But the Red Sox bullpen persevered and John Farrell managed his way through the St. Louis Cardinals lineup under National League rules until his last pinch-hitter saved the night and earned the Red Sox a 5-4 win and two-game sweep. It's an understatement to say that Sale has been carrying the Red Sox's rotation. He's batting.295 and is second on the team with 5 home runs and 22 RBIs.
After a remarkable year in 2016 where they led the league in runs with 878, 33 more than the closest team in Colorado, the Red Sox find themselves 15th in runs scored 37 games into the season.
The defense has been atrocious as the Sox rank second-to-last in the Majors in fielding percentage at.976. with 32 errors. St. Louis was charged with three errors, leading to three unearned runs, and also failed to record an out when it had a runner picked off first but he was able to slide around the tag by Aledmys Diaz at second for a stolen base.
Third base has been a black hole of ineffectiveness, made even more infuriating by the recent success of Travis Shaw (.283, 8 HR, 31 RBI, .863 OPS), whom the Red Sox traded to the Milwaukee Brewers this offseason for a relief pitcher (Tyler Thornburg) who may not even darken a pitchers mound until after the All-Star break. They'll likely need to add a fresh reliever before the series starts.
OK, big picture here, folks.
There is no denying that the Boston Red Sox season has been rather disappointing so far.
The homer also was the first run the Cardinals have allowed in the first inning in 21 home games this season. "That's kind of how things roll when you're having trouble getting on a good roll".
Any guesses who those belong to? Mookie Betts, the reigning American League player of the week, deposited the third pitch of the game into the left-center field bleachers. Already this season, Betts is hitting.296 with a.526 SLG and a.901 OPS. He allowed two runs and nine hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings, lifting his season ERA to 3.53. He ended up smacking 30 for the year and tends to hit some truly majestic shots.
TWEET OF THE NIGHTDon't worry, Pablo Sandoval should be back soon.
There are only three hitters on the Red Sox who have eight or more at-bats against Leake.
- Fernando Abad got the ball in the 11th and pitched two scoreless innings.
Cardinals: After an off day, RHP Michael Wacha (2-1, 3.19 ERA) opens a three-game series Friday against visiting San Francisco. You're still going to have days when it doesn't all come together.
Seriously, you try to hit Craig Kimbrel.
Nielsen was 9-6 with a 2.59 ERA for Palm Beach in 2015 and 9-8 with a 3.75 ERA and two complete games in Springfield last season.
He has been out since April 20 and was expected to make his return by the end of the week.
Bradley had two of Boston's six hits, and starter Eduardo Rodriguez (2-1) allowed three runs and five hits over six innings.
St. Louis Cardinals Tommy Pham can't handle a flyball off the bat of Boston Red Sox's Jackie Bradley. Unless of course they do it sooner.