Red Sox Notes: Alex Cora Optimistic Offense Can Find Its Groove

Boston will look to rebound on Saturday


May 7, 2022

The Red Sox and their bats remained silent on Friday night as Boston only managed two runs against the Chicago White Sox in a 4-2 loss at Fenway Park.

Jackie Bradley Jr. nearly got the Red Sox offense to jumpstart after an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning to cut the White Sox lead to 3-1. However, there was no momentum built after, as Boston lost their third straight on Friday night.

“It’s right there. It’s right in front of you, but you have to forget about that number, the number of wins and losses,” Cora said, per team-provided audio. “You can control what you can control right now, and I think you have to detach yourself from the result or whatever is going on outside our world and win ballgames. That’s the bottom line. We know we are better team.

“We are better than this, but right now, we’re not putting games together. It’s not that we play bad. We didn’t swing the bats. We played good defense. We made a baserunning mistake. It’s not a full game. And when you do that, you start winning consistently, and we got to keep getting better. It’s a baseball team that has to keep working to get better, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

A potential comeback presented itself in the bottom of the eighth inning after a Jarren Duran triple. Second baseman Trevor Story brought Duran home to cut the deficit to two runs, but once again, the Red Sox could not capitalize.

“We didn’t do much. We got ahead in the count at certain times,” Cora said. “We were too aggressive. We gotta slow down the game, regardless of how we’re doing. If we’re doing well or we’re struggling at the end, you have to slow down the game. We got out of the plan, and we were too aggressive and we chased pitches. Just another night. Right now, we’re grinding. We’re struggling, just to be honest. We gotta keep trying to get better.”

Here are more notes from Red Sox-White Sox

— The Red Sox offense only managed six hits on Friday night. Starter Vince Velasquez and the White Sox bullpen did their part in shutting down Boston’s offense.

“There’s a lot of people frustrated. It’s normal,” Cora said. “It’s a group that is used to hitting, and so far, we haven’t done it, and it’s not a lack of work. Maybe it’s the other way around? Like I said, we have to be able to slow it down. You got to slow down the game in certain situations and keep looking for pitches where you can handle them and put good swings on it. The results, it is what it is, you’re gonna hit the ball hard and right at people. It’s part of it. You can’t control that but just keep doing what we preach, what we want, and they know it. They’ve done it before, but as a group, we have to be able to slow down the game.”

— Story was the subject of boos from the Boston faithful on Thursday. Cora and J.D. Martinez defended Story and chalked it up to Los Angels Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani’s skill that dominated the day. Story batted 1-for-4 on Friday and collected an RBI.

“A lot of what happened yesterday had to do with the guy on the mound,” Cora said. “He keeps working on his thing, and he put a good swing early on, put the ball in play later on. This hitting thing, it’s always a work in progress. You can feel great and you still have to keep grinding and keeping your swing, and when you don’t feel right, you gotta grind to find your swing. He works hard. He keeps working his craft, and he’s going to be okay.”

— Nathan Eovaldi got the start on Friday. The right-hander gave up a two-run home run in the top of the third inning but struck out four batters through five innings.

“I feel like it was kind of the command of everything,” Eovaldi said, per team-provided audio. “I felt it sink right after that first hit. I felt like I was rushing down the mound. I wasn’t able to execute my pitches the way I normally do. I felt like they came out aggressive swinging early, and then when I needed to make the good pitches, felt like they were aggressive early in the count, and then when they were 0-2, they were more selective and batted some good pitches. But I think a little little bit of it is me rushing down the mound, so it’s not as effective and crisp as it normally is.

“I gave up a lot more hits on my curveball than I usually do, and I think it’s just I’m leaving it up in the zone, and I’m battling out there. I’m working deep counts, and I feel like I’m icing the guys out there too, as opposed to getting the quick outs, getting guys in the inning. We’ve been grinding. They’ve been doing a great job with their at-bats at the plate, and today was just one of those things where I wasn’t crisp and I wasn’t getting the quick outs that we needed. By the, I feel like, the fourth and fifth inning, when I did have the quick outs, our bats got better. We just started having more runners on base. We were a little bit more efficient out there. We were in the game all the way to the very end. We were threatening them, and we didn’t come out on top.”

00 The Red Sox will hope to take the second game of the series on Saturday at Fenway Park. The game will be broadcast on NESN with pregame coverage starting at 3 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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