The Chicago Goon Squad in the Barstool office is just a liiiiiittle too excited after taking that series from the Yankees. You’re not playing the Yankees anymore, boys. This is the big time. This is the best team in baseball. Late-inning leads don’t mean shit here. The good vibes from calling up stud prospects can’t save you from the best offense in baseball. It ain’t 2021 yet. Wait your turn.
It wasn’t looking so great in the early going when Rick Porcello was getting knocked around for four earned runs on eight hits over five innings. It also didn’t help that the Red Sox couldn’t get anything going against Lucas Giolito, who dominated over six and two thirds innings. The 24-year-old right-hander held the Red Sox to two hits and punched out eight. But the second he left the game, the floodgates opened.
Blake Swihart got the party started with an RBI base knock in the seventh. After a Jackie Bradley Jr. sac fly to make it a 4-2 game, Mookie Betts clobbered his 29th home run of the season, a two-run shot, to tie the game up at four. I mean, I don’t think it’s arrogance, but I knew once Mookie hit that homer that the game was over. Mookie’s game-tying blast came just moments after Dellin Betances gave up back-to-back home runs in the Bronx to put the Tigers ahead by a run in the ninth. There was no way the Red Sox were losing this game after that. Not that they knew what happened hundreds of miles away, but the tides had turned.
Tied at four in the ninth inning, the fun and games were over. Bradley ripped a base hit to right field to bring in the go-ahead run, Andrew Benintendi hammered a base hit back up the middle to bring in another run, and then JD Martinez smoked his 39th home run of the season, a three-run bomb, to put this game out of reach. Martinez’s ninth inning blast put him back in a tie with Khris Davis of the A’s for the most homers in the majors, but now that he has the home run lead back, Mookie has since retaken the lead in batting average. Mookie leads the majors with a .342 average, while JD is sitting at .336 for now.
On Friday night, the Red Sox go toe-to-toe with Michael Kopech, Chicago’s top pitching prospect who was traded to the White Sox in the deal that brought Chris Sale to Boston. Kopech’s major league debut was cut short after two innings due to rain, but he tossed six one-run innings against the Tigers his last time out. In all, he’s struck out eight batters in eight innings with no walks.
Opposing Kopech will be Nathan Eovaldi, who hasn’t been all that impressive since his first two starts with the Red Sox. Eovaldi has given up nine earned runs in his last 9.1 innings over two starts. Apparently Pedro Martinez noticed something in Eovaldi’s delivery, so we’ll see if any corrections were made. And if they were, we’ll see if there are any positive results from that.
Final score: Red Sox 9, White Sox 4