starting against Toronto (money line +167, total o9½-103, run line +1½-116). Sanchez’s last start was against the Cleveland Indians, where he allowed two runs on five hits through six innings. He is currently 4-4 with a 4.06ERA against Boston.
Batting has been an issue for both these teams; the Red Sox hold an average of .237 with 98 hits. Toronto is even worse with an average of .193 and 74 hits. Toronto is lead by SS Freddy Galvis, who has a.333 BA and .641 SLG with 3 HR. Boston Is lead by Mitch Moreland and J.D. Martinez. Martinez has a .326 BA while Moreland has 4 HR and 10 RBI.
Boston has not had to deal with many injuries; so far the only player on the IL is Brian Johnson. Toronto, meanwhile has 5 players out due to injury; 1B Justin Smoak, C Luke Maile, SP Clay Buchholz, RP Bud Norris and 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Red Sox ace Chris Sale’s season so far has been a microcosm of what is going wrong. So far this season Sale has a 9.00 ERA and has only pitched three strikeouts. Yesterday he started the game but found his team down 7-0 in the fourth inning and was retired.
Contributing to the Red Sox problems has been their travel schedule. The team has been on the road since the start of the season, with stops in Florida, Arizona, Seattle and Oakland. Perhaps a spell at home will do them well.
One good bit of news for Boston is that 2B Dustin Pedroia, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, is now back in the lineup. Yesterday he started and hit a double play in his first at bat.