Cora defends plan amid Red Sox pitching problems



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Over the course of four games this season, Boston Red Sox pitchers are suffering one of the worst team matches in recent memory, but coach Alex Cora does not regret relieving his team load during spring training.

"I did not rethink about it last year, you saw what happened. It was the same plan," Cora said after a 10-8 loss to the Seattle Mariners, Boston's third loss in four games to open the season. "Who is doubting us [after] which we did last year. I mean this year? Check out what happened last year. "

Just five months after a long post-season season ended with a World Series title, the Red Sox has allowed 34 races. That would have been tied for the maximum of any team in the first four games in the last 10 years, although this season the Arizona Diamondbacks have been even worse, allowing 42 races in four games.

Red Sox starters have a 13.20 ERA, the worst for any starting team through four games in the last 10 seasons. The Red Sox also pulled out of 11 home runs so far this season, tied with the Boston team from 2011 to the most at this time of the year in the 100 seasons of the franchise. Last year, Red Sox pitchers did not allow their tenth place in the season until April 19 in their 18th game of the year.

For the second consecutive spring training, Cora got the exits from her launchers in an effort to keep them fresher at the end of the season. And since the move paid off in the World Series in 2018, he said he sees no reason to do anything different in 2019.

"It's easy to guess now what we did, no one guessed it last year, it's a program, you have to be disciplined," Cora said. "So that's how I see it. If people think [the pitchers] I did not start many games, they did not have many turns, they should go back to what we did last year in spring training. I mean, we played until October 28, and the year before, when I got here, everyone was talking like they were without bullets in October against the Houston Astros. [in the 2017 American League Division Series]"

On the opening day, the Mariners scored Chris Sale of the Red Sox for seven races, the most he allowed in a game since August 2017 in just three innings on the way to a 12-4 victory.

Although the Red Sox managed to win the game on Friday, post-season hero Nathan Eovaldi was also ineffective, giving up three homers – the same number he gave up in all of his 54 regular-season innings with Boston at last year.

On Saturday, the Mariners also reached Eduardo Rodriguez for six races in 4⅓ innings. And in Sunday's loss, Boston striker Rick Porcello could not get out of the third inning after giving up nine races, though only four of them have been won.

Throughout the year 2018, the Red Sox starters had only 12 games in which they gave up at least five races conquered in less than five completed innings.

Cora, despite his insistence that his long-term plan is the right move, said he still hopes his entrants will perform better than in Seattle.

"We expect them to play the ball independently. We did the same last year and Chris was [six innings] in Tampa, five in Miami. I do not know why people right now, all of a sudden, are: "It's a bad program." It worked last year. Everyone was cool when the beginners were pitching in October and coming out of the bullpen and being rovers. It is easy to guess now why we do not present ourselves well here. "

Cora was more satisfied with the Boston bullpen, which allowed only six runs in 18 innings in Seattle, and only one run in the last three games.

"The only positive result of the whole weekend is the bullpen," Cora said. "They did a great job."

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