Red Sox vs. Orioles: 3 Up, 3 Down for April 10
Boston seemed to have the game under control, despite having to turn things over to the bullpen earlier due to a 43-minute rain delay.
However, Hanrahan blew his first save as a member of the Red Sox and fans left Fenway wet and upset.
Here is my Three Up, Three Down for the 8-5 loss to the Orioles.
Three Up: Ryan Dempster Gives a Solid Performance
In a night that ended poorly, Ryan Dempster got the Red Sox going in the right direction to start the game.
Despite two outfield errors, Dempster was able to limit the damage and held the Orioles to just three runs in five wet innings before the long rain delay cut his outing short.
Dempster has been solid in his first two starts. Through his first two starts Dempster has a 3.60 ERA and has struck out 15 batters in just 10 innings of work.
Three Up: Daniel Nava Comes Up Big
Daniel Nava’s hot start continued yesterday as he hit a home run in the third-straight game, extending his season-opening hitting streak to five games.
Nava is hitting .467 with a .571 OBP, is slugging an amazing 1.133 combining for a 1.705 OPS and has seven RBIs.
In addition to the immense success at the plate, Nava’s defense has been solid in left field and he has also made one start at first base, providing versatility for the Red Sox moving forward.
Honorable mention: Jarrod Saltalamacchia had his best day at the plate going 3-for-4 with a home run and a double.
Three Up: Middle Relief Excels
Even though everyone is fixated on Joel Hanrahan’s blown save, the bullpen overall had another good performance against the Orioles.
Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa and Andrew Bailey successfully bridged the gap after the rain delay.
The three pitchers didn’t allow a single hit in three innings of work, struck out five batters and allowed just one walk.
Although Hanrahan has struggled, the bullpen as a whole is still a strength for the Red Sox.
Three Down: Joel Hanrahan Unravels
Coming into last night’s game Joel Hanrahan looked average. Aside from the mid-to-high 90s fastball the closer hadn’t impressed many fans.
However, last night he imploded after two questionable calls led to a Nate McLouth walk.
Hanrahan threw a wild pitch in the first pitch after the walk and delivered a meatball in the second pitch that landed in the monster seats for the game-winning home run.
The only silver lining for Hanrahan is known as coming out of the gates slow. March and April are his worst months as he’s compiled a 5.59 ERA in 55 appearances.
Three Down: Mike Napoli and Jackie Bradley Jr. Struggling
Mike Napoli and Jackie Bradley Jr. have combined to hit .158 so far this season.
While Bradley will be demoted when David Ortiz is healthy, there seems to be a major hole in his swing when pitchers—particularly lefties—throw inside.
However, Napoli is the Red Sox full-time first baseman and his next contract hinges on his 2013 performance. Napoli looks like he is pressing at the plate which is evident by his lack of walks. Napoli’s career walk rate is 12 percent, while in 2013 it’s 3 percent.
Three Down: Bad Defense
After seven errorless games, the Red Sox defense let them down last night.
In the first inning Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino failed to communicate, which instead of having one out and one on resulted in two men in scoring position with no outs.
I wasn’t surprised since Victorino needs to learn that he is no longer in centerfield and that means he needs to defer to Ellsbury in most cases.
The other gaffe was made by Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fourth inning when he bobbled a bobble that allowed a runner to score.
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