The Red Sox were rampant last night in all facets of the game. They racked up 10 hits on an over-matched Tigers staff. JD Martinez went deep in the first inning to score two runs, and Xander Bogaerts hammered one deep in the fifth as well. In between that Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez batted runners home as Steven Wright pitched brilliantly. He went seven innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six, before handing the ball to the bullpen to bring home.
For Detroit little went right. Nick Castellanos picked up two of their three hits, including a double. Dixon Machado was the only other one to get a hit as the veterans in the lineup struggled.
Blaine Hardy (LHP) Vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP)
Hardy is making just his fifth start of the season, as he’s moved between the rotation and the bullpen. As a starter he has a healthy 2.82 ERA and has struck out 17 in 22.1 innings.
That small sample is remarkably better than the rest of his career in the bullpen, which means either the Tigers have struck gold by moving him into the rotation, or there is a massive regression coming soon.
Speaking off regression, one for Eduardo Rodriguez may be coming too. At 25 years old the Red Sox pitcher is having a career year. He sliced nearly a run off his ERA in May, bringing it down to 3.88, nearly a career best. His WHIP is at a new low as well (1.21) and his K/9 is at a career high (10.7 K/9). All of this is great for Red Sox fans, and given his age Rodriguez could well be establishing a new norm this season, but there is also the threat that his recent production is just a house of cards and could come crashing down.
|Tigers Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Red Sox Lineup||Home Runs||Batting Average||On-Base Percentage|
|Bradley Jr, CF||2||.200||.294|
Who’s hot, and who’s not
Nick Castellanos has been on fire for the Tigers of late. He is hitting .391 over the last two weeks, with a homer, seven RBI, and seven runs scored. Victor Martinez is the only other regular hitter that is over .300 in the last two weeks. The power in the lineup as come from Jeimer Candelario. The third baseman has four homers in the same time span. Meanwhile, the likes of JaCoby Jones, Dixon Machado, and James McCann have all been disappointing of late and hampered the production at the bottom of the lineup.
The Red Sox are still without Mookie Betts, but the lineup is still ticking along. Eduardo Nunez has come alive at the plate of late, with a .349 average over the last two weeks. The power has come from across the lineup, with JD Martinez blasting five homers in that span while Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland have four and Xander Bogaerts has three. On the other side, Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez have been ice cold of late, both are hitting under .200 in the last two weeks.
The Red Sox lineup is one of the best in the Majors, even without Betts. JD Martinez is hitting at and MVP level this season, and Xander Bogaerts isn’t that far off either. The pitching matchup is interesting but I have more faith in Rodriguez to maintain his level of performance than I do in Hardy. The Red Sox are in great form this season, and while the Tigers are more competitive than many thought they would be this year, it is very hard to pick them to win here. I’ll take the Red Sox by two.
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