Ron Roenicke put it simply two nights ago: Things are not going well for the Boston Red Sox.
That trend unfortunately continued Saturday night as the Red Sox watched their ace allow eight runs on nine hits as Boston fell for the fifth consecutive game in a 11-5 loss to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
So, with the Red Sox falling to 6-15 on the season, Roenicke was asked postgame if he could envision a member of the club opting out of the 2020 season as concerns of COVID-19 continue to run through Major League Baseball.
“Yeah, I don’t see that happening. I hope it doesn’t,” Roenicke told reporters on a video conference after the loss. “If that happened, I’d feel worse probably than what’s going on. I think it’s important, for one thing, for us to get through this, obviously. But I also think it’s important for these guys with the challenges they’re facing to figure it out, it’s not always going to be easy. And some of these guys have been so successful, and now they’re struggling, that sometimes a little setback and a little challenge is what they may need in five years or wherever that turns up.
“So, I think in the long run we all get through this. If they can get back and start producing, the way they would like to I’m hoping in the long run that these changeless will make these guys a lot stronger.”
It’s certainly that positive attitude that continues to be all the more needed in the Boston dugout.
Here are some other notes from Saturday’s contest:
— Roenicke held a meeting with the pitching staff before Saturday’s loss as a way to try and galvanize the unit.
“Yeah, it’s certainly more difficult. I had a conversation with them today, just gathered them together and tried to ease some of the, I guess, I don’t know if you call it stress or what you call it, but just tried to ease their minds a little bit, and tried to free them up and to not pressing and just being themselves and making pitches.
“It’s no different here than in the minor leagues, or through our taxi squad. When you make quality pitches you get people out. So, it’s just trying to repeat those pitches. Anyway, it’s just tough when you send Nate out there and he gets hit. It’s hard.”
While it didn’t exactly prove to coincide with success Saturday, hopefully it will help the crew moving forward.
— Roenicke explained how with Boston’s current situation the Red Sox “probably unfairly” put a lot of pressure on ace Nathan Eovaldi to earn them wins every time he’s on the mound. Eovaldi, unfortunately, wasn’t able to deliver for the Red Sox on Saturday, which he admitted was “frustrating.”
“I try to treat every start, I’m going out there an I’m not trying to give up any runs. Ever,” Eovaldi told reporters after the game. “So, it’s been frustrating in a way. You go out there and be able to go out there and give the team the best chance to win, and I feel like I haven’t don that the last couple starts. It’s frustrating.”
— J.D. Martinez recorded his fifth multi-hit game of the season Saturday night, but noted his recent struggles (nine games without a hit) have been more physical than mental.
“I’m terrible,” Martinez told reporters postgame. “Yeah, if we want to get more technical, my hips are sliding. I’m drifting up hill. I can’t stay on my backside so I loop the barrel. I have to make decisions further out front.
“… The brain does what it’s supposed to do. When everything lines up then you see the ball and you hit it.”
The Red Sox will return to Yankee Stadium on Sunday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET.