NEW YORK — Like a one-sided prizefight that had gone on too long, it was hard not cringe at the final round of Boston’s Bronx beatdown.
After dropping their first three to the Yankees — including both ends of a doubleheader — the Red Sox took one final shot to the face on Sunday Night Baseball, falling 7-4. It very well may have been the knockout blow to an underwhelming season.
Here are five takes from Boston’s eighth straight loss:
1. Price gets shelled
Fresh off paternity leave, David Price was rocked.
After giving up a first-inning homer to Aaron Judge, he imploded in the third. The lefty allowed six straight two-out hits, and there was nothing cheap about them.
New York tagged Price for seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings, and the Yankee Stadium crowd taunted him with “Who’s your daddy” jeers.
It was the 10th time this season Price has given the Red Sox five innings or fewer, and they’d never dig out of the early 7-0 hole he put them in.
2. Pitching trends continue
Price’s outing put an exclamation point on an abysmal week for the Red Sox starters. In a rotation littered with highly-paid veterans, 26-year-old Eduardo Rodriguez is the only pitcher giving his team a chance on a nightly basis.
For Price personally, it was the fourth poor start in a row. He’s allowed 20 earned runs in 17 innings. It was also his fourth start since he decided to hold his Dennis Eckersley press conference. Connect those dots if you wish.
3. J.D. still brings it
Though a handful of at-bats have looked like players had an eye towards the first tee, none came from J.D. Martinez.
The designated hitter brought it all weekend in the Bronx, hitting safely in all four games, walking five times, and finishing the series with a 2-for-4 night. Martinez has an opt-out clause looming at season’s end, so there’s plenty of additional incentive to keep playing hard, but he’s the type of prideful player that would either way.
4. Weber shines in relief
Somewhat jarringly, Boston’s best pitcher in the Bronx was Ryan Weber.
Recalled Sunday morning, Weber threw four innings of scoreless relief to keep the series finale relatively close.
It was a longer outing than either Price or Chris Sale turned in this weekend.
5. Wild Card slipping away
The Yankees absolutely buried the Red Sox in the AL East race this weekend, putting them 14.5 game back, and the Wild Card is slipping away, too.
With 48 games to play, Boston fell 6.5 back of the Rays, who have an awfully friendly stretch of schedule ahead of them.
If these Red Sox have any fight left in them, they’d better show it soon.
At 59-55, they’ve now lost more games than the 2018 team did all season (108-54).
Chris Mason is a Red Sox beat writer for the Eagle-Tribune and CNHI Sports Boston. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter at @ByChrisMason