June 22, 2016

G71: White Sox 8, Red Sox 6

White Sox - 101 002 031 - 8 10  0
Red Sox   - 004 002 000 - 6 13  1
For my money, this was a worse loss than Monday's extra-inning defeat (which NESN's Dave O'Brien was still moaning about, calling it "wrenching". At one point, he estimated that the Red Sox had a 94% of scoring in that ninth inning, though how he came up with that number was not explained. (Looking at actual data from 2010-15, the chance of a run scoring in that situation was 86%.))

Anyway, Xander Bogaerts was robbed of a home run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, a blast that would have tied the game at 7-7. Bogaerts drilled a pitch to left center and it appeared as though a fan touched the ball above the top of the wall. However, the hit was ruled a double. After David Ortiz was walked intentionally, Chris Young nearly drilled a three-run dong down the left field line, but that one sailed foul. Young struck out on the next pitch.

After the White Sox added another run in the top of the ninth, Jackie Bradley started the bottom half with a single, bringing the potential tying run to the plate three times. Hanley Ramirez struck out looking, Deven Marrero struck out swinging, and Sandy Leon grounded to shortstop.

Eduardo Rodriguez (6-4-4-2-7, 102) looked much better with his old mechanics. He allowed a first-inning run when Adam Eaton drew a one-out walk and scored on Melky Cabrera's double. (Cabrera went 4-for-5, with 4 RBI.) Jason Coats's first major league hit - a ground-rule double to right - began the top of the third, and Coats later scored on an infield error.

Boston's offense woke up in the bottom of the third. Leon walked (for the first of three times). Betts was credited with an infield single when Brett Lawrie tried a behind-the-back flip force play at second after diving for his ground ball (a regular flip might have recorded the out). Dustin Pedroia singled to right, and the bases were loaded. Bogaerts lined a single off the Wall for two runs. (O'Brien must have marked his scorecard incorrectly, because for the rest of the night, he referred to this hit as a double. NESN's graphics had it right when Bogaerts batted in the fourth, sixth, and eighth innings, but O'Brien called it wrong over and over and over.) Ortiz gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead with a single to right. Bradley then drilled the ball off the pitcher's foot and into center field, and the fourth run of the inning scored.

Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer in the sixth, tying the game at 4-4. But the Red Sox attacked immediately. Ramirez lined a bullet into the Red Sox bullpen for his 6th home run of the season, giving Boston a 5-4 lead. Leon walked with one out, went to third on Pedroia's hit, and scored on Bogaerts's infield single, a dribbler down the third base line.

Koji Uehara came in for the eighth with a two-run cushion - and allowed three runs. Eaton singled and Cabrera homered with one out. Then, with two outs, Lawrie crushed a ball over the Monster Seats and Chicago led 7-6. That set up Bogaerts's blast in the eighth, which was clearly a blown call, in my opinion. (Also, home plate umpire Mike Estabrook was horrible inconsistent, blowing well over a dozen ball/strike calls from the first to the ninth.)
Jose Quintana / Eduardo Rodriguez
Betts, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Ortiz, DH
Young, LF
Bradley, CF
Ramirez, 1B
Shaw, 3B
Leon, C
Rodriguez is going to go back to the delivery he was using last year. He had altered his mechanics in response to the knee injury he suffered in spring training.

Pitching coach Carl Willis:
He'd gone with a different delivery, which from the outset it was like, "You were really good," but you have to take into consideration the physical side, him returning from an injury. He's more comfortable with the old delivery, he feels like now there is no issue there and both he and we feel his delivery last year is a better delivery for him, so we started working on that ...
I feel like all my life I've been pitching like I pitched last year, and this year I changed a little bit, because I was scared with the knee. But now it's normal, so now I go back to my normal mechanics. ... Just working to get back to the mechanics I had last year from the windup and keep throwing strikes. Throw the ball where I want it, and that's it.

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