August 14, 2017

G118: Cleveland 7, Red Sox 3

Cleveland - 030 022 000 - 7 10  1
Red Sox   - 011 100 000 - 3  8  1
Rafael Devers hit solo home runs in each of his first two plate appearances on Monday night - one high off the left field light tower and the other into the visiting team's bullpen in right - but it was not nearly enough.

Doug Fister threw 41 pitches in the second inning (three hits, three walks, three runs) and gave up a long two-run homer to Edwin Encarnacion in the fifth. That tie-breaking dong had probably not even come down by the time Encarnacion connected off Heath Hembree for another two-run blast in the following inning.

During the radio broadcast, it was stated that Devers is the first player in Red Sox history with at least 20 hits and three home runs in his first 16 major league games. Right now, Devers has 20 hits and six homers. Since 1913, only nine players have hit more than six homers in their first 16 games. One of them was Sam Horn, who hit seven in his first 16 games for the 1987 Red Sox.

Two tweets from Alex Speier:
Devers is the first Red Sox 20-year-old with a multi-HR game in the big leagues since Tony Conigliaro in 1965.

In the last 100 years, Red Sox with multi-HR games before turning 21: Devers (1), Conigliaro (4), Ted Williams (1).
And Devers now joins TSW and Conigliaro as the only Red Sox players to homer in consecutive games before their 21st birthday. (It's also the first time Devers has homered in back-to-back games in his professional career!)

After striking out the first two batters in the first inning, Fister struggled in the second. Cleveland loaded the bases with one out on a single and two walks. Roberto Perez, the #9 hitter, grounded a single into left for one run and Francisco Lindor lined a single down the left field line for two more. After Andrew Benintendi caught Jason Kipnis's fly ball at the base of the wall in left, Fister walked Jose Ramirez on four pitches. That loaded the bases, but Encarnacion popped out to Brock Holt in shallow center to end the inning.

Devers hit his first home run with one out in the second. Xander Bogaerts followed with a line drive to right center. Bruce ran in and the ball hit off the heel of his glove for a double (sure, how could something like that be called an error?). After Holt struck out, Christian Vazquez walked, but Jackie Bradley also went down swinging.

Benintendi crushed his 17th homer of the year over the Red Sox bullpen in the third and Devers tied the game when he golfed an 0-2 pitch to deep right in the fourth.

Fister had retired seven of his last eight batters when he began the fifth. Ramirez doubled off the left field wall and Encarnacion put a 1-1 pitch into orbit. After a walk and a strikeout, Fister (4.1-7-5-4-5, 96) was pulled. Fernando Abad walked his first batter, but got the next two. He also retired the first two hitters in the sixth, but Devers (after making a fantastic play on Kipnis's hard grounder) committed an error on a ball hit by Ramirez. (The initial out call was overturned.) Hembree came in at that point and Encarnacion homered, again on a 1-1 pitch.

Despite Fister's poor outing, it was only the 16th time this season (in 118 games) that a Boston starting pitcher hasn't gone at least five innings, the fewest number of those starts by any AL team.

The Red Sox's bats made a little bit of noise in the final four innings, but never threatened to come back in the game. In the sixth, Moreland doubled with one out. Devers struck out, Bogaerts worked a walk, and Holt fanned.

Mookie Betts led off the eighth by reaching second base on a throwing error by third baseman Giovanny Urshela, who had just taken the field after pinch-running in the top half of the inning. After two outs were recorded, Bogaerts struck out, but a passed ball put him on first base and Betts on third. Holt (who had struck out in each of his three previous at-bats) grounded out to first.

Boston struck out a season-high 15 times. Justin Bauer (6.2-7-3-2-11, 116) fanned two batters in each of the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. After Betts whiffed in his first two trips, Speier posted this disconcerting statistic:
Betts' K rate before the All-Star break: 8.3%
Betts' K rate since the All-Star break: 16.4%
AL East: The Yankees beat the Mets 4-2, as Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez hit solo homers in the bottom of the eighth inning. (Aaron Judge has now struck out in 31 consecutive games, one game shy of the major league record.) New York is 4.5 GB the Red Sox.
Trevor Bauer / Doug Fister
Nunez, DH
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Moreland, 1B
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Holt, 2B
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF
This is a make-up of August 2's rainout.

The Red Sox lead the American League in team ERA at 3.64. Cleveland is close behind, at 3.66.

Rafael Devers's game-tying home run off Aroldis Chapman last night came on a 102.8-mph fastball, the fastest pitch hit for a home run since MLB began officially tracking velocity in 2008.

Devers: "I've seen 100, but never 103. ... Obviously he's an All-Star, but I just go about every at-bat the same. I felt more emotion rounding the bases knowing that I had tied the game."

Chris Sale: "I literally jumped up when he hit it. You can't help but smile. Talk about a moment in a game, for a guy like him, a young guy, a rookie, it's huge. And that's why you love him."

ESPN's David Schoenfield looks at the Dodgers:
Record since June 7: 48-9 (.842)
Season: 83-34 (.709)
Pace: 115-47
Record needed to get to 117 wins: 34-11 (.756)
AL East: The Red Sox hold their largest lead of the season, 5.5 games over the Yankees. NYM/MFY. ... The Rays are 9 GB (probably not worth including them now).

1 comment:

allan said...

This date in 1919:

The Brooklyn Robins and Chicago Cubs split a double header in a total time of 2:17!

Game 1: Cubs win 2-0 in 1:10.
Game 2: Robins win 1-0 in 1:07.