BOSTON (CBS) — With his pitching staff in shambles and his team down 16-5 to the Rays heading into the ninth inning, Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke probably thought to himself “what’s the worst that could go wrong” by sending second baseman Jose Peraza to the mound.
It’s not unheard of to send a positional player to the bump in a blowout. First and foremost, it helps preserve a pitching staff (not that Boston has an actual pitching staff to preserve). It can occasionally provide some comic relief, or even surprise fans if said positional player strikes out a hitter.READ MORE: 1-To-3 Inches Of Rain Coming, Flash Flood Watch In Effect Through Thursday Morning
Neither occurred Thursday night, but what did happened perfectly sums up the 2020 Boston Red Sox. After surrendering back-to-back hits to start the inning, Peraza was nailed on the knee by a comebacker off the bat of Brandon Lowe. It didn’t look pretty when the second-baseman-turned-pitcher crumbled in a heap of pain, and Peraza was immediately lifted from the game.
That is the 2020 Red Sox in a nutshell. It fits in line with Michael Chavis getting a ball stuck in his glove Wednesday night (keeping him from trying to throw out a runner at the plate and allowing a run to score) and the drone delay that occurred earlier Thursday. It’s a shame that drone didn’t lead to the game’s cancellation, but that’s just Boston’s luck.
The good news is that Peraza is fine, according to Roenicke.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine Mandate Ordered For All Nursing Home Workers In Massachusetts
“He’s okay. We X-rayed it and he actually got hit in a good spot on the knee,” the skipper said after the 17-8 loss. “I still feel bad about it.”
Peraza pitched twice for the Reds last season, so he did have some experience toeing the rubber ahead of Thursday, which is more than can be said for some of Boston’s “real” relievers. But Roenicke is breathing a big sign of relief now that his second baseman should be OK.
“It smoked him. It wasn’t a glancing blow,” said the manager. “On the knee, it’s concerning. It got him a little bit on the side which is a good thing and it got him in an area where you usually don’t break something. We’re pretty fortunate he didn’t get hit in a worse spot.”MORE NEWS: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming Soon?
Peraza likely won’t play Friday night when the Red Sox begin a four-game set with the Yankees in New York, but that’s because the Yanks have a righty on the mound in Gerrit Cole. Peraza should be back on the diamond — and hopefully not on the mound — Saturday and Sunday when New York starts southpaws James Paxton and J.A. Happ.