September 14, 2017

G146: Red Sox 6, Athletics 2

Athletics - 000 010 010 - 2  8  1
Red Sox   - 000 012 30x - 6  8  1
Andrew Benintendi went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI. His sixth-inning double drove in Dustin Pedroia and snapped a 1-1 tie and his two-run single in the seventh brought home Boston's last two runs, putting the game out of reach.

Drew Pomeranz (6-5-1-3-5, 111) and five relievers kept the Athletics in check. Actually, three baserunning blunders by Oakland in the first five innings also kept the A's from scoring runs. With two outs in the third, Marcus Semien reached second on a hit to left and Benintendi's error. Chad Pinder also singled to left. Benintendi's throw went through to the plate, but Semien (for some strange reason) had been stopped at third. Catcher Christian Vazquez fired down to Dustin Pedroia at second and he threw to first baseman Mitch Moreland, who tagged Pinder between the bases, ending the inning.

Then, in the fifth, Oakland had runners at second and third with one out. Josh Phegley flied to left. Matt Chapman tagged and scored from third, but Mark Canha, the runner at second, got hung up halfway to third and was eventually tagged out (Benintendi-to-Rafael-Devers-to-Pedroia-to-Xander-Bogaerts) for an inning-ending double play.

So Oakland led 1-0 in the middle of the fifth, but it clearly could have been worse. The Red Sox's bats had been silent against Daniel Gossett (5.1-5-3-1-3, 75). Bogaerts grounded into a double play to end the third and Benintendi's one-out double in the fourth had been wasted. But Vazquez led off the fifth with his fifth home run of the year - and the game was tied.

With one out in the sixth, back-to-back doubles from Pedroia and Benintendi gave Boston a 2-1 lead, and ended Gossett's afternoon. Reliever Ryan Dull recorded the second out, but gave up a run-scoring double to Moreland.

Devers doubled off Sam Moll to open the seventh. Brock Holt reached on an infield error and Boston had runners at second and third with no outs. Jackie Bradley struck out. Santiago Casilla took over on the mound and hit Bogaerts with his second pitch. Pedroia's sac fly scored Devers and - after Bogaerts stole second without a throw - Benintendi's single scored Holt and X.

Joe Kelly allowed a solo dong in the eighth and Craig Kimbrel came in for the ninth. Canha singled to left and took second on indifference. Then Kimbrel walked Bruce Maxwell. The Red Sox led by four runs, so this was more annoying than distressing. And Kimbrel righted the ship. Semien flied to right, Pinder struck out swinging, and Jed Lowrie struck out looking.

NESN: John Valentin, a Red Sox infielder from 1992-2001, was alongside Dave O'Brien in the booth. I'm sure he was trying as hard as he could to offer nuggets of wisdom and insight, but he was quite possibly the worst man the network has ever put on the air. (I cannot recall every one of the two dozen guys who sat next to Don Orsillo in (was it?) 2011, so perhaps Valentin was not actually the worst.) Did NESN conduct an audition? Because I find it hard to believe that even this unprofessional network would have listened to Valentin and thought, "Yup, this guy is good to go." His analysis was rarely more incisive than "gotta make a good pitch here" and his overuse of the word "we" when talking about the Red Sox grated on my nerves. A few times he actually cheered over O'Brien's call when a Boston player hit a pitch into the outfield gap. It was an utter disaster and I hope NESN has the good sense to chalk this day up to a failed experiment.

AL Watch: The Yankees beat the Orioles 13-5. Cleveland won its 22nd straight game by tying the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and then scoring the winning run in the bottom of the tenth, beating the Royals 3-2.
Daniel Gossett / Drew Pomeranz
Bogaerts, SS
Pedroia, DH
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Moreland, 1B
Vazquez, C
Devers, 3B
Holt, 2B
Bradley, CF
Afternoon baseball!

David Price threw a three-inning simulated game yesterday (48 pitches) and the Red Sox are wondering how he can help the team in the postseason. Manager John Farrell said that Price would need to throw at least one more simulated game. He added: "It would be aggressive to bring him back as a starter right now, in my mind." So Price may end up pitching out of the bullpen. The ALDS begins in exactly three weeks (Thursday, October 5).

MFY Watch: The Yankees are 3 GB in the East. ... BAL/MFY, 7 PM.

No comments: