Boston Red Sox: 3 thoughts on thrilling victory over Texas Rangers

Travis Shaw #23 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
Travis Shaw #23 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /

Well that was certainly a roller-coaster ride of a game. The Boston Red Sox managed to pull out a thrilling 8-4 victory over the Texas Rangers this afternoon, but it certainly wasn’t pretty. After being in control for most of the afternoon, Matt Barnes coughed up the lead in the top of the ninth before the team eventually was able to recover and win the game in the 11th inning.

There were a number of exciting developments, as well as disappointing ones, that made this game such an enjoyable watch. Of course, Rangers fans probably don’t have the same outlook, but that’s what happens when your team ends up with the short end of the stick.

This was about as important a win for the Red Sox as they have had this season. The way the teams ahead of them in the standings (the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, and Oakland Athletics) have been playing recently, they simply couldn’t afford to lose this game, and the series, to a Rangers team that already has 80 losses on the season.

But this team’s tenacity, which has vanished for most of the second half of the season, returned today in full force, and helped Boston pull out a much needed victory. Let’s take a look at three other points from the game, including why the bullpen could be in store for a major shake up.

Boston Red Sox point No. 3: Nathan Eovaldi delivers the goods

It feels like whenever the Sox have needed a bounce back pitching performance, Nathan Eovaldi has been the guy that steps up to the rubber and delivers when the team needs him the most. After Eduardo Rodriguez blew a fuse two days ago and failed to make it out of the fourth inning, it was up to Eovaldi to help the Sox take the series. And boy did he deliver today.

Eovaldi went seven strong innings, giving up only one run on four hits with no walks, while striking out seven in the process. The Rangers simply couldn’t get anyone on base, and Eovaldi attacked the strike zone for much of the afternoon with great success. He ended with a game score (which measures the effectiveness of a pitchers outing) of 74, which is his second highest score this season.

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Eovaldi was at his best when the Red Sox needed him the most, but this has pretty much been a recurring theme this season. Just less than two weeks ago he had his best outing of the season against the Rays to help stop their torturous losing streak. When the Sox have needed a pitcher to show up this season, Eovaldi has been the guy they have turned to time and again this season.

If he can continue to pitch like this, that gives Boston the deadly combination of him and Chris Sale a top the rotation, which could prove to be vital if they end up in the playoffs. The problem is that the depth behind them is mediocre at best. Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck, and Rodriguez all have struggled with their consistency, and that ultimately may end up sinking this ship.

With the pitching woes seemingly never ending with this team (more on that in a minute), it was great to see Eovaldi deliver a sublime outing this afternoon to help put this team in position to win. Although he was unlucky to not pick up a win in the process, his outing ended up saving the game for Boston. That’s because the bullpen collapsed, which brings me to my next point…