The Boston Red Sox dropped their series opener to the Cleveland Guardians on Friday night, falling behind early and failing to capitalize on golden opportunities.
You might be familiar with that script, as it is one the Red Sox have followed often this season.
The latest pitcher to dig Boston into a hole was Nick Pivetta, who gave up four earned runs on five hits across five innings pitched. It was far from a perfromance that the Red Sox couldn’t dig themselves out from, but it was also less than ideal.
“He wasn’t able to finish hitters,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said of Pivetta, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “It started with (Steven) Kwan, the first hitter, he connected on a 3-2 breaking ball and got a hit. (Jose) Ramirez put (together) a great at-bat, like 12 pitches, got the base hit. Then the 2-0 fastball to (Josh) Bell, he hits it off the wall. Then (Myles) Straw, same thing.
“They chased around the zone. I think they chased his fastball like 70% of the time, but they put the ball in play with two strikes. There’s not too many strikeouts, and I think he wasn’t able to land his breaking ball early in the count and they kept hunting up and fouling off pitches and getting hits.”
Here are some more notes from Red Sox-Guardians on Friday:
— Nick Pivetta’s start pushed the Red Sox’s team ERA among starters to an abysmal 6.44, the second worst mark in the majors, according to Christopher Smith of MassLive. Boston’s team ERA in the first inning is an even 9.00 after the righty allowed two runs in the first inning, which is also the second worst mark in the majors.
Cora spoke about Pivetta’s first-inning struggles postgame.
“They were getting deep into counts right away,” Cora said. “… I don’t know about other games, but in this one two at-bats put him in a tough spot.”
— Boston belted five doubles in the loss, all coming with less than two outs. None of those runners came around to score as the Red Sox finished 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position in a 5-2 loss.
— The Red Sox and Guardians will play the middle game of their three-game set at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. ET following an hour of pregame coverage on NESN.