Mike’d Up: Who pitched for the Red Sox this year, like really

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Phillips Valdez, tries to throw out Atlanta Braves’ Travis d’Arnaud, at first base after a ground ball in the eighth inning of a baseball game on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

There were few times I found myself happy to be a fan of the Boston Red Sox this season. Honestly, I can’t think of a single one off of the top of my head. I am very glad this horrific season is over. 

This was the team’s worst season since 1965, when they went 62-100. They had the third worst team ERA and the worst team WHIP in baseball this year. They will have maybe three healthy starters next season with Martin Perez, Tanner Houck and Nathan Eovaldi.  

Thanks to fellow Daily Campus staff writer’s idea for this column, I am going to look at photos of every pitcher that got a start for the Red Sox this season – all 16 of them – and tell you whether I could pick them out in a police lineup. This is not a serious column, so beware. 

I am going to do this in order of number of starts, from highest to lowest. 

LHP Martin Perez, 12 starts 

Before looking: I am confident that I could pick him out in a lineup, he was one of the few bright spots on this Red Sox team.  

After looking: I had a distinct image of what he looked like in my head and I was nearly 100% right, minus the facial hair. I was thinking he had more of a chin strap look, but he is definitely a full beard guy. I am 1-for-1, so far. 

RHP Nathan Eovaldi, nine starts 

Nathan Eovaldi pitches for Red Sox during a game against the Orioles. 8/10/18 (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Before looking: If I get this wrong then I do not deserve to be called a Red Sox fan. The 2018 World Series hero is quite easy to spot. 

After looking: Success, he looks exactly like what I was expecting. This was as much of a sure thing as there was on this list. It’s only down hill from here. 2-for-2. 

RHP Zack Godley, seven starts 

Zack Godley participates in a fielding drill at the Diamondbacks spring workout on 2-27-16 (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Before looking: I am picturing a stout man with medium length brown hair. I am very unconfident with how this one is going to go. 

After looking: I nailed the hair length, but I was way off about his facial structure and goatee. I am not exactly sure whether I can count this one. His demeanor looks way more serious in pictures than I anticipated. I think we have our first loss here. 2-for-3. 

RHP Chris Mazza, six starts 

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Mazza works against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Before looking: Mazza was one of the first acquisitions of the Chaim Bloom tenure. However, I have no clue what he looks like. I think this is an auto-loss. 

After looking: Any sort of idea I had about what this man looked lie was wrong. I thought he had long hair and no facial hair – both of which were wildly incorrect. 2-for-4. 

RHP Ryan Weber, five starts 

Braves starter Ryan Weber delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Mets in 2016. (Photo courtesy of Arturo Pardavila/Flickr)

Before looking: All I know about Ryan Weber is that he keeps getting compared to Greg Maddux on the NESN broadcast, which is just flat out disrespectful to Maddux. The guy throws 86 and has a fairly unamusing presence on the bump. I am going to say he’s about 5-foot-9 and has no facial hair.  

After looking: I was very wrong about his height, he’s 6-foot-1. He can grow a bit of facial hair but not enough to say that I was wrong – and he typically keeps it clean. I am going to chalk this up as a win because I definitely had his face right. 3-for-5. 

RHP Colten Brewer, four starts 

Colton Brewer delivers a pitch for the Boston Red Sox during a 2019 game at Camden Yards in Baltimore. (Photo courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr)

Before looking: Brewer has been with the team for a few years now but has largely been hurt or just too bad to play for them. Not this year, when he was their sixth-most regular starter. I have no inclination of what he looks like, but I am feeling a red beard – like I have – for this one. 

After looking: I didn’t have any idea what he looked like before Googling him, but his beard could be considered red in the right lighting. I am still going to say this is a loss though. Man, these next 10 are going to be tough. 3-for-6.  

RHP Tanner Houck, three starts 

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Tanner Houck (89) delivers a pitch in the first inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Before looking: Houck is a relatively new addition to the team after being called up late in the season. The former first rounder is really tall and lanky, if I remember correctly. I am thinking he also has a pretty solid jaw line.  

After looking: I completely forgot about Houck’s full glove-side tattoo sleeve – which looks pretty slick if I might add. I more or less got this one. He stands at 6-foot-5 and has visible cheek bones. 4-for-7. 

LHP Kyle Hart, three starts 

Before looking: Simply put, I have no idea. He’d run into me on the street and I would think he’s someone’s assistant out for coffee for all I know. 

After looking: I don’t even know how to describe him, except maybe as the stock player you get on MLB the Show. 4-for-8. 

LHP Mike Kickham, two starts 

Boston Red Sox catcher Kevin Plawecki, left, and pitcher Mike Kickham congratulate each other after a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Atlanta. Boston won 9-1. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Before looking: I know he has really long hair for sure. He is also reasonably tall. This man hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2014, when he posted over a 22 ERA. So, give me a break on this one. 

After looking: His face is eerily small for his head, but he has some great lettuce. He may be bad at pitching, but the man can grow some hair. Props to him. 4-for-9. 

RHP Nick Pivetta, two starts 

Boston Red Sox pitcher Nick Pivetta works against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

Before looking: I accidentally saw a picture of Pivetta when looking up Houck, however, I have the brain of a 2005 Dell laptop as my girlfriend likes to say, so I do not remember any particular features. I know he’s super tall and he’s clean shaven. 

After looking: He has a much rounder face than I initially thought. He also has a good amount of freckles. 4-for-10. 

RHP Andrew Triggs, two starts 

Before looking: Ahem, who? 

After looking: This is starting to get bad, I haven’t gotten one right in four pitchers now. 4-for-11. 

RHP Ryan Brasier, one start 

Ryan Braiser spring training in 2018. (Bryan Green/Flickr)

Before looking: How could I forget the face of the bearded, crooked-necked fire-baller. Brasier is a lock.  

After looking: His beard is so fluffy. I crushed this one. We’re back on track. 5-for-12. 

RHP Austin Brice, one start 

Austin Brice at spring training 2020. (Bryan Green/Flickr)

Before looking: I am not sure, but the word that’s coming to my head is soft. I don’t know why, but that’s what I’m working with here. 

After looking: I was wrong. His neck is the same thickness as his head. He has very unnerving facial hair – especially when he was with the Cincinnati Reds. 5-for-13. 

LHP Josh Osich, one start 

John Osich during Red Sox spring training 2020. (Bryan Green/Flickr)

Before looking: Osich is no longer with the Red Sox, after being traded to the Chicago Cubs at the deadline. I am picturing dark hair and a solid beard. I think I have this one.  

After looking: I was wildly wrong on his face, but I did get the beard. I am not going to count this one, mostly because I was so confident. 5-for-14. 

LHP Matt Hall, one start 

Before looking: I am so close to finishing this list. These next two pitchers were absolutely horrible this season. Hall had over an 18 ERA this season. The lefty allowed 18 runs in 8.2 innings. Yikes. He could be president and I would still have no clue what he looks like.  

After looking: His portrait from MLB the Show looks like he was freshly hit with a bus – or he just had a rough morning. Understandable, considering his performance. 5-for-15. 

RHP Robinson Leyer, one start 

Before looking: I also saw a picture of Leyer on accident while looking at the other starters. I know he has good cheek bones and no ground to stand on if he calls himself a pitcher. His 21-plus ERA must be near league worst. He walked over 15 batters per nine innings. Like c’mon dude. 

After looking: I was more or less right, but only because I saw the picture. This is another loss 5-for-16. 

Upon further reflection, I think my terrible performance on this little test shows more about the state of the Red Sox right now than anything. I hit at a .313 clip, which is pretty good for a hitter, right? 

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