Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com: (Oct. 27, 2018 – Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America)
The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-2 on a chilly Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park. It was a clean two-game sweep for Tampa Bay, which put another game of separation between them and the defending World Series champs. With the loss, Boston falls to an unsightly 11-17 on the year. They trail the Rays 7.5 games in the standings.
Honestly, there was nothing pretty about this game besides a Mookie Betts‘ bat that is ferociously coming to life and the Ice Horse (Michael Chavis). Betts demolished his 8th double of the year, while Chavis blasted his third long-ball in just 31 plate appearances.
Meanwhile, Chris Sale delivered a fairly good performance, especially relative to his recent struggles. He gave up early damage, including four runs in the first two innings. With that said, he managed to settle down and pitch an effective seven innings of two-earned run baseball. Moreover, he struck out eight and walked three.
You probably notice a discrepancy between the “four runs” and “two earned runs” in the previous paragraph. That’s because Rafael Devers committed a costly error in the second inning that would have prevented those two from scoring. It is his eighth defensive miscue of the season and, while errors are a stupid counting stat, that is gravely concerning. He continues to struggle on routine plays.
Though Michael Chavis is the best hitter in baseball, he did make a costly defensive mistake in the 9th. He overthrew Mitch Moreland at first, trying to turn an impossible double play. As a result, the Rays’ 5th run scored.
Poor defense and a lifeless offense took away a decent start from Chris Sale. The Red Sox will try to get back on track against the Oakland Athletics. The three-game series commences at 7:10 p.m. eastern at Fenway tonight. Eduardo Rodriguez will look to build from his last strong start.