Red Sox Notes: Alex Cora Explains Decision To Pull Michael Wacha After 60 Pitches

Wacha now has a 1.28 ERA on the season


May 3

The Boston Red Sox got back on track in their first of three matchups with the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday at Fenway Park with a 4-0 win.

Michael Wacha set the tone for the six-game homestand by shutting out the Angels for 5 2/3 innings in just 60 pitches. With Wacha cruising, it was a little surprising to see manager Alex Cora come out to make the pitching change for Jake Diekman in the sixth.

“If we were to score more, he goes seven, eight, maybe gets a complete game, but where we were in the game, 2-0 (score) with that guy at the plate (Shohei Ohtani), regardless of the stuff that you have the matchup (with Diekman) is better at the end of the day and he understands that,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage.

He’s also not worried about Wacha or any of the starters being frustrated with the early hooks given the era of the baseball they are playing in, which he was asked about.

“No, not really,” Cora said. “Understanding that he’ll pitch again this weekend and after the off day, having the matchups that we like.”

Wacha has put together a phenomenal start to the season, with a 1.38 ERA through five starts.

“They came out swinging, he was pounding the strike zone with good stuff and got some quick outs,” Cora said. “We played some decent defense behind him right? Turned some double plays. For a defender, he’s kind of like a dream come true right? His pace, and throwing strikes. You got to be ready because the ball will get hit.”

Here are some more notes from Red Sox-Angels:

— J.D. Martinez takes a lot of responsibility for the Red Sox offense whether they are producing or not, similar to David Ortiz.

“He takes it very serious,” Cora said. “Sometimes he takes too much burden when the offense is not clicking because, kind of like what David (Ortiz) used to say, ‘I get paid to hit’ and if I don’t hit we don’t score, but that’s not the case.

“It takes nine guys to do everything possible to score runs. But, the fact that (Martinez) takes his craft so seriously and he’s so responsible for everything he does offensively is credited to who he is. He’s been great for us.”

— The Red Sox will attempt to start a winning streak in the second game of the series against the Angels at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET following an hour of pregame coverage, and you can watch it all on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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