Since the Phillies will only be playing each other one day, it didn’t feel like the two-game set merited a full preview. Instead, here are five quick things about the Sox:
The last time they met
The Phillies won the first game of the two-game series, which was their fourth win in a row. They unfortunately lost the second game of the series which started a five-game losing streak.
The Sox have gone 7-10, further solidifying their last place status. They also waved the white flag on the season, sending away a bunch of veteran players.
Thanks for nothing
One of those trades was with the Phillies. The Sox sent away two of their “better” relievers in Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree. Thus far, the trade hasn’t worked out all that great for the Phillies.
Workman has served as the Phillies’ closer and although he has five saves since arriving, very few of them have been easy. In his nine appearances with the Phillies, he’s allowed multiple baserunners in seven of them. As for Heath Hembree, he’s made six appearances and given up five home runs.
In a happy coincidence, one of the pitchers the Phillies sent to the Red Sox may be getting a start against them. Yes, old friend Nick Pivetta is likely to start one of the games, and it would surprise absolutely nobody if he pitched a gem against his old team.
if nick pivetta is on the mound for boston tonight there is not a doubt in my mind that he will throw a no hitter because, well, the phillies— baseballin' (@inthephanattic) September 8, 2020
Then again, when he was with the Phillies and faced his former organization, he was putrid. In 11 career appearances against the Washington Nationals, he was 1-7 with a 9.80 ERA.
Need to feast
If Workman and Hembree were the Red Sox’s good relievers, then it stands to reason that the guys they have left are not very good. The Phillies should be able to take advantage and score a lot of runs.
Does every pitcher in the Red Sox bullpen have an ERA over 7?— Greg Wisniewski (@coolhead2010) September 6, 2020
Based on how this season has gone, I’ll also accept the theory that the Phillies are cursed, and any reliever who joins their roster magically loses all of his ability. It seems very possible that Workman and Hembree get lit up at some point during the doubleheader, while the Red Sox bullpen shuts down the Phillies’ offense.
Santana vs. Martinez
When the Phillies signed Carlos Santana as a free agent two years ago, there was some sentiment that they should have pursued J.D. Martinez instead. Santana was clearly not the right option for the Phillies, but it isn’t clear if Martinez would have worked out any better.
Yes, Martinez helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2018, but he’s also primarily a designated hitter, and that position did not exist in the National League before this season. And now, at age 32, he appears to be in decline. He’s batting just .227 with four home runs. Those aren’t acceptable numbers for a guy who doesn’t contribute defensively.