Last night in Seattle, the Red Sox were abused by Felix Hernandez. Of course, they weren't the first and won't be the last team to be taken to the shed by King Felix, but that doesn't make it any easier.
However, the good news about Hernandez dominating the Sox last night, is that he can't pitch tonight. Or tomorrow. Or Sunday. That even though there are three games left in the series, Felix can't hurt them anymore. Nothing that the Sox will face this weekend can hold a candle to what they saw on Thursday.
For instance, tonight's starting pitcher: Hector Noesi
Noesi is currently 2-9 on the season. He's lost three straight decisions, and hasn't picked up a win since May 6 (nine starts).
On paper, going from Hernandez to Noesi is like going from the New York Times crossword puzzle to Highlights HiddenPictures. But before we write old Hector off too quickly, a closer look at the numbers shows a guy who's been about as unlucky as he's been unproductive.
In his last start, Noesi pitched six innings in a 2-0 loss. Two starts ago, he pitched seven innings in a 1-0 loss. At the end of May, he went eight strong innings in consecutive starts, but picked up the loss on both nights. Sure, he's had some ugly nights, but also a handful of really bad draws.
But whatever, regardless of whether they see Good Hector or Bad Hector, it can't compare to what King Felix pulled last night.
In fact, nothing can.
Rich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine
Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.
He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.
Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.
Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17.
With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.
Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games.
The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings.
The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.