The Boston Red Sox’s first time through the starting rotation seems more like a fever dream than it does reality.
The Sox sit at 1-4 after a dreadful 7-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Monday night at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, with David Price allowing three home runs in his first start of the season.
Price was far more effective than his fellow starters have been to start the season, but nonetheless, this has been a historically bad start for the Red Sox rotation.
Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi and Price each allowed three long balls in their first starts.
Price’s start actually was the best the Sox have gotten thus far, which says a lot about the early goings. Price was one out away from a quality start before allowing a Chad Pinder two-run homer in the sixth inning. So, there were some positives from the lefty’s start, in which he struck out nine batters. And outside of three crucial pitch mistakes, Red Sox manager Alex Cora had praise for Price.
“David was actually good. Three pitches, three homers, but I think velocity was good,” Cora said after the game, as seen on “NESN Sports Today.” “We needed six innings. I know it doesn’t look great, you know they score four, but at least he gave us a chance to reset the rotation. There’s no question marks with him as far as health and all that. It was good to see him compete the way he did.”
“Three pitches out of 90-something. He ended up striking out I think nine or ten. He was using both sides of the plate. … I do feel that he threw the ball well. Obviously the home runs hurt us, just the like the first few games here but I do feel he threw the ball well.”
The rotation turns over Tuesday with Sale taking the ball. It’s hard to imagine the second time through the rotation could go as poorly as the first, and if it does, that could spell real trouble for the defending World Series champions.
Here are some other notes from Monday’s Red Sox-A’s game:
— While the rotation has been bad, the offense provided nothing in terms of any support as Boston mustered just four hits.
Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers combined to go 0-for-11 with a walk and six strikeouts in the top three spots in the lineup.
— The Red Sox dropped their season opener last season, then went on a terrific tear, winning 17 of their next 18 games. They did not collect their fourth loss until April 22. This year’s squad managed that in five games.
Last year’s Sox lost four of five just once last season.
— The bullpen, which has been a bright spot in the early goings, took some lumps as Heath Hembree was tagged for three runs — two earned due to a Devers error — after allowing a leadoff home run to Matt Chapman in the eighth inning. He allowed four hits in the frame.
— Boston has been outscored 41-24 so far this season.
Thumbnail photo via John Hefti/USA TODAY Sports Images