SP - Steven Wright (3-4, 4.78) v. Chris Sale (9-5, 2.85)
1. Holt, 2B
2. Bogaerts, SS
3. Ramirez, LF
4. Ortiz, DH
5. Napoli, 1B
6. Castillo, RF
7. Sandoval, 3B
8. Swihart, C
9. Bradley, CF
Red Sox Random Thoughts:
John Farrell has not done a great job as the manager of the Red Sox.
Even in the team's surprise run to the World Series in 2013, he made enough mistakes - like when Brandon Workman was left in to hit in the ninth inning of Game 3 of the World Series in a tie game that the Red Sox would go on to lose in the bottom of the ninth inning - that made you wonder if the team won in spite of their manager.
Farrell's strength, like that of Terry Francona before him, was standing up for his players. In a market like Boston that has so much pressure from the fans and media, that is an important factor. However, Farrell's inability to hold his players accountable for their lack of production seems like it will be his undoing just like it was for Francona after the 2011 season.
In what looks like a classic case of "too little, too late" Farrell did call out third baseman Pablo Sandoval after last night's loss to the White Sox, saying that his conditioning is "something Pablo has dealt with his entire career" and that the team continues to "try to get him in the best shape possible."
Sandoval has had a poor season in the field and at the plate in his first year with the Red Sox. Not known for being in the best of shape when he was with the Giants, Sandoval has seemingly gained weight during the season. His mobility at third base is limited and he struggles to run the bases. Both examples were on display last night as a grounder down the line that looked playable got past him for a double and then he was thrown out at home plate when trying to score from first on a double hit out to the bullpen area in right field by Ryan Hanigan in the third inning on which he should have easily scored. Sandoval ended up removing himself from the game in the fifth inning, due to what he claimed was dehydration.
The Red Sox gave Sandoval a 5-year/$95-million contract this off-season so this is a serious issue. They need to get Sandoval into playing shape and get him to produce at the plate and in the field by next season.