By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
By the time the Boston Red Sox entered their dugout for the bottom of the fourth inning in Monday’s head-to-head with the visiting New York Mets, they were already in an 0-7 hole.
In a night that almost seemed doomed from the start, Monday’s opener, Josh Osich, was whacked for two runs in what was the first start of his 217-game career. Then Jeffrey Springs’ relief effort saw him surrender more earned runs (five) than record outs (four) before Heath Hembree was summoned to clean up his mess and record the final two outs of the inning.
This, of course, just one day after Ryan Weber surrendered six runs in just 3.2 innings of work in Sunday’s defeat, and after Martin Perez allowed five runs (four of which were earned) and six innings in five innings of work in a Saturday loss.
An even bigger mess.
The various metrics — saber, vanity, or perhaps even the Canadian indie band — will confirm that that’s no recipe for success in the bigs. Not in a 162-game or 60-game season. And Boston’s skipper knows it.
“You know you have a good offense but when you get down soon, early, every game, it’s hard to bounce back,” Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said after the loss. “We still did some good things offensively, but it’s hard when you get down right away.”
And for the Red Sox, who have been around for about a billion years, this lack of quality pitching is downright historic.
Down by seven through three and a half, the Red Sox would battle back somewhat with homers from Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts, and with all four of Boston’s runs coming off their bats. Andrew Benintendi, meanwhile, finally got on the board with his first hit of the season in a 1-for-4 night at the plate, bringing his season average up to .071.
But their efforts ultimately fell short with the Mets’ Seth Lugo recording the final four outs of the ballgame.
And the team’s nightmarish pitching is and will remain the story.
Through the first four games of the 2020 season, the Red Sox have allowed 22 runs (fourth-most in the MLB), 37 hits (second-most in baseball), and their staff’s 5.50 ERA currently ranks as seventh-worst in the league.
If you’re looking for a positive on the mound though, it certainly came with Zack Godley, who tossed four innings of strong work out of the bullpen, with four hits and seven of his 12 outs coming by way of the strikeout.
With a performance like that, Godley has by all means solidified his spot as Boston’s second-best pitcher available behind Nathan Eovaldi. Also: He loves to grunt on every pitch, if you’re into that sort of thing. Whatever. Maybe it’ll distract you from the general awfulness of everything. Small victories, man.
The Red Sox will turn to Matt Hall, a lefty who has never made an MLB start and has a 9.48 ERA in 31.1 innings of work over 21 career appearances, to stop the bleeding on Tuesday.