How Red Sox Pitcher Tanner Houck Assessed First Loss Of Season

Houck now owns a 3-1 record on the season


Apr 26, 2023

Tanner Houck has been the most consistent starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in a rotation that has struggled during the first month of the season.

But even the talented right-hander took a slight step back Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

Houck couldn’t replicate his last outing, which came against the Minnesota Twins, when he dazzled by tossing a career-high seven innings and struck out seven to move to 3-0. But now Houck’s record has a blemish after the Orioles got to him for three earned runs on seven hits — a season-high for Houck — in a 6-2 loss for the Red Sox.

“Just kind of left some pitches middle,” Houck told reporters, as seen on NESN postgame coverage. “(Orioles) put some good hits out there, found some holes. That’s why you play the game of baseball. Not going to be perfect every time, but you can go out there and push yourself to be better. Like I said, left some pitches middle. But come back a few days from now and go back out there and continue to pitch.”

Houck didn’t generate a ton of swing and misses as he punched out two Orioles batters and walked two as well. Baltimore had success by using a strategy that Houck could see more often going forward. Seven hitters in the Orioles’ order batted from the left side of the plate, giving Baltimore hitters a better vantage point to pick up Houck’s three-quarter release.

Facing lefty-heavy lineups more often is something Houck knows he will need to be prepared for, but it won’t necessarily alter his approach.

“It’s one of those things where teams are going to do it, and great opportunity for me to continue to work on getting lefties out,” Houck said. “You kind of take the glass-half-full mentality with it each time you go out there and just continue to go right after hitters. Whether it’s a righty or lefty, you got to go out there, throw strike one. Struggled with that a little bit today. So, I was behind the eight ball right away. But felt like I also came back in those counts.

“It’s one of those things where you continue to work, continue to show up, go watch some video, talk with (Red Sox pitching coach Dave Bush) and just get back out there.”

Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images
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