The Boston Red Sox dropped their second game in a row on Saturday night to a Chicago Cubs team they should’ve beaten.
Not only did the Red Sox secure a series loss after the 3-1 defeat, but they wasted Josh Winckowski’s best start to date.
Despite his memorable game, Winckowski didn’t consider his venue, Wrigley Field, to be as legendary as fans seem to think.
“A little underwhelming,” Winckowski told reporters, as transcribed by Chris Cotillo. “Fenway has a presence to it. I really didn’t get that here, to be honest. I said to my mom last night, this place is very stock standard.”
While his baseball takes might not be well received, his inability to get swept up in the moment of pitching at a historic ballpark could have aided his masterful outing.
The right-hander went six innings, allowed two runs (one earned) with six hits, a walk and six strikeouts. Only one of those six singles allowed traveled past three feet, yes, you read that right. The performance was by far his best of the season and could be the game he cemented himself as a regular in the rotation.
In his four starts filling in for Nathan Eovaldi, Winckowski has a 1.96 ERA in 22 innings. The right-hander is the only Red Sox rookie in the last 50 years to record four consecutive starts of five or more innings, two or fewer earned runs and one or zero walks according to Red Sox senior manager of media relations and baseball information J.P. Long.
Here are some more notes from Red Sox-Cubs:
— In a game where offense was seemingly impossible to come by, Rafael Devers was the first player in Major League Baseball to reach 100 hits on the season.
— Before the game, Red Sox manager Alex Cora told reporters that Garrett Whitlock will move back to the bullpen once he is healthy enough to return. He expects the 26-year-old righty to remain in his mult-inning relief role for the rest of the season.
— Rich Hill was placed on the 15-day injured list for a left knee sprain sustained in Friday’s loss to the Cubs. Phillips Valdez has taken his place on the roster for the time being.
— The Red Sox will conclude their series against the Cubs on Sunday at Wrigley Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2:20 p.m. ET following an hour of pregame coverage, and you can watch it all on NESN.