Valentine: '(Morales) just wasn't good enough'


Valentine: '(Morales) just wasn't good enough'

NEW YORK -- Since being shifted into the Red Sox starting rotation in early June, Franklin Morales has been a mostly effective starter.
Unless, that is, the opponent is the New York Yankees.
When he pitches against anyone other than the Yankees this season, Morales has a sparkling 2.60 ERA. When the Yankees are the opposition, however, Morales has pitched to a 9.53.
That dichotomy was on display against Friday night. Morales was tagged for four homers in 5 13 innings, saddled with the loss in a 6-4 loss to the Yankees.
It marked the second time this year that Morales has allowed four homers in a start against the Yanks. They also belted four homers off him at Fenway on July 7.
Against every other club, meanwhile, Morales has allowed just one other homer this year.
"I tried to throw my pitches," shrugged Morales, who gave up solo shots to Nick Swisher, Derek Jeter, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson. "When you miss, that's going to happen. I wasn't thinking too much. I tried to attack the hitters. But like I say, when you miss your pitch with that team, somebody needs to pay and I paid today."
"They hit all of his pitches (for homers)," said Bobby Valentine, "so it wasn't any one pitch. He wasn't that bad. He just wasn't good enough."
As Morales took the mound in the bottom of the first, rain began to fall heavily at Yankee Stadium, making the job of facing the powerful New York lineup even more challenging.
"First inning, I think he was just getting used to the (wet) mound a little bit and trying to get comfortable,'' said catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. "It's tough to throw a lot of pitches when it's wet and you're slipping everywhere. After that, he settled down and started to throw the ball real well and tried to keep it down."

Red Sox acquire third baseman Eduardo Nunez from Giants


Red Sox acquire third baseman Eduardo Nunez from Giants

BOSTON — On the day Rafael Devers made his major league debut, the Red Sox added another piece to help them at the hot corner — and potentially elsewhere.

The Sox and the San Francisco Giants struck a deal that sends third baseman and utility man Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox in exchange for minor league righties Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.

Nunez, a 30-year-old from the Dominican Republic, could prove a versatile bench piece, particularly as Xander Bogaerts and Brock Holt both struggle. The former is dealing with a hand injury. Dustin Pedroia, red hot, also needs to be spelled occasionally because of his left leg, so Nunez could help out in a variety of ways.

But perhaps the bulk of Nunez’s time with the Sox is to be spent at third base, where he fits as a right-handed complement to the left-handed hitting Devers in a platoon.

Nunez is slashing .299/.326/.414 this season against southpaws, with a  .263/.294/.412 line against them lifetime.

Nunez this year is batting .307 overall, which would be a career-high for him in a single season. But he doesn’t have much pop, with just four home runs this year and double-digits just once in his career (16 last year).

Defensively, Nunez has played shortstop and third base more than any other position in an eight-year career that brought him from the Yankees (four years), Twins (three years) and the Giants (two years) before the Sox. This year, Nunez has played more games at third than any other position, 48, but the seven errors he’s made isn’t an encouraging total.

Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez tweeted an endorsement of Nunez, writing “Eduardo Nuñez plays amazing defense in whatever position he is placed. Red Sox are getting a great guy and player.”

The Red Sox and Mariners were in the middle of a night game in Seattle a little after midnight Wednesday morning when Nunez was seen shaking hands with his Giants teammates. 

There’s a small irony at play here. The Giants, of course, recently re-acquired Pablo Sandoval on a minor league deal, with the Sox still paying Sandoval a ton of money. The Giants’ production at third base has actually been worse than the Red Sox’ this season.