With August just days away, the Red Sox still are waiting for Eduardo Rodriguez to turn things around.
The worst season of the 28-year-old’s big league career continued Thursday, as Rodriguez surrendered six runs on seven hits and four walks in Boston’s 13-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Rodriguez struck out 8 and threw 57 of 92 pitches for strikes over 3 1/3 innings.
His ERA now stands at 5.60, by far worst of his career.
Rodriguez gave up three runs in the first inning, but his night truly unraveled in the fourth when he walked three batters, including one with the bases load.
“That last inning, that’s what we’re trying to avoid, you know? The walks,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “He’s been doing a good job throughout the season of pounding the strike zone — he had all types of walks. … He was off in that inning. … Overall, he expects better, we expect better.
“He will be better.”
Maybe he will, but thus far, Rodriguez hasn’t been good enough for a team with playoff aspirations.
Be it lingering effects of myocarditis, pressure of pitching in a contract year or just general ineffectiveness, Rodriguez has been unable to rediscover what made him one of baseball’s best pitchers in 2019.
For Rodriguez, the solution is simple.
“Throw strikes,” he told reporters. “I think that will fix everything.”
Here are some other notes from Thursday’s Red Sox-Blue Jays game:
— Bobby Dalbec made history in the eighth inning when he became the tallest player ever to play shortstop for the Red Sox. The 26-year-old is listed at 6-foot-4.
— Catcher Kevin Plawecki pitched a perfect ninth inning. He seemingly expected to be checked for a foreign substance while heading toward the dugout.
— The Red Sox announced a trade for Kyle Schwarber shortly after the completion of Thursday’s game. He had 25 homers in 72 games with the Nationals before landing on the injured list with a hamstring issue in early July.
— The Red Sox managed just six hits against the Blue Jays. Christian Vázquez was the only member of the lineup with multiple hits.
— The Tampa Bay Rays earned a 14-0 win over the New York Yankees on Thursday. The Red Sox now own a 1 1/2 game lead for first place in the American League East.