May 5, 2015

G27: Red Sox 2, Rays 0

Rays    - 000 000 000 - 0  8  1
Red Sox - 000 001 01x - 2  5  1
Mookie Betts hit two solo home runs and Rick Porcello (7-8-0-0-6, 102) threw seven shutout innings. The Red Sox snapped a four-game losing streak. Time of game: 2:26.

Betts's first home run - an 0-1 shot into the Monster seats leading off the sixth inning - ended Drew Smyly's bid for a no-hitter.

Through the first five innings, Boston did hit the ball hard. David Ortiz clubbed a ball deep into the triangle to begin the fourth inning that center fielder Kevin Kiermaier caught near the 420 sign; NESN erred by missing the catch completely, as viewers were shown the first ten rows of bleachers where it thought the ball was landing. Blake Swihart smoked a liner than shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera dove to his left to snare neat the dirt, ending the fifth inning.

Betts homered for the second time leading off the eighth, hammering reliever Ernesto Feieri's first pitch into the Monster seats in left-center. Betts is the youngest Red Sox player (22 years, 210 days) to hit two home runs in a game since Jim Rice did it in Game 1 of a July 2, 1975 doubleheader (he also hit two on April 18, 1975). As it happened, the Red Sox were honouring the '75 Sox tonight and the players wore 1975-style uniforms and caps.

It was the first time the Red Sox won a 2-0 game on a pair of solo home runs by the same player since June 23, 1940 (Jim Tabor was the dongman that day). ... Betts is also the youngest Red Sox leadoff hitter with a multi-homer game since Bobby Doerr went deep twice on August 1, 1939.

Betts also made a quick and strong throw from center to double off Evan Longoria at second base in the fourth inning.

Porcello pitched only one perfect inning (the 7th), but, as they say, he "scattered" eight hits. Tampa Bay put its leadoff batter on base in the first, second, and fourth innings - but no Rays baserunner got further than second during the entire game. Alexi Ogando pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and Koji Uehara had no trouble retiring the Rays in order in the ninth.
Drew Smyly / Rick Porcello
Betts, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Sandoval, 3B
Craig, LF
Holt, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Swihart, C
Some interesting - though possibly pre-mature - thoughts from OTM's Ben Buchanan:
The Red Sox have needed fixing since Day 1. ...

The problem is that just about everyone that could miss seems to be missing right now, to say nothing of a good few whose performances were never in doubt. The Red Sox are 12-14 through 26 games of the season, and frankly, they're lucky to be that. With even the slightest defensive competence from their first few opponents, it's easy to imagine 10-16 or 9-17. ...

The Red Sox can't afford to put off the wholesale changes much longer. It's time to start pulling the triggers where they're available. That means Rusney Castillo in right field, and getting Jackie Bradley Jr. back in the mix if Hanley Ramirez is down. It means Eduardo Rodriguez in the rotation. It might well mean Allen Craig or Daniel Nava at first base just to see if one of them can get it going when given the opportunities that Mike Napoli has had. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But in a week, or two at most. The Red Sox can't afford to wait until the trade deadline, because they need to know if their parts are worth building around in the first place.
I find myself agreeing with commenter Toocoolfool:
I think the goal this year was to just "trend water" and be a .500ish team. The Redsox are trying to build a team for the long run. Its why they wont trade Betts, Swihart, Bogaerts or any blue chip prospects. Its why they gave Moncada and Castillo loads of money despite not even playing an inning in A ball. Its why they gave Porcello 20 mil, even if hes not a 20mil aav pitcher. They are valuing youth and are trying to build "The next great Redsox team" filled with players in their 20s capable of making the playoffs every year for a decade.
However, I also believe this is better than a .500 team.


allan said...

"[Last night] was the first time this season that the Astros lost a game in which they held a lead, having been 18-0 this year in such games before Monday's defeat. In the last 100 years only three other major-league teams won the first 18 (or more) games of a season in which they led by at least one run: the 1921 Pirates (25-0), 1975 Cubs (22-0) and 1990 Reds (26-0)."

allan said...

"Day-to-day? It will take a minor miracle for Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez not to miss extended time after reinjuring his left shoulder, which he has already had surgically repaired twice since 2007."

hrstrat57 said...

Please please bring back stirrups and stripes!!!

What a Red Sox uni should look like not glorified sweat pants.....

Jere said...

As soon as the game ended, I expected Allan to tell us when the last time we won a 2-0 game on two solo dongs by the same player. And boom goes the dynamite. Thanks!

Also, why couldn't they have done the red helmets? You tellin' me they couldn't have produced 15 red helmets to match the unis, which would then be auctioned off at a profit anyway? It's not like the helmet is some "extra," it's part of the uni just as the hat is!

allan said...

Can't take credit for that. I got that from fenfan in the game thread actually. I think he heard it from TC on NESN. ... Then it was in the early game stories.

FenFan said...

From checking BB-Ref this morning, Betts and Tabor are the only two players in team history to accomplish this feat.

Since 1914, the Sox have won 23 games in which they hit two solo homes that accounted for the only runs of the game. Eight times, the final score has been 2-0. The last time the opposition was blanked happened was 03 September 2004 against the Rangers at Fenway; Manny Ramirez and Bill Mueller provided the long balls.

One year earlier on 02 September 2003 (and I remember this game), the Sox won 2-1 against the White Sox in Chicago. What's unique beyond Trot Nixon and Gabe Kapler accounting for the only Boston runs via solo shots is that those were the only two hits for the Sox. The only other Boston base runner was Kevin Millar, who drew a walk to open the fifth; he was then retired on a double play.

The opposing pitcher? Bartolo Colon, who pitched a complete game and finished with a game score of 79.

hrstrat57 said...

mookie don't stop wearing the stripes!

allan said...

ESPN adds this:
"This marked the first time in nearly 50 years that a pair of solo homers by the same player were the only runs in a Red Sox win. The last such instance was by Lenny Green on June 19, 1965, in a 2-1 win over the White Sox."

allan said...

Alex Speier:
"Betts became the 16th Red Sox in the last 100 years to go deep twice in a game at the age of 22 or younger, the first to do it since Phil Plantier in 1991, and, at 22 years and 210 days, the youngest to do it since Jim Rice went deep twice on July 2, 1975, at the age of 22 years and 116 days."