June 9, 2018

G65: Red Sox 4, White Sox 2

White Sox - 200 000 000 - 2  6  3
Red Sox   - 110 020 00x - 4  8  0
J.D. Martinez's 21st home run of the year (tops in the major leagues) snapped a 2-2 tie in the fifth. David Price (6-5-2-3-6, 86) was steady after a rough first inning that may have been prolonged by a blown call by the plate umpire. In the subsequent eight innings, Chicago got only two baserunners past second.

The Red Sox are now 44-21, tied for the third-highest win total after 65 games in franchise history. The 1912 World Champions were also 44-21. The 1978 team was 45-20 and the 1946 club was 46-17 (with two ties).

Price allowed a single to Tim Anderson to start the day and was 0-2 to Jose Rondon. His next pitch was low and inside, and certainly looked it caught part of the zone, but plate umpire Shane Livensparger (who had a pretty easy call at first base overturned last night) called it a ball. It was #3 below.

Price failed to execute after that and eventually walked Rondon. Jose Abreu doubled off the Wall for one run and Kevan Smith's one-out grounder to second made it 2-0.

Price pitched well after that, throwing only 44 pitches over the next four innings (12-10-9-13) while allowing only one walk and one single.

The Red Sox got one run back in the bottom of the first. Andrew Benintendi walked and Xander Bogaerts reached on an infield error. Martinez grounded to shortstop and Anderson tossed the ball to Yoan Moncada at second. Moncada made a bare-handed grab and recorded the force, but threw wildly to first, and Benintendi scored on the White Sox's second error of the inning.

A wild pitch from Carlos Rodon (5-6-4-2-7, 97) moved the runners to second and third, but in a situation that would be repeated two more times, the Red Sox runners were stranded as Sam Travis struck out and Rafael Devers grounded to second.

Jackie Bradley hit his third home run of the year with two outs in the second, tying the game. The blast - Bradley's first extra-base hit in June - landed on the black tarp in dead center.

Bogaerts singled to start the third, but he remained at first as Rodon struck out Martinez (swinging), Eduardo Nunez (swinging), and Travis (looking).

In the fourth, the Red Sox had runners at first and third with no outs, thanks to hits by Devers and Christian Vazquez, but Rodon again struck out the next three batters: Blake Swihart (looking), Bradley (swinging), and Benintendi (swinging, with the catcher throwing to first).

A throwing error by Abreu at first, as he tried to lead the pitcher to the bag, allowed Bogaerts to reach. Martinez casually drove Rodon's 0-1 pitch into the Boston bullpen in right-center for a two-run johnson. Nunez walked and stole second, still with no outs, but the Red Sox could not add to their run total.

The White Sox made a threat in the sixth. First, Rondon singled and Abreu hit into a double play. Then Price walked Matt Davidson and Smith singled to right, with the lead runner taking third. After a mound visit, Price struck out Moncada.

Matt Barnes escaped a jam in the eighth. With one out, pinch-hitter Carlos Sanchez tripled to center. Barnes struck out Abreu on three pitches, but he walked Davidson on five. After a consultation on the hill, Barnes retired Smith on one pitch, a fly out to right.

Craig Kimbrel finished up, getting a fly ball to left and striking out Trayce Thompson (swinging) and Daniel Palka (looking). Kimbrel was especially cruel to Thompson, throwing two knuckle curves at 88 and 86 for called strikes before unleashing a fastball at 98, which Thompson simply could not touch.

MFY Watch: The Yankees beat the Mets 4-3.
Carlos Rodon / David Price
Benintendi, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Nunez, 2B
Travis, 1B
Devers, 3B
Vazquez, C
Swihart, RF
Bradley, CF
Eduardo Nunez is our cleanup hitter. His .370 slugging percentage ranks 71st out of 88 qualified AL batters. (I know I shouldn't waste time nitpicking lineup construction and there is no rule that states one of your best power hitters must bat 4th, but Jesus. All eight of Nunez's hits in June (8-for-27, .296) have been singles.

Mookie Betts leads the MLB at .750, more than twice Nunez's mark (!) and exactly 100 points higher than Mike Trout. Come back soon, Mooke!

Sean McAdam (Boston Sports Journal) notes that the Red Sox "are now hitless in their last 19 at-bats with the bases loaded, and over the last 15 such scenarios, they've hit into six double plays".

Chris Sale says he went into last night's start extremely frustrated at his previous two outings (10 runs allowed in 10.2 innings): "I don't like losing. I hate losing. Not good at losing. I hate it. You get punched in the face twice and you don't want to win the next one, this isn't for you."

The Red Sox had not lost a 1-0 game at Fenway Park since September 14, 2016. Last night's game (played in 2:24) was the quickest game at Fenway since May 27, 2017 (2:23).

           W    L    PCT    GB    RS    RA  EXP W-L
Yankees   41   18   .695   ---   334   244   38-22
Red Sox   43   21   .672   0.5   335   239   42-22
7 PM: MFY/Mets.


allan said...

Martinez has 21 homers through 65 team games.
Last Sock to do that was Manny Ramirez in 2001.

allan said...

MFY place Tanaka on DL!