Mitch's Sports Report: Ugly Unis, Uglier Weekend For Red Sox After Getting Swept By Rays
I blame the nickname unis.
The Boston Red Sox went into the Trop to face the Tampa Bay Rays on a weekend when Major League Baseball trots out hideous neon-bright uniforms for each team with players' nicknames on the back, which I guess is supposed to be cute, but strikes me as more annoying then anything else.
I recall last season that the Red Sox did not play well wearing those gimmick jerseys, in fact they lost all three games with them on, and they sure didn't this time around either, losing three more games against the Rays, including a 9-1 drubbing yesterday.
It's the first time all season the Red Sox have been swept in a series, and while they were losing three in a row the NY Yankees were getting the equivalent of a free pass by playing four against the already-mentally-on-the-golf-course Baltimore Orioles, and the Red Sox once cushy lead for first place in the American League east, a gaudy 10 and a half games just a couple of weeks ago, is now down to a very shaky six, and there are still six games left to play against the Yankees this season.
There was no need for Tampa to use their novel approach of sending out a bunch of relievers against the Red Sox yesterday. They had their one ace, Blake Snell, on the mound, and he toyed with the vaunted Boston line-up, giving up just two hits over six innings of work, and have now won eight in a row, thriving even with the ridiculous uniforms, perhaps not surprising given that they play in an equally ludicrous dome with speakers and catwalks all in play should a ball clang into them during the game.
Meanwhile, the former Tampa pitcher the Red Sox traded for at the deadline, Nathan Eovaldi, has not built on the early promise he showed in winning his first two games with Boston. He's 2-2 in a Sox uniform now, and got roughed up for six runs, five earned in yesterday's loss and when Eduardo Rodriguez gets off the disabled list, may find himself in the bullpen, which was not the scenario the team envisioned when they swapped for him.
The Sox get a day off today to lick their wounds, having lost six of their last eight, which is by far the worst dip of their otherwise stellar season so far, before welcoming the Miami Marlins to Fenway park tomorrow night.
The Yankees, meanwhile, ended their four game feast of the Orioles with a 5-3 win yesterday, win number 17 on the season for their ace Luis Severino, backed by a 3 for 3 day at the plate and a two-run homer from Luke Voit. It doesn't get a whole lot tougher for the Yankees, who welcome the 51-79 Chicago White Sox to the Stadium tonight.
The Washington Nationals had been shut out for three games in a row but broke out of their scoreless drought by over-compensating against the NY Mets in a 15-0 blow out at Citi Field yesterday. Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam as part of the outburst, but the Nats lost reliever Kelvin Herrera to injury when he hurt his foot trying to cover first base with one out left in the game, and was on crutches with a boot on his foot afterwards.
The Philadelphia Phillies rocked the Toronto Blue Jays for four home runs in an 8-3 win and remain three games behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the N.L. east, two games off the pace for the wild card spot.