July 21, 2015

G94: Astros 8, Red Sox 3

Red Sox - 003 000 000 - 3  8  1
Astros  - 100 042 01x - 8  9  0
The Red Sox have completely destroyed any good vibes they may have created during their hot streak before the All-Star Game.

On June 20, Boston was 10 games out of first place. By July 9, the Red Sox had whittled that deficit down to a mere five games, sparking thoughts of contention in the second half. But now, after losing their sixth game in a row, they will wake up on the morning of July 22 once again 10 games behind the Yankees in the AL East. At 42-52, Boston has the worst record in the American League.

Boston held a two-run lead for a couple of innings before Houston struck for four runs in the fifth. With runners at first and third, and Jose Altuve at the plate, Jake Marisnick took off for second. Ryan Hanigan's throw struck the sliding runner and caromed off into left field. Chris Carter, who had begun the inning with a single, trotted home from third and Marisnick came all the way around to score the tying run, his head-first slide beating Hanley Ramirez's off-line throw to the plate.

Carter hit a two-run home run off Justin Masterson in the following inning to put the game out of reach.

Brian Johnson (4.1-3-4-4-3, 87) was a bit wild in his major league debut (his last start was July 6), walking Altuve, the first batter he faced. (NESN reinforced its unprofessionalism by not showing the first pitch of Johnson's career. That's inexcusable production from a network that, after years of practice, is still unable to broadcast a complete baseball game. One can only hope Johnson's parents were either at the game or watching the Astros feed.) Altuve stole second and scored on a sac fly to give the Astros an early 1-0 lead. Johnson issued two one-out walks in the second, but stranded the runners, one of the outs a nice catch by Ramirez in left.

Alejandro de Aza lined a single to right to open the top of the third. Hanigan smoked a double to the wall in left. Mookie Betts checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch and knocked the ball inside the first base bag and down the right field line for a two-run double. Xander Bogaerts's single brought Betts home for the third run. And Johnson then went out and struck out the side in the bottom half, retiring Houston's 1-2-3 hitters.

Brock Holt doubled with one out in the fourth, but De Aza and Hanigan both struck out. Boston would not get another runner past first base over the game's final five innings. Ramirez singled in the sixth and De Aza singled in the seventh, but both were erased in inning-ending double plays.
Brian Johnson / Vincent Velasquez
Betts, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, LF
Sandoval, 3B
Holt, 1B
De Aza, RF
Hanigan, C
Brian Johnson, a 24-year-old left-hander, makes his major league debut in Houston.

Sox Prospects has a report here:
Future number four or five starter. Four average pitch mix with solid-average command and control. Lacks swing-and-miss pitch and a plus offering. Advanced knowledge of pitching and sequencing. Strong pitchability, knows how to pitch. Tempo pitcher that works incredibly fast. Impressive feel for pitching having recently committed to pitching full-time. Incredibly smart and has a good understanding of reading hitters. Gives his best effort every time with a fearless, determined approach.
Also: The Red Sox activated Daniel Nava and optioned Deven Marrero to Pawtucket.

For those about to pitch ...


allan said...

Bro, this year is just a bad year, man. I've seen things here in 13 years I've never seen. Bro, it's just like we can't find a way. If we swing the bat good, we're out. If we don't swing the bat good, we're out. ... Got to start winning. We're going to keep putting up the fight, man, you know? We got to battle, got to battle. Who knows, things will change and come our way."

allan said...

Alex Speier, 108 Stitches:
"This was not the imperceptible leak of a nail in a tire. This was a four-wheel, four-game blowout, hope spinning out and crashing through the guardrails. ...
At 42-51, the Red Sox are tied with the Mariners for the worst record in the American League. Only two teams in big league history – the 1973 Mets and 1984 Royals, both of whom were likewise 42-51 – have ever reached the playoffs with 42 or fewer wins through 93 games. With exactly nine games remaining before July 31, the Red Sox would have to win all of them to get to .500 by the trade deadline. For a team that hasn't won more than four straight all year, that seems a pipe dream."

9casey said...

Tampa bay beats Philly 1-0... First time ever only run was by a home run by American League pitcher ... I know you dig stuff like that Allan..

allan said...

I do! I saw the Rays pitcher had homered, but did not put it together with the final score. Thanks!

9casey said...

Update.. First time since 1962.. Sorry for the bad info.

allan said...

Some stuff from Elias:

Phillies starter Aaron Nola, making his major-league debut, allowed a solo home run to the opposing starting pitcher, rookie Nathan Karns, in Philadelphia's 1-0 loss to the Rays on Tuesday. The last pitcher to allow a homer to a pitcher in his major-league debut was the Yankees' Brad Halsey on June 19, 2004; Halsey surrendered a solo blast to Hideo Nomo of the Dodgers.

Nathan Karns joins a list of some notable names to homer against a pitcher making his major-league debut. Among them, Bob Gibson and Ferguson Jenkins both did so in 1970, homering off the Giants' Skip Pitlock and the Pirates' Ed Acosta, respectively.

Over the last 30 years, there have been only two other games in which a pitcher's solo homer accounted for the only run of the game. In April 2009, the Brewers' Yovani Gallardo did this in a 1-0 win over the Pirates, and the Dodgers' Odalis Perez did so against the Diamondbacks in August 2002.

However, Tuesday's game was just the second in major-league history in which a rookie pitcher's homer accounted for the only run. You have to go back over 130 years to find the first time this happened, when Rutherford B. Hayes was the president. On July 26, 1879, the Syracuse Stars' Harry McCormick accomplished this feat against the Boston Red Caps. McCormick batted third in the Syracuse lineup that day and homered in the top of the first inning. Though the game was played in Syracuse, the home team batted first, as was frequently the case in those early days of professional baseball.