It sort of was and sort of wasn’t. Sale had his worst outing in a Red Sox’ uniform – five innings, 10 hits and five earned runs. He did strike out nine and, ironically, got the win in a 13-7 game.
He can thank Deven Marrero for that, or maybe his former sidekick for making him look like Shea Hillenbrand in ’02. With Pablo Sandoval making a sort of emergency special arrival just after first pitch, Marrero hit a two-run home run in his first at-bat to make it 3-0 and a three-run job the next time up to open it up, 7-3. Both home runs came with two outs.
The latter shot marked the end of Quintana’s night with as many runs allowed as outs recorded. Nothing other than the swings Marrero put on the ball made me think Quintana might have been tipping his pitches but the thought crossed my mind. They were some mighty fine swings.
I might make it sound like Chris Sale was lousy but remember, he struck out nine and seemed to have the stuff. The White Sox put together tough at-bats. Plus, they hit lefties – about 20 points higher than any other team in the American League.
So Drew Pomeranz, beware. If some of the White Sox’ added focus rolls over from last night, Boston might have to score another 13 runs to win. Pom’s longest start this season is only six innings anyway so Chicago should have some swings against a Red Sox bullpen that showed little effectiveness after Sale last night.
There are a couple reasons to want to stay away from Boston’s offense tonight. Dustin Pedroia is out for at least another nine days with that sprained wrist and Mike Pelfrey has some pretty good career numbers against the rest of the Red Sox’ batters.
Pelfrey has also been good of late but he’s been capable of attacking lineups well. What he’s also been over his entire career is hittable. Pelfrey is a smart, disciplined pitcher but good hitters will get him when his talent just doesn’t matchup. With some Marrero momentum behind them and a couple other hot bats in the lineup (Bogaerts, Xander / Betts, Mookie), the Red Sox should hit Pelfrey and whoever appears from behind the outfield wall after that. Jackie Bradley Jr. homered last night, too. Look out for him tonight.
Free Pick: Over 9.5 (+100)