September 9, 2017

G142: Red Sox 9, Rays 0

Rays    - 000 000 000 - 0  8  2
Red Sox - 351 000 00x - 9 15  0
The Red Sox pummelled Tampa Bay's Matt Andriese (1.2-7-8-2-2, 50), scoring eight runs while the pitcher recorded only five outs. The early offensive barrage was more than enough support for Chris Sale (6-6-0-1-8, 97), as Boston's maintained its division lead of 4.5 games.

Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run homer in the first inning. Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland drove in two runs each in the second with opposite field hits off the wall, as the Red Sox sent ten men to the plate. Benintendi also drove in a run in the third. Benintendi finished the night with three hits, while Pedroia, Moreland, Eduardo Nunez, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers each had two.

Nunez left the game in the second inning with an injured knee. He singled in the first and stole second, but he slammed his right knee into the ground during his head-first slide. He stayed in the game and scored on Pedroia's dong. In the second, he legged out an infield hit, but was limping as he crossed the bag. Bogaerts pinch-ran and stayed in at shortstop. (On WEEI, Tim Neverett and Joe Castiglione were convinced that Nunez was spiked in the chest during his slide and perhaps pulled a hamstring while running in the following inning. Even though NESN replayed the slide several times, they never caught on.)

After FY's homer, Benintendi lined out to deep center and Mookie Betts singled. Betts stole second, went to third on catcher Wilson Ramos's throwing error, and scored on Moreland's groundout to shortstop.

In the second, Devers grounded a single to center. Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley both struck out, but Nunez singled to third. After Bogaerts came into the game, Pedroia walked to load the bases. Benintendi doubled off the wall for two runs and after Betts was intentionally walked, Moreland singled off the wall for two more. Jose Alvarado replaced Andriese. Hanley Ramirez reached on Evan Longoria's throwing error, and Betts scored. Devers dribbled the ball in front of the plate and was thrown out by the catcher on an extremely close play, but the Red Sox declined to challenge the call.

The third-inning run came with two outs on three straight singles by Bogaerts, Pedroia, and Benintendi off Austin Pruitt, who pitched four innings of relief.

Despite pitching six shutout innings, Sale was not quite as crisp as usual. He threw 20+ pitches in three of his six innings, including the last two, when he also allowed four hits. In the fifth, the Rays had runners at first and third, but Sale fanned both Mallex Smith and Adeiny Hechavarria.
Matt Andriese / Chris Sale
Nunez, SS
Pedroia, 2B
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Moreland, 1B
Ramirez, DH
Devers, 3B
Leon, C
Bradley, CF
Chris Sale has a 5.49 ERA in his last four outings. Sale has faced the Rays four times this season and has struck out at least 12 batters each time (49 strikeouts in 29 innings).

ESPN's Scott Lauber writes about Mookie Betts's power outage. Betts "was supposed to fill the middle-of-the-order power vacuum when [David] Ortiz retired after last season. ... [Instead,] his .779 OPS ranks 88th among 152 players with enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title in either league."
Betts has seen more sliders - one out of every five pitches, according to Fangraphs, compared with 17.8 percent of the time last season. ... [P]itchers have attacked him on the outside part of the plate and even off the plate.

Mostly, though, Betts simply isn't getting as many pitches to hit. Through Thursday, only 43.4 percent of the pitches he saw were in the strike zone, down from 47.6 percent last year and 49.1 percent in 2015. ...

For weeks, [hitting coach Chili] Davis believed Betts' stride length was the problem. But during a recent video session, they agreed that it was Betts' balance that was out of whack. In an attempt to reach pitches on the outer half of the plate, he was lunging too far and actually moving away from the ball. ...

Five days ago, Davis says Betts emerged from batting practice by declaring, "Man, that's the best BP I've taken in a long time." Sure enough, Betts has six hits, including three doubles and a home run, in his past four games.
Also: Washington's Michael Taylor hit an inside-the-park grand slam last night that was neither grand nor a slam. (Four runs did score, though.)

And: Cleveland has won 16 games in a row (MLB's longest winning streak since Oakland won 20 straight from August 13 to September 4, 2002) and have outscored their opponents 109-28. The all-time record for consecutive wins is 21 (by the 1935 Cubs (September 4-27)). Note: the 1916 Giants won 26 consecutive games without a loss (September 7-30), but they played a tie game after the streak's 12th victory. And so MLB is a bit confused. Depending on the website you visit, the record could be either 21 or 26.

MFY Watch: The Yankees are 4 GB. ... MFY/TEX.


allan said...


"Only two other teams over the last 64 years have had a winning streak of 16 or more games in a single season: the 1977 Royals (16 straight) and 2002 A's (20 straight)."

"The Tigers are only the third team in the last 69 years to turn a triple play [5-4-3 in the sixth] and hit a grand slam home run [Nicholas Castellanos (also what other kind of grand slams are there besides home runs?)] in the same game, joining the Blue Jays on September 7, 1979 (against [Cleveland]) and Mets on May 17, 2002 (against the Padres)."

Pablo Sandoval "had gone 39 consecutive at bats without a base hit prior to the home run [in the fourth inning]".

Chris Archer's career ERA of 7.29 in seven starts at Fenway Park is "the highest ERA at Fenway for any of the 49 active pitchers who have made at least five starts in Boston's current home".

allan said...

September 9, 1917:
The White Sox and Cleveland are tied 3-3 in the 10th inning when umpire Brick Owens forfeits the game to Chicago because of Cleveland's "dilatory tactics". The Cleveland players protest a call by Owens in the 10th and delay the game by rolling on the ground and tossing their mitts. When Chicago's first batter strikes out in the bottom of the 10th, Cleveland catcher Steve O'Neill fires the ball into center field, and Owens calls the 9-0 forfeit.

September 9, 1978:
Yankees starter Ron Guidry gives up two singles in the first inning and that's it. New York sends 12 runners to the plate in the fourth inning and scores seven runs against Dennis Eckersley. (I was at this game (age 14). 5+ hours on a bus from Vermont, watch the Red Sox do absolutely nothing against the MFY, 5+ hours on a bus back home.)

September 9, 1999:
The Padres defeat the Expos 10-3 in a game in which they are nearly allowed four outs in the seventh inning. When San Diego's Reggie Sanders strikes out for the third out, the umpires don't notice and the players do not leave the field. Phil Nevin comes to the plate and runs the count to 2-1 against Expos' pitcher Ted Lilly before someone in the Montreal dugout notifies home plate umpire Jerry Layne.

allan said...

MFY - 000 000 012 - 3 9 1
TEX - 000 010 000 - 1 1 0