The Boston Red Sox offense hasn’t exactly been lighting the world on fire in their two games since the conclusion of the All-Star break.
After scoring just one run on six hits in a win over the Tigers on Friday, the offense went scoreless on eight hits in a 5-0 loss to Detroit on Saturday.
In Saturday’s loss, the Red Sox had little trouble putting runners on base, but they struggled to advance them. As a team, Boston left 10 runners on base and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
The Red Sox’s best chance for runs came in the sixth inning with two on and two down and Boston trailing 2-0. Jackie Bradley Jr. launched a ball to deep left field that looked like it had a chance to leave the yard. But Comerica Park is notorious for being a pitcher’s ballpark, so Tigers left fielder JaCoby Jones tracked it down to end the inning.
Of course, it’s worth keeping in perspective that it’s just two games into the second half of the season, so players still are getting their timing back. As such, Sox manager Alex Cora hardly is lamenting Boston’s offensive woes these last two games.
“I mean, whatever,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “Yesterday it is what it is, but today early in the game (Tigers starter Mike Fiers) did a good job getting ahead and expanding, that’s what Mike does, up in the zone. But from the fifth to the seventh we were able to get the pitches down in the zone, put good swings on it, it just didn’t happen.
“Honestly that ball Jackie hit I thought that was way gone,” Cora added. “But where we’re playing, the wind is blowing in, it didn’t happen. But I felt the at-bats were a lot better in the second part of the game, so hopefully tomorrow our timing is back and we go and win the series.”
The Red Sox still comfortably have the most wins in Major League Baseball, and they’ve demonstrated tremendous offensive firepower plenty of times this campaign. So while their cold offense of late isn’t ideal, it hardly should be a concern at this point.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-Tigers game:
— The backend of the Red Sox rotation has had little stability this season, especially lately, but one thing that has been consistent is Brian Johnson coming through when the Red Sox call upon him.
Johnson has done a fine job filling in when needed, and with Drew Pomeranz, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez all on the disabled list, he turned in another solid performance Saturday.
The left-hander allowed two runs (neither earned) on five hits with as many strikeouts and no walks in five innings of work. In five starts for Boston this year, Johnson has compiled a 2.22 ERA, allowing six runs over 24 1/3 innings.
“He did a good job,” Cora said of Johnson’s performance against the Tigers. “Overall that’s what we ask him, for him to give us a chance to win and he did an outstanding job.”
— Mookie Betts kept the game in the balance with a stellar grab in the third inning.
With the Sox down a pair, Leonys Martin launched a ball to deep right and Betts got himself up against the wall, leaped and robbed Martin of a would-be solo shot.
“Unreal, unreal,” Cora, understandably impressed, said of the grab. “The way he slowed it down, he got to the spot and didn’t panic, it was a great play.”
Thumbnail photo via Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports Images