When the trade deadline came and went and Dave Dombrowski didn’t add to the bullpen, there was some cause for concern.
But instead of griping about what Dave didn’t do, let’s talk about what he did, namely, getting us Steve Pearce, Nathan Eovaldi, and Ian Kinsler.
And almost as soon as they joined the team, they were tested in the biggest way possible for a Red Sox player: the Yankees came to town.
We all know the Sox swept the Yankees in a magnificent fashion, but let’s take a look at how each of the new guys fared…
As President of the Mitch Moreland fan club, I wasn’t exactly thrilled when the Sox acquired Steve Pearce at the end of June. After all, wasn’t Mitch Moreland a better first baseman than Hanley Ramirez and hitting better than him, too?
It took about ten minutes into Pearce’s first game for me to feel like he’d been on the team all along. He had a hit in his first at-bat, he homered in his first Fenway at-bat, and has continued to rake ever since.
In Game 1 of the Yankee series this week, he was responsible for 6 RBIs thanks to a whopping three home runs. He followed that performance with a 4th homer in the second game of the series.
In his first twenty games with the club, Pearce is batting .333 with 5 homers and 14 RBIs. In 12 years in the Majors, he only has 88 career homers, and the last four came during the same 48 hours.
I’m almost the most nervous about new pitchers joining the team. After all, they tend to do so well playing for other clubs, and then fall apart the second they take the mound with us. Nathan Eovaldi, former Yankee, and survivor of not one, but two Tommy John surgeries was no exception to my trepidation.
Eovaldi has not only passed muster in his first two starts with team, he’s made history, becoming only the second Sox starter in the live-ball era to pitch seven or more shutout innings in each of his first 2 starts. Against the Yankees on Saturday, he lasted 8 full innings, allowing just three hits, with no runner ever making it past second base. I maintain he should’ve gotten the ball for the 9th, especially after Kimbrel nearly blew the game.
The newest member of the team didn’t last long before landing himself at the hamstring party that is the Red Sox DL. But before that, Dave Dombrowski’s solution to Dustin Pedroia made quite an impact, with a 3-hit, 3-run, 6-RBI game in Thursday’s series opener.
Pedroia’s absence left such the hole in the Red Sox defense that even utility man Eduardo Nuñez was thrilled to not have to play the position anymore when Kinsler joined the team. Here’s hoping he’s back as soon as possible.
Often times, new teammates can disrupt clubhouse chemistry or damage a team’s momentum. In this case, I’m thrilled to say that all three of our midseason acquisitions are welcome changes.