PITTSBURGH — Want to look at the Red Sox‘ three-game sweep at PNC Park with a glass is half full mentality? Here you go: they’re might be moving down in the standings, but up in the draft order.
With their 3-2 loss to the Pirates Thursday night, the Sox are now the fifth-worst team in baseball. That would mean — because of the Astros’ compensatory pick due to not signing Brady Aiken — John Farrell‘s club would be drafting No. 6 overall.
That, in case you forgot, is one spot higher than the disastrous 2012 season yielded. (With the Red Sox getting lefty high school pitcher Trey Ball with that selection. Ball went 5-10 with a 4.68 ERA in 22 starts in Single-A Greenville this season.)
The Red Sox (66-89) will still have a chance to move up in the order with nine games to play, sitting 1/2 game in front of Minnesota. There is also the scenario where teams could leap frog them with supbar final weeks, with the Astros (67-85), Cubs (68-94) and White Sox (69-83) all within striking distance.
How important is getting a pick a few spots closer to the top of the heap? The Pirates’ starter Thursday night should have offered that reminder.
Gerrit Cole — who finished finished his seven-inning stint allowing two runs while striking out seven and not walking a batter — was the first overall pick taken the 2011 draft. No. 2? A pitcher Seattle took named Danny Hultzen who has yet to appear in the major leagues, having undergone shoulder surgery after the ’13 season.
OTHER REASONS YOU SHOULD HAVE CARED ABOUT THURSDAY’S GAME:
- The Red Sox’ inability to drive in key runs surfaced once again, this time in the ninth inning of a one-run game. With pinch-runner Jemile Weeks at third base and Daniel Nava at first, Will Middlebrooks came to the plate with nobody out.
Middlebrooks hit a slow roller down the third base line that bounced right into Weeks as he dove back into third base. The ruling was that Weeks was out, leaving runners on first and second.
Jackie Bradley followed by fanning on a called third strike, with Christian Vazquez punctuating the squander by grounding out to second base.
Nava, Middlebrooks and Nava all finished with two hits apiece.