July 30, 2017

G106: Royals 5, Red Sox 3

Royals   - 000 100 040 - 5 12  1
Red Sox  - 020 010 000 - 3  9  2
After coming back from two runs down twice last night (4-2 and 8-6), the Red Sox tried to do it again in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday afternoon. Down 5-3, they loaded the bases against Kelvin Herrera and had Mookie Betts at the plate with two outs. But all Betts could do was loft Herrera's 1-2 pitch to shallow center, where Lorenzo Cain made the game-ending catch.

Jackie Bradley began the ninth with a walk. Xander Bogaerts flied to center and Mitch Moreland struck out swinging. Christian Vazquez singled to right, sending Bradley to second. On Herrera's first pitch to Rafael Devers, Vaz and JBJ pulled a double steal. Devers then walked and Brock Holt ran for him. Betts could not deliver, however, lowering his average since July 4 to .214 (21-for-98, and 16 of those 21 hits are singles).

It would be ideal if Drew Pomeranz (6.2-7-1-1-4, 106) could throw 180 pitches per start. but he cannot. And so Matt Barnes was on the mound in the top of the eighth. After Cain reached on an error by Bogaerts, Barnes surrendered three straight singles to: Eric Hosmer (infield hit), Salvador Perez (bases loaded), and Alcides Escobar (two runs scored, runners moved up on Betts's throwing error). Robby Scott came in and gave up a two-run triple to Alex Gordon. Scott got the next two hitters and Heath Hembree recorded the third out.

Barnes's blown save was the sixth of the month for the Red Sox, who blew only six saves in the first three months of the season.
Blown Saves (2017)
Date       Game   Pitcher   Etc.
April 7    G  3   Scott     (Hembree got the loss)
April 20   G 16   Kimbrel   (Also got the win)
April 30   G 24   Kelly     (Barnes got the win)
May 29     G 50   Barnes    (Also got the loss)
June 21    G 72   Scott     (Also got the loss)
June 30    G 80   Hembree   (Boyer got the win; Kimbrel got the save)
July 3     G 83   Kimbrel   (Hembree got the win)
July 9     G 89   Kelly     (Also got the loss)
July 15    G 91   Kimbrel   (Fister got the loss (7 innings later))
July 25    G102   Hembree   (Fister got the loss (6 innings later))
July 29    G105   Boyer     (Barnes got the win)
July 30    G106   Barnes    (Also got the loss)
The Red Sox have blown saves in 12 games, but they have won almost half of those games (5-7). They had 18 blown saves last season. (Can you guess who led the team, with four? The answer is here.)

In the bottom of the eighth, Betts lead off with an infield single against Brandon Maurer. But his teammates left him there, as Eduardo Nunez fouled to the catcher, Andrew Benintendi lined to right, and Hanley Ramirez popped to second.

Boston took an early lead in the second on RBI-singles by Moreland and Vazquez. Devers led off the fifth with the second home run of his short career.

Pomeranz was clutch in the sixth. Cain tripled to center, but Pom kept the ball in the infield, getting Kansas City's 4-5-6 hitters on two liners to third and a strikeout.

AL East: The Rays beat the Yankees* 5-3, so the Red Sox remain 0.5 GB. The Rays are 2.5 GB. [*: New York had only four hits, but received gifts of seven walks, two errors, one HBP, and three wild pitches.]
Jason Hammel / Drew Pomeranz
Betts, RF
Nunez, 2B
Benintendi, LF
Ramirez, DH
Bradley, CF
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Vazquez, C
Devers, 3B
Pomeranz has given up three earned runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts.

MLB.com reports that last night's win was the Red Sox's first walk-off groundout without an error since August 8, 1937, when Jimmie Foxx scored on a Ben Chapman groundout to the second baseman (after two intentional walks to load the bases).

Eduardo Nunez is the first Red Sox player since Gabe Kapler (June 29, 2003) to have a multi-homer game within his first two games for Boston.

The Red Sox will commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the 2007 World Series championship team before the game.

AL East: The Red Sox are 0.5 GB, with the Rays 3.5 GB. ... TB/NYY at 1 PM.


Unknown said...

A walk-off grounder. And I thought I'd seen everything. Plus Noonie (as Gomes prefers) still gets the talcum shower.

allan said...

NESN website headline: "Watch Rafael Devers Launch First Fenway Park Homer Onto Green Monster"

Onto the Monster?

Writer Darren Hartwell uses the same phrase in the article: "Devers took a 2-1 offering from Royals pitcher Jason Hammel in the fifth inning and deposited it onto the Green Monster for his first Fenway Park home run."

Shouldn't that be over the Monster? I've always assumed (for the last 42 years) that the Monster is the big green vertical wall that faces the infield. You can't really hit a home run onto the side of a wall, can you? (Maybe the ball hit on the shelf? Are the Monster Seats considered ON TOP of the Wall?)

allan said...

Linescore Of The Day:

LAA - 205 011 001 - 10 14 0
TOR - 103 000 007 - 11 12 3

The Blue Jays had two walk-off grand slams in their first 40 years of existence. Steve Pearce has two in the last four days alone. It was the team's biggest comeback when trailing entering the ninth inning.