How one pitch put a dagger in the Red Sox


Reese McGuire's crazy trade stories

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Two pitchers. Two pitches. One big dose of unexpected reality.

The first pitch of what would be a Red Sox 5-4, walk-off loss to the Royals was a 93.7 mph fastball from Nathan Eovaldi that MJ Melendez hit 434 feet for a leadoff homer.

The second was Garrett Whitlock's two-out, 3-2 changeup to Nick Pratto that also resulted in a home run, this one leading to the celebratory ice bath and a demoralized Red Sox team.

Two of the club's best pitchers throwing what was supposed to be their best pitches. It was a microcosm of the Red Sox' existence. Best laid plans that just haven't quite worked out.

It was tough to pin blame on this one considering Whitlock had breezed through his first eight batters without incident. The Sox had also showed admirable resiliency, fighting back twice behind homers from Bobby Dalbec and Alex Verdugo.

But this is a results business and the results of this one was tough for the Red Sox to swallow.

Not only did you lose for the second time in three days to a team 22 games under .500, but fell four games out of a Wild Card spot in the process.

Making the Sox' existence even more uncomfortable is the fact that after one final game against the Royals, they have a week's worth of contests against two playoff teams (the Braves and Yankees), with one make-up against an Orioles squad that has won five in a row.

The Red Sox might have players coming back, but games like this significantly diminishes any hope that might come with such good news. They are in last-place by a full three games.

It was one pitch and one game. But the bigger picture they presented seemed like so much more.