The top of the Boston Red Sox’s postseason rotation is pretty obvious, with left-handers Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz going first and second, respectively. But the No. 3 spot appears up for grabs.
But with his performance Saturday afternoon, fellow southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez made a pretty impressive case for being that guy come October.
Rodriguez pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Boston’s 5-0 win, and he only allowed three hits while walking two and striking out six at Great American Ball Park.
He’s also been solid in each of his four September starts, as he’s gone 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA. And it’s a pretty remarkable turn of events considering he went from the end of May until his Sept. 12 start against the Oakland Athletics without recording a win thanks to injuries and performance.
However, Doug Fister and Rick Porcello also are candidates for starting roles, and both of them are righties unlike Rodriguez. Fister appeared to be a leading candidate for the role, but he’s turned in two straight clunkers down the stretch. Porcello, meanwhile, has 17 losses and has allowed 36 home runs one year removed from winning the American League Cy Young Award.
There’s still a week left in the season, though, so each pitcher likely will have another chance to state their case.
Let’s take a look at a few more notes from Red Sox-Reds:
— The latest news on Eduardo Nunez seems promising for the Red Sox.
The infielder, who’s been out with a knee injury since Sept. 9, will run the bases Sunday, and he went through some drills before Saturday’s game, too.
“He came out and he hit early, took his ground balls,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said, via MassLive.com. “He did some straight ahead running or some jogging. But as we’ve said all along, the base running is the marker we’re hopeful to get past and we’re on tap for that being tomorrow.”
— Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts both started Saturday’s games on the bench due to injury concerns.
Pedroia got an unplanned day off due to lingering issues with his left knee, although it doesn’t sound too serious this time.
“He was grinding a little bit last night with the knee so after talking with him after the game, checking in with him here this morning, I would expect him to be back in the lineup (tomorrow) but today is a treatment day for him,” Farrell said, per MassLive.
Betts, meanwhile, was scratched due to a left foot injury he sustained when he fouled a ball off himself Friday.
“He was hindered by it last night in the second half of that game,” Farrell said, via MassLive. “Woke up a little bit more sore. Went through treatment. … But felt it was best to give him a day to fully recover and get some additional treatment.
“… We would certainly go to that step if there was not improvement within the 24 hours or so when we get back to Boston or even tomorrow,” Farrell said. “But right now he’s available to pinch hit and would use him in that capacity today.”
— The Reds honored Bronson Arroyo before Saturday’s game, and Boston was involved in the festivities for the member of the 2004 World Series-winning Sox.
— Despite some recent down years, the Red Sox have been a 90-win team more often than not over the past 20 years.
— Farrell and his son, Reds reliever Luke Farrell, made Major League Baseball history.
— It’s technically fall, but it didn’t feel like it at Great American Ball Park.
Thumbnail photo via David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports Images