I really do not know how to describe what I just saw. It's hard to imagine that things could get worse for this team, but you should know that I'm hitting on every wooden surface that I can find as I write this. The Red Sox were completely embarrbaded in Arizona on Friday. The offensive had a solid entry in which they could not maximize their opportunity. Rick Porcello had a couple of strong innings before imploding. The defense committed multiple errors. Brian Johnson gave a billion races. This was the definition of a punch in the middle of a road trip that has continued to go from bad to worse.
The Red Sox moved to a new city and moved out of California for the first time in 2019, but it was more of the same at the beginning of this team. The new standard for the pitching staff seems to be to start strong before seeing the bottom drop after a couple of innings. Meanwhile, the offense has been dead in stages of several innings before organizing a rally that ends with very few races. It is already a familiar pattern and we were seeing it play in the first half of this game in Arizona as well. It would get much worse, too.
The first entry was relatively quiet on both sides. Rick Porcello had to fight a pair of two-out base runners after an interference call from a single and a catcher against Blake Swihart, but they were stuck there. The second would be even quieter with both sides coming down in order.
Then, in the third, the Red Sox finally had something against Zach Godley, who had retired the first six batters he faced. Swihart, red-hot, started the rally with a single start before being moved to third base for two outs. That gave rise to Andrew Benintendi, who single failed a double RBI on the right field line but then returned with a double RBI to the opposite field. That gave Boston a 1-0 lead, and after Mookie Betts hit a single in the box, Mitch Moreland had the opportunity to give the Sox a big lead with corner runners. However, it could not happen, and Boston was satisfied with a single race.
That would hurt, because at the other extreme things started to go downhill towards Porcello. The lower half of the third half started with a Godley base hit, and any inning that starts with a hit by the opposing pitcher is bound to end badly. Indeed, after a single in the box and a walk, Arizona did not have full bases. After all, Porcello handled it as well as possible, allowing only one run to score in a double play and escaping the box with the knotted score.
After the alignment of the Sox fell in order in the fourth, the fund mentioned above fell. Two batters in the bottom half of the inning, Ketel Marte came up and threw a 2-0 slider over the wall in right-center field to give Arizona a one-run lead. It would get worse. Much worse. Nick Ahmed hit a double, moved to third in a wild pitch and then, after a walk, Godley received his second hit of the day. This was a bargain in a pop up that found grbad between Brock Holt, Betts and J.D. Martinez Just another example of bad luck and bad baseball living in perfect harmony, and that gave the DBack a two-run lead. After another single and a ground, they had placed two more and at the end of the quarter, suddenly, had a deficit of 5-1 for Boston.
Rick Porcello stayed in the game, however, and hit for himself in the fifth. He would not leave the lower half of the entrance. AL East's old foe, Adam Jones, went to Arizona and extended the lead even more with a smoked home run to left field, his fourth homer of the year. After getting two consecutive punches, Porcello allowed a single and a double to allow one more run before his day ended. In total, he allowed seven races in only 4. two/3 tickets in ten hits (two homers), three walks and five strikeouts. To make matters worse, Brian Johnson had to leave relieved. The southpaw would probably start on Sunday, but obviously that's less likely now.
When we went to the sixth, the Red Sox began to show some life, but ended in pain because, of course, he did. After Betts, Martinez and Bogaerts drew all the bases, they had the bases loaded with two outs and a real chance to put a mark on the lead. However, Arizona turned to left-handed specialist Andrew Chafin, and Rafael Devers was no match for him. The young third baseman landed weakly towards the mound, and the Red Sox left the inning with the same total on the scoreboard they had at the beginning of the frame.
I'll save you (and I, to be honest) the rest of this story. I'll just say that Johnson had an indefatigably bad sixth and at the end of that inning the Diamondbacks had a 14-1 lead. If you really want to know the bloody details, look for help and also click on the "Box" link below and go to the game by game tab.
On a positive note, Betts crushed a home run of two runs and garbage. That was clean. They also added two more in a Blake Swihart double. Then, in the next inning, Mitch Moreland closed the gap with a three-run home run.
The game ended almost as it should, with Eduardo Núñez on the mound for the Red Sox. Yes, you read it right. He got a couple of quick outs before allowing Alex Avila a solo shot. He would come out of that after that and finished in the top half of the four Red Sox pitchers to appear in the game in terms of performance quality.
The Red Sox will look to leave this behind and pick up a win in the desert on Saturday night. They will go to David Price, who will face Luke Weaver. The first release is scheduled for 8:10 PM ET.