The Boston Red Sox got off to a shockingly slow start in defense of their title. Starting with a long road trip to begin their season, the Sox have been underwhelming in just about every way, especially in regard to their starting pitching. It looked more of the same on Saturday after Rick Porcello got rocked in the first inning for four runs. But the Red Sox engineered a big comeback against the Mariners off the strength of an eight-run inning, and they’re finally starting to resemble the team that won a World Series championship just over six months ago.
The biggest takeaway from Saturday afternoon is the fact that everyone contributed. Five different players registered an RBI, and their eight-run rally in the third inning started with a series of consecutive singles. Outside of J.D. Martinez and, recently, Mookie Betts, Boston wasn’t getting the same level of contributions from the rest of the roster they enjoyed last season. Compounded with their poor starting pitching, and the Sox were getting run out of the ballpark on some nights early on- not exactly what you’d expect from the reigning champs that brought back almost the exact same roster.
But both the pitching and the rest of the roster is starting to even out now. Eduardo Rodriguez got through seven innings last night, something he’s struggled to do throughout his career, not just this season. Porcello got smacked around in the first inning, but Seattle could barely touch him the rest of the way. Chris Sale has only let up three runs total in his last three starts. Michael Chavis looks like a revelation, while Mitch Moreland has found his stride recently and even Rafael Devers is getting in on the fun, knocking in three runs today.
Things did not look pretty through the first quarter of the 2019 season in Boston. But Alex Cora rode out the storm, and now the Sox are back to looking as dangerous as they did in October. Their season started off with a whimper in Seattle, and with a rally against the same Mariners team a month and a half later, things are starting to turn around.