May 7, 2017

G31: Red Sox 17, Twins 6

Red Sox - 300 012 01(10) - 17 15  0
Twins   - 000 040 02  0  -  6  6  1
In his first six starts of 2017, Erwin Santana allowed 1, 0, 0, 1, 1, and 0 runs. After Santana had thrown only 13 pitches on Sunday afternoon, he had already allowed three runs to the Red Sox, thanks to a solo home run by Dustin Pedroia and a two-run dong from Andrew Benintendi.

This game was not the pitchers duel one might have expected from the two starters' stats. Santana (6-5-6-3-4, 93) ended up allowing four home runs for the first time since May 2013.

Of Sale's first nine outs, seven were by strikeout. But he, too, stumbled, as the Twins cobbled together three singles, two walks, one HBP, and a passed ball to score four times in the fifth, tying the game at 4-4 (two of the runs scored on sac flies). However, Sale (6-4-4-3-10, 108) did hit double digits in strikeouts for the sixth straight game.

And, as you can see from the linescore, the Red Sox's offense exploded in the ninth. After not scoring more than eight runs in any of their first 29 games, the Red Sox, in Game #31, scored 10 runs in the ninth inning alone, sending 16 men to the plate against three Twins relievers and turning what had been a close game into a laugher. (WEEI's John Tomase called it "the closest 17-6 game in baseball history".)

When the dust cleared, Boston had hit a season-high five home runs: Pedroia and Benintendi in the first, Mookie Betts in the third, and Sandy Leon in both the sixth and ninth. Of the starters, every one had at least one hit, one run scored, and one RBI - except Deven Marrero, who ended the day with absolutely nothing, going 0-for-5.

Leon and Mitch Moreland each drove in four runs, Bogaerts and Benintendi scored three runs each, and Betts had three hits (missing the cycle by a triple). Hanley Ramirez went 1-for-2 with four walks. ... And the Red Sox went 7-for-12 with runners at second and/or third.

I won't recap the game because (1) it would take too long and (2) I actually watched only the top of the first before work called me away, but I will post the lengthy top of the ninth. The 10 runs are the most the Red Sox have ever scored in the ninth inning of a game.
Matt Belisle pitching. Red Sox leading 7-6.
Mookie Betts grounded out second-to-pitcher.
Dustin Pedroia (cbfbb) walked.
Xander Bogaerts (bcf) doubled to left, Pedroia to third.
Andrew Benintendi intentionally walked (bases loaded).
Hanley Ramirez (c) singled to left center, Pedroia scored, Bogaerts to third, Benintendi to second (bases loaded). 8-6.
Mitch Moreland (cf) doubled to deep right, Bogaerts and Benintendi scored, Ramirez to third. 10-6.
Chris Young (c) doubled to deep right, Ramirez and Moreland scored. 12-6.
Justin Haley relieved Belisle.
Sandy Leon (bb) homered to right, Young and Leon scored. 14-6.
Deven Marrero grounded out shortstop-to-first.
Betts (bb) doubled to deep left center.
Pedroia (c) safe at first on error by third baseman, Betts to third.
Chase d'Arnaud ran for Pedroia.
Bogaerts (cbf) tripled to right, Betts and d'Arnaud scored. 16-6.
Benintendi (bbcfbfff) walked.
Craig Breslow relieved Haley.
Ramirez (cbfbb) walked, Benintendi to second (bases loaded).
Moreland (bbssb) walked, Bogaerts scored, Benintendi to third, Ramirez to second (bases loaded). 17-6.
Young (bfb) lined out to center.
10 runs, 7 hits, 5 walks, 1 error. 16 batters, 56 pitches.
In the bottom of the ninth, it looked like at least seven of the eight pitches Joe Kelly threw to Jorge Polanco could have been called strikes, but somehow Polanco walked. Dan Iassogna was behind the plate.

Here is MLB's Gameday's graphic from that at-bat:
And here is the data from Brooks Baseball:
That is some bullshit, right there.

And so is Matt Barnes facing three batters to start the bottom of the eighth (trying to protect a 7-4 lead) and allowing a home run and two walks. Two of those three batters scored. But as I said, I did not see him pitch and the Red Sox won big, so I'm going to pretend that his appearance today never happened. (But I should also point out that later in that inning, Craig Kimbrel came in with the potential tying run at third with one out and struck out Joe Mauer and Max Kepler.)
Chris Sale / Erwin Santana
Betts, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Benintendi, CF
Ramirez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Young, LF
Leon, C
Marrero, 3B
As good as Chris Sale has been (1.38 ERA in 45.2 innings), Erwin Santana has been even better (0.66 ERA in 41 innings).

The Elias Sports Bureau says this will be only the third game in the last 35 years in which both starting pitchers have an ERA below 1.40.

Santana has pitched at least six innings in each of his five starts this season and allowed no more than four hits in any of them; he's giving up only 3.5 hits per 9 innings. He has allowed 10 fewer hits than Sale (16 to 26) and he leads MLB with a 0.707 WHIP.

Sale leads all MLB pitchers with 63 strikeouts, having struck out at least 10 batters in each of his last five starts.

The 2017 Red Sox scored in double digits for the first time yesterday (Game #30). Their previous high in runs was eight (April 11 and April 18). ... Last season, Boston scored in double digits only once in their first 31 games (April 26, Game #20) before scoring 11+ runs in four straight games (May 9-12).

8 comments:

allan said...

MLB Rankings

ERA
Santana 0.66 (#1)
Sale 1.38 (#2)

WHIP
Santana 0.707 (#1)
Sale 0.745 (#2)

Fewest Hits/9 IP
Santana 3.5 (#1)
Sale 5.1 (#2)

allan said...

Hanley Ramirez will play 1B in Milwaukee next week, but Farrell did not say how many games or which games he would play. Mitch Moreland has been slumping: 9-for-48 with three doubles in his last 14 games (before Sunday).

Jere said...

"The Elias Sports Bureau says this will be only the third game in the last 35 years in which both starting pitchers have an ERA below 1.40."

Surely there's a qualifier for this, right? I mean there had to have been plenty of times where two guys who threw shutouts in their first game of the season matched up in their second game.

allan said...

Yeah, I thought of that too. In the game thread, fenfan quoted something from ESPN: "According to STATS, it's the fourth matchup since the mounds were lowered in 1969 that involves starting pitchers with at least six starts and an ERA under 1.40."

D.Ing said...

Admit it. You don't have to be a big John Farrell fan to appreciate that it was a good idea to bring Kimbrel in for the 8th, rather than leave Joe Kelly to the tender mercies of Dan Iossagna while facing Mauer. It was indeed a real game at that point.
Of course if Kimbrel keeps doing what he's doing, and the lineup keeps banging in the 8th and 9th, they could bring back Grady Little and get to the World Series.

laura k said...

Admit it. You don't have to be a big John Farrell fan to appreciate that it was a good idea to bring Kimbrel in for the 8th, rather than leave Joe Kelly to the tender mercies of Dan Iossagna while facing Mauer. It was indeed a real game at that point.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this blog is usually all about bringing in whatever pitcher is best for any particular situation and not worrying about conventional "wisdom" (or ignorance) concerning things like save situations.

Or maybe you're being sarcastic, and my well-documented sarcastically challenged reading skills are in play.

D.Ing said...

Mighty hard to mention both Grady Little and Dan Iossagna in the same comment without veering toward the sarcastic.

allan said...

they could bring back Grady Little ...

Not even appropriate to joke about.