The Red Sox lost 10-3 in last night’s series opener against the Yankees. It was their second straight loss and their sixth in their last seven. They now sit at 49-51 through the first hundred games of the season and currently find themselves in last place in the American League East.
Via Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Dustin Pedroia had a tough time holding back his frustration after the loss.
“The first hundred games have been (expletive),” Pedroia said. “We’re two games under .500. We’re the Boston Red Sox. If anyone’s thrilled about where we’re at, they need to reevaluate because I don’t like losing. I know everyone else doesn’t like losing. We’ve got to play better, man.”
Pedroia was particularly perturbed by the team’s approach in the top of the eighth inning. Yankees set-up man David Robertson made it through the frame in just nine pitches, which included ground outs by Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford, a two-out single by Pedroia and a ground out by Adrian Gonzalez.
“Late in the game, they extended themselves from us. That’s what great teams do,” Pedroia said. “We didn’t do anything. Our at-bats later in the game were not good. Swinging early in the count, you know. Heck, if their eighth-inning guy is going to come in the game, let’s at least get 25-30 pitches so maybe he can’t pitch tomorrow. Do something productive, and we’re not doing that. That’s the sign of not-a-winning team. Those are the little things that we need to do better. It’s frustrating.”
While this is a legitimate criticism on the part of Pedroia, it’s a bit of a surprise to see him single out three of the team’s biggest names. The Red Sox clubhouse just doesn’t sound like a very happy place right now. Still, the brisk pace of the top of the eighth inning likely had Joe West smiling all the way from Texas. Last night’s game finished in 2 hours and 41 minutes, the fastest Yankees-Red Sox game since September 11, 2005.
Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.
It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.
Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:
He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.
“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”
The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.