August 29, 2017

G132: Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 0

Red Sox   - 000 001 110 - 3  9  0
Blue Jays - 000 000 000 - 0  4  1
Chris Sale (7-3-0-0-11, 107) allowed only one baserunner over seven innings. Rajai Davis singled twice, stole two bases, and scored two runs. Addison Reed pitched out of a big jam in the eighth inning, leaving the bases loaded, and even though Craig Kimbrel pitched a clean ninth, Reed really earned the save.

After Kendrys Morales doubled in the second inning, Sale retired 17 batters in a row. His strikeout of Kevin Pillar immediately after the double was the 1,500th strikeout of his career. Sale reached that milestone in fewer innings than any pitcher in baseball history.
Fewest Innings To 1,500 Strikeouts
Chris Sale      1,290.0
Kerry Wood      1,303.0
Pedro Martinez  1,337.0
Randy Johnson   1,365.2
Nolan Ryan      1,384.2
This was also Sale's 17th start of the season with 10+ strikeouts. Sale has struck out at least nine batters in 22 of his 27 starts.

Toronto starter Brett Anderson began the night with an 8.18 ERA but kept the Red Sox off the scoreboard for five innings. He had a bit of help, as Jose Bautista threw out Eduardo Nunez at the plate in the first inning. Nunez had doubled and tried scoring on Mookie Betts's single. Even though Bautista's throw was wide of the plate to the third base side, catcher Miguel Montero had plenty of time to move over, catch the ball, and get back to the plate in time to tag Nunez. It was the 26th Red Sox runner tagged out at the plate this season and the team's 68th out on the bases (which leads MLB (caught stealings not included)).

Anderson gave up a single to Rafael Devers in the second, but Hanley Ramirez grounded into an inning-ending double play - and the Red Sox did not get another man on base until Davis singled with two outs in the sixth. Anderson got ahead of Nunez 0-2 and Davis broke for second on a pickoff attempt; Justin Smoak's throw to second base hit Davis in the back. Nunez followed with a fly ball to shallow right that Bautista attempted to catch, but it bounced past him. (That's why they don't call him Joey Gloves.) Andrew Benintedi beat out a ground ball to first base, outracing Anderson to the bag.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons pulled Anderson (5.2-6-1-0-3, 85) and brought in Dominic Leone. Benintendi broke for second on the first pitch to Betts. Darwin Barney took the throw and fired back to Montero. Nunez was caught between third and home, seemingly a sure out. Montero chased the runner back to the bag and, when he was maybe 15 feet from Donaldson, tossed the ball over Donaldson's head into foul territory! Donaldson fell onto Nunez and John Farrell wanted the umpires to call obstruction, but his argument got nowhere (possibly because Nunez made no attempt to get up, doing nothing that could have been obstructed). Boston could not take advantage of that gaffe, though, as Betts grounded to third.

Ramirez crushed his 20th home run of the year to dead center in the seventh. Davis got another rally going in the eighth with a one-out single off Ryan Tepera. Davis stole second base and Tepera walked Nunez. With Benintendi at the plate, Tepera tried to catch Davis off second base. On his second attempt, he threw the ball wildly into center field, and the runners moved up to second and third. Benintendi singled to right, scoring Davis. Benintendi stole second on the first pitch to Betts. With the infield in, Betts grounded to shortstop and Ryan Goins threw home. This time, Montero held onto the ball and was able to tag Nunez on the third base line for the second out. Betts stole second on the first pitch to Xander Bogaerts, Boston's fifth steal of the night (a season high). But Bogaerts struck out.

Sale was at 101 pitches when he began the bottom of the eighth. Morales and Pillar both singled, and John Farrell called in Reed. Ezequiel Carrera pinch-hit for Barney and struck out, taking strike three on the outside black. Reed also struck out Montero. Goins singled to right field, past Nunez's dive, but the ball was hit too hard for the beefy Morales to score. Steve Pearce fouled off five of Reed's first seven pitches before grounding to Bogaerts, who tossed to Nunez for the force at second.

Kimbrel needed 22 pitches to retire the Jays in order in the ninth, striking out Donaldson (7 pitches), Smoak (7 pitches), and getting Bautista to fly to center (8 pitches).

The first five innings were played in a speedy 1:12. The time of the game was 2:44.

AL East: The Yankees were rained out, and fell to 4 GB. The Red Sox's Magic Number is 28.
Chris Sale / Brett Anderson
Davis, LF
Nunez, 2B
Benintendi, CF
Betts, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Ramirez, 1B
Young, DH
Leon, C
Three of Chris Sale's five starts this month have ranged from not-good to shitty: seven runs in five innings to Cleveland on August 1, four runs in seven innings to the Yankees on August 19, and seven runs in only three innings to Cleveland, on August 24. In his other two starts, Sale has allowed only one run in 15 innings, but his August ERA is still 5.40.

Jen McCaffrey of MassLive has a great story about the scouting of Rafael Devers. He first appeared on the Red Sox's radar when he was only fourteen. Eddie Romero was Boston's director of international scouting when he saw Devers in the Dominican Republic six years ago:
A lot of times you hear hyped guys and all this, but when we went to see (Devers) it was legit. He performed very well and he played third base very well and had a really good arm given his age. Then when we saw he was doing this against players that were three, four years older than he was that made it all the more impressive.
Manny Nanita, the scout who suggested Romero see Devers in person:
What I first noticed was that Devers looked different than the rest of the players during batting practice. He was squaring the ball up most of the time and driving it where it was pitched, but what really caught my attention was seeing him face pitchers, he was so focused and confident in his ability to hit that it looked like a battle between him and the pitcher.
While Devers has had a historic start to his career, Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins has been even more impressive, at least when it comes to power. He hit 11 home runs in his first 18 big league games. No one had ever hit 11 homers in fewer than 23 games before. And like the 20-year-old Devers, Hoskins (who is 24) has been involved in a triple play, starting a 7-4-3 TP last Sunday. In 19 games, Hoskins has an OPS of 1.236!

AL East: The Yankees are 3.5 GB. CLE/MFY.

1 comment:

allan said...

Anderson has a 8.18 ERA this year and has not pitched in the majors since May 6.

His last 2 starts:

May 1 vs Phillies: 1.1 inning, 7 hits, 7 runs (12 batters faced)
May 6 vs Cubs: 0.1 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs (7 batters faced)

So: 19 batters faced, 5 outs, 13 hits, 12 runs - that's good for an 81.00 ERA!