August 18, 2016

G120: Tigers 4, Red Sox 3

Red Sox - 000 100 020 - 3  9  0
Tigers  - 010 000 03x - 4 10  0
Looking at that linescore tells you a few things: (a) Clay Buchholz pitched very well (6-6-1-0-3, 81), the Red Sox rallied late to snap a 1-1 tie, and (c) a bullpen implosion gave the gave away in the bottom of the eighth. This time the fault lies with Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler - and to manager John Farrell for relying on Taz in a high-leverage situation.

The Red Sox, facing Alex Wilson, took the lead in the eighth inning on three straight singles: Xander Bogaerts reached on an infield hit, Mookie Betts dumped a single into right, and Hanley Ramirez singled up the middle. Another run scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.

But just as Boston had done in the top half, so the Tigers did against Tazawa in the home half. Ian Kinsler singled to left. Erick Aybar doubled to right, Kinsler moving to third. Miguel Cabrera singled to center, scoring Kinsler. Three batters and three hits against Tazawa, and Brad Ziegler took over on the mound. Victor Martinez singled to right and Aybar scored, tying the game at 3-3. Ziegler walked J.D. Martinez, loading the bases with no outs. Ziegler bounced back, getting an out on a force play at the plate and striking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia. But he then walked Andrew Romine to force in the go-ahead run.

In the top of the ninth, facing Francisco Rodriguez, Travis Shaw walked and Brock Holt came in to run. Andrew Benintendi grounded into a fielder's choice, just beating the relay throw to first (and surviving a challenge by the Tigers). David Ortiz pinch-hit for Aaron Hill and singled to center, with Benintendi stopping at second. Dustin Pedroia pinch-ran for Ortiz. The Red Sox came up short, however, with Bogaerts grounding out to first and - with runners now at third and second - Mookie Betts lined out to second.

Sandy Leon homered in the fourth inning. ... The loss snapped Boston's six-game winning streak.

Clay Buchholz / Matt Boyd
Hill, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Betts, RF
Ramirez, 1B
Bradley, CF
Leon, DH
Holaday, C
Marrero, 2B
Benintendi, LF


allan said...


CC Sabathia struck out 12 batters and walked only one in the six innings he pitched against the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon, but he allowed all of the runs Toronto scored in its 7-4 win over the Yankees in the Bronx. Since 1893, when the pitching distance was set at 60 feet, six inches, only one other major-league pitcher has had a game in which he allowed seven or more runs and racked up at least a dozen strikeouts while issuing no more than one walk. That was Curt Schilling in his 10-7 win for the Diamondbacks over the Marlins on April 25, 2001. Schilling pitched seven innings in that game and recorded 12 strikeouts but no walks.

Jackie Bradley Jr. reached the 20-homer mark for the first time in his major-league career when he hit a two-run shot in the Red Sox' rain-shortened 8-1 win at Baltimore. Bradley has hit all of his home runs this year as a center fielder. He's the fourth Boston player in the last 25 years to hit 20 or more home runs in one season as a center fielder. The other Red Sox players to do that since 1991 were Carl Everett (33 in 2000), Johnny Damon (20 in 2004) and Jacoby Ellsbury (32 in 2011).

Maxwell Horse said...

Here are all the arguments I'm hearing (and disagree with) for letting Farrell off the hook for going with Tazawa.

1) Did Farrell throw any pitches? No. It's all on the pitcher. The players have to make the plays. They get paid big money. Since Farrell never swings the bat or throws pitches, he bears no responsibility for negative things that happen in game.

2) No one in this bullpen is a sure thing. So it's okay to go to Tazawa. Even though he (along with Abad) is the last guy you want in a high-leverage situation, it's okay. Because there isn't anyone else that is a 100% sure-fire slam dunk. Because your only other options are only "good" at best, then it's okay to opt for the worst possible option.

3) Ziegler's numbers against those batters are even worse than Tazawa's. So that means going to Tazawa was the right move. (This presupposes that those two are the only pitchers in the bullpen.)

4) Tazawa has been great pitching many late, high-leverage innings for us. (This presupposes that we all have Memento-style amnesia, and that the bulk of his 2016 performances never fully imprinted on our hippocampuses.)

I think that's most of them.

tim said...

In spite of all that, MH, I still think he should have went to Kimbrel after Ziegler recorded the second out in the eighth....his unwillingness to bring in the 'best pitcher' / 'closer' for 4 saves and/or on the road still annoys me. Or was there another reason (I am not aware of?) that Kimbrel wasn't brought in?

hrstrat57 said...

The whole game had a strange vibe to it.....

A win would have been huge, surprised the team didn't play more aggressive, inspired ball to stick it to the Tigers.

We miss the playoffs by a game or two this one will stand out.

Maxwell Horse said...

I hear you, Tim. Almost anything *other* than what Farrell did would've been preferable. Even if the results weren't good, the decision-making would've at least been more excusable.

I forgot another one.

5) Had Farrell's decision been reversed, and Ziegler started the inning clean and blew the lead, people would be screaming at Farrell. He can't win!

[To which I'd respond: Really? You honestly think that if Ziegler gave up 3 hits in a row, Sox fans would be screaming at Farrell because he didn't pitch cooked Tazawa instead? Additionally, would fans be screaming to THEN bring in Tazawa to try to mop up Ziegler's mess? What fantasy world is this?]

tim said...

hrstrat - getting in at 4 AM and then playing at 1 PM may have had something to do with being a little sluggish, but they seemed alright to me.