The Red Sox were embarrassed on Saturday night at the hands of the Texas Rangers, 10-1. The hometown nine looked completely lifeless and played one of their sloppiest games in recent memory and Red Sox manager Alex Cora wasn’t happy.
The Rangers came to Fenway with a 43-80 record on the season and pummeled Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez. The lefty allowed five runs on eight hits while only lasting 3 2/3 innings.
In addition to the poor performance on the bump for Rodriguez, his defense made five errors in the field. Rodriguez made an error himself when he failed to field a slow ground ball hit back to the mound. The error by Rodriguez led to Texas scoring three runs with two outs in the fourth inning.
Boston surrendered 17 hits to the Rangers offense that has been one of the worst in baseball since the All-Star break. The Rangers have hit an abysmal .162 at the plate with a .222 on-base percentage and have average 1.7 runs per game over that 17 game stretch.
Alex Cora speaks out against how the Red Sox play
Following the game, manager Alex Cora finally admitted that his team’s play was embarrassing.
“That was embarrassing today,” said Cora. “Embarrassing is the word,” Cora told reporters after the game. “And it starts from me. Five errors, we didn’t run the bases well, we didn’t put good at-bats. We didn’t pitch. In this thing, it’s a team effort, it starts with us, it starts with the coaches to keep coaching. We’ve been playing sloppy ball for a while and they keep doing it. So at one point, we’ve got to be accountable, too.
“It’s not acceptable,” Cora added. “For a team that is fighting for the playoffs, to show up like that and play like that. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose the game — it’s how you win or lose the game and that’s not acceptable.”
This is the first time that Cora has been public in his frustration with his team’s play. Boston has 37 games remaining in the regular-season and time is running out. The Red Sox cannot squander these opportunities to beat up on bad teams. Boston and Texas will play again on Monday, the two teams were rained out on Sunday due to Hurricane Henri impacting the northeast.
Cora and Rodriguez
With each defeat the Red Sox postseason hopes continue to fade away.
Rodriguez has been inconsistent all season and the free-agent to be at the end of the season is starting to look like he may not return. In Rodriguez’s last start, Cora and the lefty had a heated debate on the bench.
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) August 15, 2021
Rodriguez felt he was pulled too early in his start against the Orioles. He would throw six innings, allowing one earned run, three hits in the win over the O’s. “I want to keep pitching. I want to keep going out there,’” Rodriguez said.
“He wanted to go out there,” Cora said. “I was like, ‘No. You’re not going out there.’ And I respect that he wants to keep competing. But where we were bullpen-wise and knowing what’s coming, we needed some guys to go out there and (pitch).
Cora’s players are showing that they want to compete, but Cora is also trying to gain order within the dugout. However with the poor play, is it time for Cora to get angry?
Cora has been the type of manager who has his players backs. He has defended his players all season long but at sometimes, the rubber needs to meet the road. Meaning, Cora needs to get angry over his teams play and lite a fire under this team.
The trade deadline is over and if the players are still holding grudge over Bloom’s moves, they need to get over it. Red Sox fans are not asking for Cora to publicly call out his team and lose the locker room.
However, Cora needs to close the door to the locker room and let the team have it. Maybe smash the radio with a bat like Brad Pitt in Moneyball or lose his mind like Lou Brown from the movie Major League II, minus the heart attack. Time is running out on the season and Boston is sitting a half game back of the final Wild Card spot.
Time to get pissed Cora and let’s see how the Red Sox respond.
– Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique on Twitter)
Feature image courtesy of The Athletic
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