The Red Sox They have lost seven of their last eight games and have gotten into a losing streak that for now cost them the leadership of the East Division of the American League, however for the manager Alex Cora, your team seems to be still far from press panic button.
“I’m not saying we’re not trying,” Cora said. “We are probably trying harder and that’s why it’s not happening. It’s just a matter of we’re not playing good baseball right now. “
One game after a solid victory in Detroit tied the series, Boston starter Martin Perez took a heavy hit early on and the offense did nothing to rescue him Thursday during an 8-1 loss to the Tigers at Comerica. Park.
The bad news is that Perez’s departure hasn’t exactly been an anomaly among Boston’s starting pitchers of late. The good news is that the relief corps has held up for the most part despite being pressured into service much earlier and more often than anyone would like, and Phillips Valdez was no exception at the end of the Serie.
Perez’s problem was already apparent when Valdez began to warm up, having allowed a home run to start the game, followed by a triple to open the second inning and five well-hit hits in his first time in the lineup. Perez had a chance to right his own boat, but the southpaw followed with a sacrifice fly and a pair of singles that led the Tigers to a 2-0 lead. When Perez hit Robbie Grossman on the upper arm with a leaking cutter, Cora pointed at Valdez.
“Sometimes when you have a good group like the one we have now, it’s good that it happens … [para que podamos] wake up and do what we’ve been doing at the beginning of the season, ”Pérez said. He has allowed three or more runs in each of his last five starts. “We’ll be fine”.
Valdez came in and responded with 2 2/3 perfect frames, his second longest outing of the season, to take some momentum from the hosts. As hard as the Tigers had hit Perez, the average exit velocity on batted balls in play he allowed was 96.7 mph, they couldn’t understand Valdez, who scored five ground balls, one popout and two punchouts.
If ever there was a time for the Red Sox to emerge, it was while Perez was in the pot. However, Boston’s dismal streak with runners in scoring position continued to plague the club as the Red Sox blew their best chance after placing runners at second and third with one out in fourth. Boston finished the three-game series 3 of 25 with runners in scoring position.
“We have a lot of guys fighting. However, as a group, I think it starts with our pitch selection, “said hitting coach Tim Hyers. “We are an aggressive team. We swing the bats, and I think recently, he’s caught us a bit in expanding the zone. The percentage of persecution has obviously increased; We just have to return the ball to the plate, do the at-bats, work on the count and get our pitch moving. “
In a perfect world, the Boston bullpen phone would never ring in the second inning. Cora has even said more than once that she would be happy if her headlines gave her five strong marks, but that hasn’t been the case too often lately either.
With No. 6 Boston prospect Tanner Houck set to pitch in Game 2 of Saturday’s straight doubleheader in Toronto and Chris Sale’s return imminent, it’s worth wondering if the Red Sox are looking to shake up the rotation and bounce off Perez or Garrett Richards. or both – in the bullpen. Both are career starters, with only 75 relief appearances between them in 415 career games, but neither pitcher helped much in their case in Detroit, with Richards allowing three runs in four innings during Tuesday’s opener and Perez. receiving a heavy hit and then taken out. in the second inning of the final.
Is that the shakeup Boston will need to get back on track? Cora confirmed that Richards will make his next scheduled outing Sunday and that there are no plans to change the rotation, but that Sale pitching in what should be his last rehab outing on Saturday should begin to force the problem.
“We want to shoot better, we want to play better defensively and we want to be better on offense,” Cora said. “And right now, I think, in all aspects of the game, we are struggling, so … we have to turn the page.”
Dawn Klemish / MLB.com