May 9, 2014

G35: Rangers 8, Red Sox 0

Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0  1  0
Rangers - 102 050 00x - 8 14  1

[UPDATE (May 14): Error on Ortiz pop-up changed to a hit.]

Yu Darvish retired the first 20 Boston batters and came within one out of a no-hitter.

David Ortiz singled through the shift into right field on a 2-1 count with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. Elvus Andrus dove to his right but the ball skipped past him. Darvish (8.2-1-0-2-12, 125) was pulled after the hit.

The Red Sox were last no-hit by Seattle's Chris Bosio on April 22, 1993, and have never had a perfect game thrown against them.

[One note re Ortiz's ninth-inning at-bat: He took a called strike on Darvish's first pitch, which was well outside. On NESN, Jerry Remy commented, as though it was the most natural thing in the world, that when a pitcher is very close to a no-hitter (one out away, in this case), the strike zone gets bigger. In other words, THE UMPIRE DECIDES ON HIS OWN TO SUDDENLY CHANGE THE RULES TO HELP ONE TEAM HAVE AN EASIER CHANCE OF WINNING. And no one bats an eye. They all nod their heads and say, yup, that's how it's always been.]

Ortiz was also the first Red Sox baserunner, back in the seventh inning when he reached on a peculiar fielding error by right fielder Alex Rios, ending Darvish's bid for a perfect game. The ball was a pop-up to short right and neither second baseman Rougned Odor nor Rios touched it. On a normal night, the play would have been scored a hit without a second thought. (But in the late innings of a possible no-hitter, the official scorer made a blatantly wrong decision to keep Darvish's no-no bid alive.) Darvish then walked Mike Napoli before getting out of the inning. He also walked Xander Bogaerts to start the eighth.

In the ninth, Dustin Pedroia (fbbf) hit a hard grounder to third on a 2-2 pitch. Adrian Beltre made a nice pick and threw wild to first. Price Fielder came off the bag to grab the throw. Pedroia tried to run around him to avoid a tag, and was called out for going well out of the baseline. (I'm not sure why Fielder did not simply turn around and step on the base.) Shane Victorino (cff) struck out, chasing a pitch low and outside. (Both Victorino and Jackie Bradley fanned three times.) Then Ortiz (cbb) stroked his hit to right.

Clay Buchholz (4.1-10-6-2-3, 96) did not make it out of the fifth inning. Chris Capuano was the first man out of the bullpen and four runs scored while he was on the mound: two inherited runners and two of his own.
Clay Buchholz / Yu Darvish
Pedroia, 2B
Victorino, RF
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Sizemore, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Pierzynski, C
Middlebrooks, 3B
Bradley, CF
Now that the Red Sox have finally raised their record once again up to .500 (17-17) - they are 2 GB the Orioles in the AL East - perhaps they can accomplish something tonight they have yet to do this season: win a third consecutive game.

Boston's longest winning "streak" has been two games, accomplished six times: April 2/3, April 16/17, April 19/20, April 25/26, May 2/3, and May 6/7.

The Red Sox beat the Rangers twice in three games at Fenway on April 7-8-9.


FenFan said...

One three-game losing streak but amazing how back-and-forth it has been with the wins and losses. It shouldn't be surprising that they have hovered close to .500 all season.

Maurice said...

ooh. Contest fodder:

Which game will the Red Sox go above .500 and not fall back below. First guess takes the game, closest guess over wins. (opposite of Price is Right) G49.

allan said...

ESPN: "Did Ortiz break up Yu's no-hit bid twice?"

Me: Yes.

Maxwell Horse said...

I actually missed the last half of the game. But it's a good thing the ball Ortiz hit in the ninth didn't tip off any of the scrambling infielders' gloves or else I'm pretty sure Darvish would've completed his "no-hitter."

Benjamin said...

The strike zone had already expanded quite a bit by the 6th.

Maurice said...

The missed story is Ortiz' reaction to the called strike on the first pitch of his at-bat. Here's a guy who's got no trouble visibly displaying his pleasure at stuff far closer than that pitch ever had a hope of being called a strike. Yet he simply steps back, takes a breath, and steps back in.

I think the ball was BS. I think the error was BS. But if there was ever any evidence that "that's the way it's done" was accepted by the players, Papi's non-reaction would be it.

Still, I'm glad it was Ortiz who fixed the scorer's "error"...

allan said...

The strike zone had already expanded quite a bit by the 6th.

It seems like Bradley has been getting screwed on balls/strikes in just about every game I've watched. I guess he hasn't yet "earned" the right to have the rules apply to him.

allan said...

Here is Brooks' plot for Ortiz's AB in the 9th inning. The call is wrong, of course, but not wildly crazy. Sadly, I've seen plenty like this.