While the Boston Red Sox took on the Cleveland Indians on Monday afternoon, Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez took the mound for the first time in over a month. He wasn’t playing in the majors, as the lefty took the hill for the AA Portland Sea Dogs. Living roughly half an hour out of Portland, Red Sox Unfiltered took in the game action and scouted out the Eduardo Rodriguez rehab start.
Portland Sea Dogs Win in Eduardo Rodriguez Rehab Start
Obviously, all eyes were on Eduardo Rodriguez, and the lefty did not disappoint. Monday was the first time Rodriguez has appeared in a game since suffering an ankle injury in mid-July, so nobody knew what to expect from the rehabbing star.
Rodriguez performed above and beyond all expectations, throwing four shutout innings while striking out eight batters and walking just two. He only ran into trouble in the fourth inning, when a Jon Berti double set up runners at second and third with one out. Still, Eddie managed to pitch around the jam and escape scoreless. Outside of that early frame, nobody even made it into scoring position.
Rodriguez could have gone deeper into the game were it not his first rehab start. Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he only wanted Rodriguez to go four innings, and that’s exactly what he did.
Not only did Eddie’s final stat line look good, but watching him pitched showed this performance was no fluke. This wasn’t a case of inferior minor league hitters being incapable of capitalizing on Eddie’s mistakes. Rodriguez was just that dominant.
Eddie immediately showed that he hadn’t lost any zip on his fastball, hitting 94 miles per hour multiple times in the first inning and never losing velocity as he went deeper in the game. He had total command of the strike zone, especially early in the game. After two innings of work, Rodriguez had retired all six batters he faced on 22 pitches, 17 of which for strikes.
By all measures, Rodriguez looks healthy and ready to contribute to the Boston Red Sox. One rehab start should be enough, as Rodriguez demonstrated the velocity, accuracy, command, and all around skills needed to succeed in the major leagues. In short, this outing was the best possible scenario for a team entering the stretch run of the season.
Other Notable Performances
While Eduardo Rodriguez was clearly the most important storyline in the game, there were other players on the field as well. The offensive star of the game was shortstop Jeremy Rivera. Rivera finished his night going 2-3 with two walks, a double, and two runs batted in. Rivera’s double was the only extra-base hit the Sea Dogs offense could muster all game, and his four times on base was also the highest on the team.
While Rivera had a good game, top prospects Bobby Dalbec and Michael Chavis did not. The duo combined to go 1-7 with a single, a hit-by-pitch, and three strikeouts. The lone hit came in the first inning when Chavis hit an incredibly weak infield single the shortstop couldn’t handle.
Additionally, both players had a defensive blunder in the game. Dalbec, starting the game at third base, took a routine ground ball in the eighth inning. However, Dalbec sailed the throw, forcing Chavis (playing first base) of the bag.
Chavis, meanwhile, made a poor play on a pop fly in the top of the fifth. It wasn’t an easy play by any means, as Chavis had to backpedal and run towards the first base wall. However, he made it there in plenty of time, had a chance to set his feet, and should have recorded the out. Instead, Chavis misjudged the ball, diving at the last second and missing what would have been the inning-ending out.