The biggest take away from today's game would have to be that the Sox desperately need got to get healthy. The flu bug has plagued this team since the days of Spring Training. Hopefully Chris Sale stays far, far away from anyone who even has a cough. Even Dave O'Brien, the Red Sox play-by-play announcer on NESN, has caught the flu. Mookie Betts flew up from Nashville just in time to not be able to pinch hit today, per Farrell. Mookie Betts is back in the lineup for today's game.
E-Rod started the game, and at first I was optimistic. He ended up giving up 4 runs. (all of them earned) He gave up two of those runs via long ball. The biggest shock was the homer he gave up to Jose Iglesias. Iglesias is a great defender, but it is rare for him to hit the long ball. (4 last year) He has already hit 25% of his home runs from last season. I think that E-Rod was doing much better as far as the pitch tipping issue from last season goes. I think the only thing E-Rod is lacking is the most important thing for him, confidence. If he isn't confident in himself then his struggles will continue. Lets be honest, though; 4 runs today wasn't terrible, a fully healthy Sox lineup would be able to overcome that deficit fairly easily. I think E-Rod will only get better from here, and as long as he can keep balls in the park, then he gives the Sox a great chance at winning.
My favorite take away from yesterday's game is Ben Taylor. He will not overpower you with his fastball, however his fastball is dominant. He gets strike outs left and right. His velocity lacks, but his fastball has that late movement on it. If not for the movement of his fastball he would be serving up BP, meat fastballs. I like Ben Taylor a whole lot, especially as a mid-reliever while awaiting the return of some members of the bullpen. Hopefully Ben Taylor stays as productive as he has been, and continues to give the Red Sox some form of consistency out of the pen.
The Sox have got to stop stranding players. Benintendi was batting with the bases loaded, with a chance to take the lead and give E-Rod some room to breathe. He ended up grounding into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play. I'm not trying to pick on Benny, it was a hard hit ground ball, that's just the one that stands out the most to me. There is also reports coming out as I type this that Benintendi was vomiting during the sixth inning, and going by the track record of this flu it may have got him. I applaud Benny for playing through whatever was ailing him and finishing the game. The kid is a trooper. Like Betts, Benintendi is in the lineup for today's game.
JBJ looked to injure his leg in the ninth. He may have just stubbed his toe. Hopefully he will be back soon as the Sox can't afford to have him out for a lengthy period of time. It just seems like the bad luck train of the Sox keeps rolling right on schedule. If this team is fully healthy, I think they would be 4-0, and not 2-2. It may be June before we get a glimpse of what a healthy Red Sox lineup/ pitching staff could and would do. JBJ is scheduled to have a MRI today on his injured knee. On the bright side the catching situation seems to be pretty good defensively at least. Both Vaz, and Leon can toss the ball and throw out the best of them. Vazquez threw out Upton even with an awesome jump on him. He hit a double and ended up 1-1.
Sure, the Sox have some things they're battling right now, whether it be the flu, or family tragedies the Sox just can't seem to put their full lineup out on the field. Chris Sale is pitching Monday. (knock on wood, that the flu misses him) Hopefully the Sox can rebound in a huge way with their two best toeing the rubber in Porcello today and Sale Monday. Hopefully things start coming up for the Red Sox.