Monday’s Red Sox win over the tough Cleveland Indians was just the kind of game that can help restore some confidence for fans.
Doug Fister gave the Sox a solid, speedy 7.2 IP (108 pitches), allowing five hits but no runs until a two-run, no-doubt eighth inning blast by Indians rookie Bradley Zimmer. It was the performance Sox baseball president Dave Dombrowksi expected when he claimed Fister off waivers on June 23 from the Angels.
Red Sox Nation had justifiable concerns about Fister after he started his Boston career going 0-5 with a 7.46 ERA. For his part, Fister said the issues were mechanical and that he was working on them. On Monday, we got to see the fruit of those labors and fans were able to breath a sigh of relief.
“Overall, it wasn’t a bad night,” Fister said in a post-game self-evaluation. “A lot of progress made…I’m always trying to get better.”
Devers and Núñez Light A Spark
The Sox offense came alive on Monday sparked by a 4-for-4 night for Boston rookie Rafael Devers, three hits from newcomer Eduardo Núñez, and two hits apiece for Mookie Betts and Christian Vázquez. For Betts, it was his club-leading 8th multi-RBI game, driving in three on Monday, including two coming with two outs.
In all, it was Boston’s 21st game of the season with 13+ hits, the most of any American League club but the Astros (23).
Devers is the first Boston player in almost 30 years with a four-hit game within his first six career MLB games. He joins Jody Reed (1987), Ted Cox (1977), Fred Lynn (1974), Frank Malzone (1955), Hall of Famer Ted Williams (1939), and Tex Vache (1925) as the only Red Sox players to accomplish the feat.
The Sox, known for so many years to be a doubles machine, on Monday collected four two-baggers in a game for the first time since June 30. The club started the night with just 185 doubles, a notch ahead of the MLB average (185).
With Monday’s win, John Farrell is now three from becoming the eighth manager in Sox history to lead the team to 400 victories.