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Friday, May 29, 2015

Finally, A Reason To Watch the Red Sox This Season (Well At Least Every 5th Game)

Hey gang, remember the Red Sox? They had a nice run for a while, huh? What ever happened to them? Oh that's right, they are headed on a course straight for their third last-place finish in the last four seasons. That is until tonight when rookie lefthander Eduardo Rodriguez proved to be something of a revelation in his MLB debut. The former Oriole (obtained in the Andrew Miller trade last season) and highly touted prospect went 7.2 scoreless innings, allowing only three hits with seven strikeouts and two walks as Boston (22-26 overall, 12-14 away) won the series opener 5-1 over Texas (23-25 overall, 6-14 home) at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Obviously one starting pitcher in baseball can't make that much of a difference on a bad team but at least this gives us a reason to watch again (when he's on the hill). The reason I hadn't written about the Red Sox in weeks is that just like last year, not only are they terrible but they are also boring which is a deadly combination for an MLB team. I don't know about you but I'd like to have something to watch this summer when there is literally nothing else going on in the sports universe. That's where you come in, Red Sox.

Maybe this will be the high point of Rodriguez's career; at least we saw that he has this type of ability against a quality lineup. The same can't be said for the rest of Boston's sorry rotation. The plan before his gem was to send him back to Pawtucket but there is no chance that will happen. The immortal Nick Martinez (4-1) held the Red Sox in check until the fifth when Mookie Betts (3 for 5, triple) drove in Blake Swihart (2 for 4, run) with an RBI single.

Hanley Ramirez hit his first home run of May (his first in 85 at bats), a solo shot to left center in the sixth for a 2-0 Red Sox advantage. Martinez (7 innings, 2 earned runs, 9 hits, 5 strikeouts, 2 walks) would fit in well on the Red Sox since he pitched really well but his offense let him down to say the least. Boston got three more insurance runs in the eighth on a gift two-run single for Swihart that was misplayed by Texas second baseman Adam Rosales. Boston's final run came from an infield single by Rusney Castillo that scored the newest member of the team-outfielder Carlos Peguero.

The Rangers' lone run came in the ninth on an RBI single by Josh Hamilton (2 for 4, double) who was playing his first game back in Texas after being reacquired from the Angels. It'll be interesting to see how Rodriguez fares in his second start and so on. Now MLB teams will have more tape on him so he won't be such a mystery. Dustin Pedroia has been batting leadoff lately for Boston and it seems to be working, he was 3 for 5 this evening. Xander Bogaerts got hit on the left forearm with a pitch in the fourth inning and had to leave but his injury was termed a "forearm contusion" which doesn't sound too serious.

Steven Wright (2-1) faces Yovani Gallardo (4-6) tomorrow night (8:05, NESN) in the second game of a four-game set.

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