Series Recap - Red Sox @ Rays
Disgusting series. We had so much momentum going into this 4-game set and blew it all. Can't have that when every fucking team in the division is above .500 and each has a legitimate shot at the Wild Card. Absolute horseshit effort when it matters most.
Very few positives came out of this series. One of the positives though was the return of Chris Sale. He looked fucking mint. Slider was absolutely filthy, changeup was working, and the fastball was pushing 97. We're gonna need that in the Bronx and after the All Star Break.
I love that Devers owns aces. Every time an ace is out there you can bet on Devers having at least one EBH.
Xander finally came up in some big moments in the finale. It seemed like he would go missing in those moments for a bit, but he did everything he could to avoid getting swept
Kutter Crawford looked awesome. Cora tried to stretch him out into the seventh, and obviously that came back to bite him in the ass, but prior to that he looked fantastic.
It looks like Bello still has a lot to work out. His stuff is most certainly there, and he's close, but he isn't ready. There is a lot of inconsistency, and he was forcing some pitches that were hurting him. He was able to power his way out of jams when he was in the minors, but you can't do that in the MLB, and especially against a team like the Rays. He needs to gain control of that changeup in the minors, then he will be ready to make a difference for the Red Sox:
Winck shows these spurts of looking like a legitimate major league weapon on the mound, but, like Bello, it's too inconsistent for now. Realistically, he did enough to put us in a position to be able to win, but I really can't call him "good" as of now.
JD needs to figure out their power. He's been a non-factor for quite some time now, and his bat going missing in the middle of the lineup is really not what we need right now.
If you watched that series, odds are you were disgusted with the defense. Over the last 2 series, it has been the worst I've ever seen in my 25 years as a Red Sox fan. AC and Bogaerts pushed back on questions of effort, but there really isn't any other explanation in my mind. It's mental laziness. This is a big push for this team, but guys are beaten up and just kind of checked out heading into the All Star Break. It looks like senior spring out there. First Strahm inexplicably hit the circle button and tried to do a spin move before throwing to first, chucking the ball away, then Franchy for some fucking reason throwing the ball at the dirt in front of Vazquez while he's trying to call time. That play alone lost the Red Sox a game in the standings. Then Wednesday, Refsnyder allowed Lowe to go first to home on a bloop single because he was lazy getting the ball in. All things that make the fans scream "get your head out of your ass". Ugly effort, and truly embarrassing to watch.
Not even on the defense, but more mental laziness, Verdugo getting picked off at third with another runner on first and no out was brutal. We needed him to score to get the momentum back on our side after Brasier and Strahm handed the game back to the Rays and that happened. Can't have it. I know AC took the heat for it, but I don't quite understand how that's his fault. I think that's just a good manager trying to protect his guys.
This list (provided by @redsoxstats on twitter) that shows shutdowns to meltdowns. Any vet with a number below a 1 ratio can get the fuck out of here (looking at you Diekman):