Coming into last night's game, one could understand why Steven Wright was a little ticked off. Ned Yost screwed Wright out of an opportunity to pitch in the All-Star game, and we all know the reason. #KnuckleballersLivesMatter. The Red Sox were hoping that this would light a fire under Wright's ass and it did, at least for the first five innings. Wright was able to retire 15 out of the first 16 batters he faced, and lost his perfect game in the fifth inning when Alex Rodriguez hit a two-out nibbler down the third base side.
Wright struggled in the sixth inning after a long wait, courtesy of the Red Sox offense. He allowed three earned runs, but was able to get out of the inning with the lead still intact. On the day, Wright threw six innings, allowing three hits and striking out four. Because of Wright's incredibly low ERA, he actually raised it from 2.68 to 2.78 after this start. I don't want to say that Wright hasn't been good in his past four or five starts, but I think he is coming back down to earth a little bit. If he can pitch to a 3.50 ERA for the rest of the season, the Red Sox will be in good shape.
Offensively, the Red Sox were able to figure out Michael Pineda yet again. Pineda was cruising until the third inning, where he allowed catcher Ryan Hanigan's first home run of the season. Travis Shaw launched a two-run home run in the fifth inning, and Xander Bogaerts did the same in the sixth to give the Red Sox all the run support they need.
After Wright was taken out of this game, newly acquired reliever Brad Ziegler was able to retire the side on seven pitches. Robbie Ross Jr. was able to work around a wild start to the eighth inning, and Koji Uehara was able to record a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his third save since Craig Kimbrel injured his knee. The bullpen is terrifying right now, even though they were able to dominate the Yankees last night, so hopefully Dave Dombrowski makes another move or two to bring in some quality relievers.
Next up, the Red Sox and Yankees will meet again at 4:05 ET with Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound. This is a sneaky-big start for E-Rod, who has struggled mightily so far this season. Check back in for a full game preview.