That’s what I get for being overly positive in my previous recap.
The Sox came into this shortened series against the Nats on quite the roll, having won 6 of their last 7. In those 6 games, they found quite a few different ways to win games. In this 2 game series, they found a bunch of ways to lose them, unfortunately aided and abetted by their coach. God, the only thing dumber than sac bunts in baseball are the “unwritten rules.” To the bullets.
NUMBERS DON’T LIE
– As I mentioned above, the Sox created ways to lose these two games. In the first, it was a complete and utter meltdown by Reynaldo Lopez. He was staked to a 5-0 lead by some nifty hitting in the first two innings, not the least of which was Yoan’s 11th dinger of the year which was an absolute BOMB. In addition to that it was some timely hitting by (who else) James McCann and surprisingly Eloy, who worked the count in his favor by laying off some curveballs just off the outside of the plate forcing Strasburg to come inside with a fastball. He laced it into the outfield for a run scoring single. I’d like to see a lot more of this from him, it gives me hope.
-Sadly, the first 2 innings were the only ones that featured any offense from the Sox as 6 of their 8 hits were contained within. After that it was a parade of soft contact against a tired Strasburg and the Nats dumpster fire of a bullpen. They didn’t even really threaten again until the 9th, but that fizzled out quickly with Abreu popping out in the infield.
– Reynaldo Lopez just didn’t have it tonight. Even though he got through the first 2 innings unscathed he threw a ton of pitches, and the cracks burst open the next 3. Nothing he threw around the edges of the plate was close enough for a strike call, and the fastballs he did throw well caught way too much of the plate, as evidenced by the fact that Rendon positively ate his lunch with 5 RBIs off a double and a dinger. This is 2 shitty starts in a row for Rey, both featuring him not being able to command his fastball with any degree.
– The 2nd game was a literal comedy of errors, as the Sox committed blunder after blunder in the field, most of which resulted in runs. Dylan Covey didn’t pitch too poorly and deserved better than what his D gave him. Yolmer made an error cutting in front of Tim Anderson, then Tim responded by dropping a pop fly in the infield. The Sox looked like they wanted nothing more than to leave DC as fast as they could, and Renteria helped them along as best he could.
-Jose Abreu and Wellington Castillo tied the game for the Sox in the top of the 8th with a pair of home runs, which held up until the top of the 9th. Timmy led off with a single, which brought Ryan Cordell to the plate. Renteria promptly had him lay down a bunt to try and move Tim into scoring position. Naturally it was a terrible bunt that ALMOST turned into a double play, but Cordell barely beat the throw to first. Rondon laced a single that Robles had trouble with and would’ve resulted in Timmy most likely being on 3rd with 1 out, but instead it was 1st and 2nd. Ended up being a moot point since All Around Good Guy Sean Doolittle struck out both Leury Garcia and Yoan to end the inning.
– Not to be outdone by his previous Galaxy Brained decisions, Renteria brought Colome in even though it was a non-save situation. He proceeded to throw 7 straight balls, then gave up a walk off home run to Turner, bringing this short but brutal series to an end.
– The Sox now sit 3 games below .500, and need a sweep against the Royals to get back to where they should be. So I’m guessing they’ll lose 2 of 3. Fuck.