Boston Red Sox players are out of commission because of the nasty flu going around
When the first game of the season comes around, heck when it’s the first week of the season, the last thing you want to see is your team go down for any reason. The Sox have been hit several times with the flu bug. New England weather can be ruthless at times and when the second game day of the season came around, it was about 45 degrees colder in Boston than it was in Fort Myers. They’ve lost valuable hitters and pitchers thus far. Luckily so far to start the season, it’s only cost one game. Some could argue that it was a managerial error not the flu that lost the third game but just the same we’re standing at a 2 – 1 record so far after three games.
The Red Sox still have two more games after this afternoon’s contest. Mookie Betts wasn’t scheduled to come back even though he was asked how he was feeling. The flu will typically knock someone out about 7 – 10 days. We’re all hoping at this point that Betts and Matt Barnes can recover sooner rather than later. Losing a star like Betts isn’t easy. Hanley Ramirez is out of commission after testing positive for influenza. Eduardo Rodriguez got the ball today for the Sox and we’re all anticipating a better year than 2016. It all starts with being healthy and right now, we’re not. Barnes has two strike outs, allowed one hit, and one walk in 1 2/3 innings pitched so far in two appearances.
Through the first 3 games of the 2017 Season
While the Sox have been able to hold their own with two wins out of three games so far, they are not blowing their opponents away. In fact, through the first three games of the season, the Red Sox have only done damage in three innings. Furthermore, games 1 and 3 have featured a five run outburst in each game as their only source of offense. Game 1 had all 5 runs come around in the 5th inning. Game 2 featured the Sandy Leon three-run shot to left field in the 12th inning and yesterdays 5 run scoring outburst happened in the 8th inning. I can’t remember the last time that the Sox plated all their runs in a single inning through the first three games of the season.
What we can look forward to is that Benintendi is back, Xander Bogaerts is almost back from the bereavement list and Barnes should be back soon as well. We still haven’t addressed the fact that the bullpen is in need of repair. No one is convinced that the current state is good enough to continue in the near future. The front three starters if all healthy, Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, and David Price, don’t need many relievers because of their ability to go deep into games. The Sox could use Barnes in one or two of those games if they don’t go the distance. Let’s not forget you’ve got one of the best closers in Craig Kimbrel shutting the door. Price is also expected to return in mid-May although no set timetable has been given.
It’s still just the 4th game of the season counting today’s match up against the Tigers. The Red Sox need to get as much of a lead as possible in the early season. As the cold comes back in the later months of the year, balls won’t fly out as easily and muscles will take longer to get loose. Still, I’ll remain positive saying that Red Sox will do fine as they wrap up the series against Detroit with Porcello pitching against his former team for game three and Sale pitching the fourth and final game.
Photo Credit – Evan Habeeb – USA TODAY