Well, you knew Jeff Keppinger at cleanup was going to get exposed at some point, and his 0-for-5 protecting Evan Longoria qualified today.
What a dump of a 7-2 loss in the rubber game at Detroit. Joe never thought he’d be yearning for the pop in Reid Brignac’s bat, but that’s about what this came down to with Sean Rodriguez and Matt Joyce looking lost and joining Keppinger in taking a collar. Joyce watching a two-strike fastball right down the pipe with two aboard and one out in the eighth was absolutely painful. Desmon Jennings following that by jogging out a ground ball wasn’t pretty, either.
Jeff Niemann didn’t look comfortable, but there was at least enough there to think he might settle in and finish off hitters in future starts. As long as he doesn’t have to hand games off to Jake McGee, he should be just fine.
The 4-2 start is glorious, but this one showed the dark side of this team. Hopefully, it won’t be seen in Boston.