This week in Red Sox baseball has had no shortage of storylines. Trevor Story hit three jacks and knocked in seven last night. The team took two of three from the defending AL champs in the Houston Astros. All in all, it’s been a solid week of ball so far. That is, until you factor in the types of pitches Steve Aoki and Nate Eovaldi were throwing.
Aoki’s First Pitch
Steve Aoki’s airmail was an instant classic in terms of first pitch fails. It entered the conversation among legendarily bad celebrity tosses. You’ve seen 50 Cent go wide left. Conor McGregor yanked it with all his might. Mariah Carey’s first pitch travelled roughly six feet in the air.
And now we have Steve Aoki CHUCKING a ball clear over the backstop, onto the netting that hangs over the bleachers behind home plate.
This is not Steve Aoki’s first bad offering on a big league mound. He threw out the first pitch before a Dodgers game back in 2015. The opposite happened that time; he bounced it over the plate. He seemed to take that personally, Michael Jordan-style, and swore he’d never not put enough juice on it ever again.
The world-famous DJ also got some advice from Matt Barnes before he took the mound. This included tidbits like “aim higher,” “throw it as hard as you can,” and “let it eat.” Whelp, he did those things, that’s for sure. Is it a coincidence that one of the worst first pitches ever was preceded by a few pointers from a man with a 7.11 ERA this season?
Sorry, it was right there I couldn’t resist.
Eovaldi’s Home Run Derby
Aoki’s first pitch took place before Monday’s game. That was just good entertainment, though. No real bearing on the Red Sox season. What Nate Eovaldi did on the other hand, was a master class in bad pitching.
I’m sure you’ve seen the highlights by now, but the Red Sox incumbent ace became just the third pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to give up five (5) home runs in one inning. Eovaldi throws hard, but he doesn’t have a high spin-rate and pounds the strike zone. When you don’t have your best stuff, those ingredients can lead to some gopher balls. In this case, five of them.
Tuesday’s performance is obviously an outlier, but Eovaldi has given up 14 long balls this season, the most in the Majors. He allowed just 15 last season across 32 starts. Something needs to be tweaked if he’s going to keep the ball in the ballpark, because right now, guys are taking out the driver against him.
Maybe a historically bad performance like the one we saw on Tuesday is what inspires real change in his approach. Or maybe it’s something mechanical. It has to be something. The baseballs seem to be deadened this season and hitters are launching Eovaldi pitches into the seats like he’s throwing Super Balls.
At least the Red Sox have been winning this week (3-1 so far), because Steve Aoki and Nate Eovaldi did not bring their A-game.
Join the discussion