Real or not? Red Sox's cautious approach is costing them

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The big news from Red Sox nation on Monday was the official announcement of Xander Bogaerts' six-year, $120 million contract extension that should keep him in Boston through at least 2025 (though there is an opt out after the 2022 season).

The bad news from Red Sox nation was another Boston starter having a less-than-stellar outing, as the A's hit three home runs off David Price in a 7-0 victory that dropped the defending champions to 1-4 with six games to go on their season-opening 11-game road trip.

The final tally for Red Sox starters after one trip through the rotation: 32 runs allowed in 21 innings, including 11 home runs. That homer total is tied with the 1955 Braves and 1978 Blue Jays for the most allowed by a team's starting pitchers through the first five games of the season, according to Elias. Price joined Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi in allowing three home runs. That makes three times in cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping five games; last year, a Red Sox starter allowed three or more home runs just seven times in 162 games.

To be fair, Price was one out away from a solid outing, but Chad Pinder pounced on a first-pitch high changeup for a two-run homer with two outs in the sixth inning. Earlier, Khris Davis homered off a changeup left up in the zone. Price threw 31 changeups out of 93 pitches, but that wasn't necessarily a surprise, as the pitch was a big key to his postseason success. (He threw 40 in his ALCS-clinching win over the Astros.)3

Red Sox starters worked very little in spring training, at least in official game settings. Eduardo Rodriguez threw 15 innings, the most of the five starters. Eovaldi pitched just seven innings and Price just 6⅔. Sure, there was work on back fields, but there was a concerted effort from the start of spring training to take a slow ride into 2019. That was an acknowledgment of the workloads Price, Eovaldi and Rick Porcello carried last October, plus Sale's recovery from the sore shoulder that limited him the final two months of the past season.

In fact, the Red Sox were so worried about protecting their starters that at the outset of spring training, Alex Cora announced that the team would begin the season with a six-man rotation. That idea fell by the wayside when Steven Wright was hit with an 80-game suspension for a positive drug test and Brian Johnson remained in the nfl youth jerseys

But were the Red Sox too cautious? That was the focus of Peter Abraham's story Monday in the Boston Globe, in which he asked if the Sox focused too much on rest and not enough on preparation. Cora said that wasn't the issue behind the awful outings from the first four starters. "Whoever is doubting us, check what happened last year. We did the same thing," Cora said.

As Abraham pointed out, however, it wasn't the same. Sale, Price and Porcello combined for 42⅔ spring innings in 2018 compared to 27⅔ this year. (Rodriguez was recovering from knee surgery last year.) As the Red Sox pointed out, there were live batting practice sessions and minor league games to build up arm strength, but that's not the same as facing major league batters in spring training games.

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