Last night, the Red Sox were able to get off on the right foot to open up this home stand. Admittedly, Jake Peavy has been struggling all year, specifically on the road. The 35-year-old Alabama native was met with a thunderous ovation by the crowd for his efforts in 2013, but all smiles were gone once the top half of the first inning got underway.
Peavy was able get around some hard hit balls in the first two innings, but the scoring parade began in the third inning with a solo home run to left-center field by Brock Holt. In typical Peavy fashion, he gave up a solo shot, but left the inning without further damage. However, the fourth inning was his untimely demise, as David Ortiz hit a 442-foot mammoth three-run shot to make it a 4-0 ballgame. From there, with Rick Porcello on the mound, it was game over.
Porcello was getting hit hard in the first couple of innings, but balls were either falling harmlessly in the outfield or were right at someone for an out. After the first two or three innings, Porcello was lights out, allowing only four total hits in 6.1 innings of work. While he did only have three strikeouts and walked two, that is nitpicking. Porcello pitched a fantastic game and became only the second Red Sox pitcher this season that has pitched at least six innings without allowing a run, the other being David Price.
Slick Rick lowered his season ERA to 3.47, which is fantastic considering the year he had last season. With last night's victory, Porcello improved to 9-0 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 starts at Fenway Park.
Unfortunately, the biggest storyline of the evening, aside from it being Pet Brock Night, was the injury to Koji Uehara. To be completely honest, I was not sure why Koji was in the game with a four-run lead, considering the density of the Red Sox schedule in July, August and September. Nonetheless, Koji was able to strike out the first batter he faced, but then reached for his shoulder/pectoral. Koji was in noticeable pain and came out of the ball game quickly. It was then diagnosed that Koji had a pectoral injury and there is no timetable for his return.
If this injury is even remotely serious, the Red Sox are in some serious trouble when it comes to bullpen relief. Aside from being on their third closer (Brad Ziegler, I guess?), Craig Kimbrel, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara and Carson Smith were all supposed to be vital members of a stacked Boston bullpen, but are now currently on the disabled list. While Tazawa should be returning sooner rather than later, he has not looked good during this season and it is wildly apparent that Dave Dombrowski needs to make a move for a warm body.
Next up, Drew Pomeranz will be making his Red Sox debut at Fenway Park. Check back in for a full game preview.