In Tampa Bay's previous 11 games, they were, well, awful. They had a 0-11 record, a .222 average, were averaging 2.6 runs per game, 7.4 hits per game, and 2.5 extra base hits per game. What is the perfect remedy for an ailing offense? Well, Eduardo Rodriguez, of course! First and foremost, the Rays were able to win the game, which the most important stat. Additionally, they had a team batting average of .450, recorded 13 runs on 18 hits, seven of which were extra base hits.
Now, lets get to Eduardo Rodriguez's start. Right from the get-go, you could tell that E-Rod did not have his stuff last night. Because Rodriguez really only throws two pitches (Fastball and Change Up), and he has been known to tip his pitches, hitters can sit on E-Rod's fastball, which is exactly what they did last night. Rodriguez relinquished five runs in the first inning, and had terrible body language throughout his short outing. At one point, pitching coach Carl Willis visited the mound to try and calm E-Rod down, but Dustin Pedroia was the one barking in Rodriguez's ear, probably about his demeanor on the mound. After the game, the Red Sox held a players-only meeting, and it seems as if Dustin Pedroia and David Price came out as the leaders in the conversations.
Anyways, after Rodriguez was taken out, the bullpen did not do much better. In 5.1 innings, the bullpen surrendered four runs on seven hits. John Farrell again decided to strut Craig Kimbrel out there in a non-save situation and, to everyone's surprise, he gave up a run! I get using your closer to keep a game relatively close, but the Red Sox were never down by less than 87 runs last night. Why throw Kimbrel out there when he has been overused all season? John Farrell's seat may start to get hotter, as the Red Sox are in complete free-fall right now. If you can't beat the worst team in the American League, how do you expect to win in October?
After the game, Eduardo Rodriguez was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, according to Red Sox President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski. The Red Sox have not made a corresponding move so far, but expect to see a pitcher come up to help this ailing staff.
The Red Sox were able to put up seven runs, but that is not the story, nor should it be. We all know that this offense can put up runs, but we again saw the putridness of this Red Sox pitching staff. Major changes need to happen sooner, rather than later, or this season will be lost and John Henry will have a major issue on his hands: losing the fanbase after a third straight meaningless season.