All you need to know about the Red Sox' loss, complete with BSJ analysis and insight:
If it's not one thing, it's another: In the first two games, the Red Sox were done in by an anemic offense and sloppy defense. On Sunday, they didn't commit an error and scored a season-high three runs, so both areas reflected at least some improvement. But the pitching? It was, to be polite, horrendous. Garrett Richards' first start in a Red Sox uniform was a disaster. He was shelled for three runs in the first and then allowed the first three hitters he faced in the third to reach before getting the quick hook. His immediate replacement, Josh Taylor, might have been even worse, shelled for four runs and unable to get himself through the inning. Before the Sox came to bat in the bottom of the third, they were down 10-0. Mind you, Sunday's defeat -- and the previous two losses -- came against a Baltimore team that was projected to be one of the worst in either league. Yes, it's only three games, but it's felt like 30. The Red Sox have yet to hold a lead on the young season.
You had to look hard, but there was a bright spot: Rookie Garrett Whitlock, a Rule 5 pick last winter, made his MLB debut in the third and turned in a highly memorable and impressive outing. Whitlock went 3.1 shutout innings, striking out five and allowing three hits. His riding fastball touched 97 mph and he also flashed a quality sinker and changeup. What's more, Whitlock has not appeared intimidated in his new surroundings and pitches with a maturity far beyond his years and previous experience. Having never pitched above Double-A until now and bouncing back from Tommy John surgery in 2019, he was a highlight of the spring, and he's carried that into the first weekend of the regular season. It will be interesting to see how he's utilized going forward. Alex Cora could choose to try him in some high-leverage situations, or he could get stretched out and serve as a spot starter potentially. That's to be decided. But on an otherwise forgettable afternoon. Whitlock represented some hope.
Where to start? After allowing three runs in the top of the first, Richards seemed to get it together somewhat in the second, with the hope that he had figured some things out. But then, he walked two of the first three hitters he faced in the third and was yanked. The inning was far from over, but for the Red Sox, the game might as well have been.