After a tough couple of days, the Red Sox were relying on David Price to stop the bleeding with a good performance against one of the best teams in all of baseball. Prior to this game, the Texas Rangers had won eight of their last nine and possessed the best record, at 47-26, in the American League. In my opinion, an ace should be able to right the ship when everything is going wrong and get you back onto a winning track of baseball. Well, he sure as hell did not do that last night.
David Price was only able to last 2.1 innings before being pulled from this ballgame, relinquishing 12 hits and six earned runs in one of the shortest outings of his career. Moving forward, this start should not overshadow what Price has been able to accomplish in the past month or so. He had eight quality starts and a sub-2.50 ERA. However, Price needs to win games like this. If he continues to struggle in big games, which has been a problem for him his entire career, then the Red Sox need to be in the market for an actual ace.
In something that may be overshadowed in this win is the performance of the bullpen. After Price came out of the game, Matt Barnes was pushed into a difficult situation, and only gave up one earned run and four hits in 2.2 innings of work. From there, the bullpen was lights out, throwing 6.2 total innings, while only allowing the run relinquished by Matt Barnes. In total, the bullpen struck out 10 batters and allowed four hits, all of which were relinquished by Matt Barnes as well. Unfortunately, moving forward, even manager John Farrell acknowledged that the Red Sox will more than likely need to make a move for some bullpen relief sooner rather than later.
Offensively, the Red Sox were clicking, per usual. The offensive parade started in the fourth inning with a Hanley Ramirez two-run home run to straight away center field. If Hanley Ramirez is able to produce like this for any extended amount of time, he will be invaluable to this Red Sox team. The home run parade continued in the sixth inning, when Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run home run into the second deck in right field.
Then things got interesting. Sandy Leon pinch hit for Christian Vazquez in the top of the ninth and put together one of the best at-bats of the season. Leon was able to double off of Matt Bush, who has been one of the better relievers all season and raise his average to .545 on the season. Mookie Betts then strutted to the plate, and launched a massive, no doubt, two-run home run into left-center field to tie the ballgame. From there, Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts were able to get on base, and Pedroia was able to score on a wild pitch with David Ortiz up to bat.
After a rough couple of outings and really the season as a whole, Koji Uehara came into the ballgame, looking for his first save of the season. Well, in vintage 2013 Koji fashion, he struck out the side and the Red Sox were able to secure arguably their best win of the season.
Next up, the true ace takes the mound tomorrow night at 9:20, as Steven Wright will look to win the series for the Red Sox. Check back in for a full game preview.