June 20, 2018

G75: Twins 4, Red Sox 1

Red Sox - 010 000 000 - 1  4  1
Twins   - 100 200 01x - 4  8  1
The nadir of Wednesday's night game was obvious, once it had happened. Brian Johnson was on the mound and (just as he did on Tuesday night) he had put the leadoff man on base. One out later, Brian Dozier doubled to left, giving the Twins their fourth run. Now Johnson was busy with Logan Morrison. The count was 2-2 and Johnson looked in for the sign. Dozier took a few casual steps off second ... and sprinted for third. He stole the bag without a throw, without a hard glance from the mound, even.

The Red Sox are in a hitting slump. They have won only two of their last six games, and have scored two runs or fewer in four of those games. Boston is batting .222, with an onbase percentage of .290. Of their 45 hits in the six games, 35 have been singles. And with the Yankees coming from five runs behind to beat the Mariners 7-5, the Red Sox are now a season-worst 2 GB.

The Twins grabbed the lead when Robbie Grossman led off the bottom of the first with a home run off David Price (6-7-3-1-3, 100). Boston tied the game in the second, thanks to an infield error. Two walks had put Mitch Moreland and Brock Holt on base. With two outs, Jackie Bradley grounded towards first. Morrison ranged to his right and gloved the ball, but his underhand toss to pitcher Lance Lynn was high. The ball glanced off Lynn's glove, allowing Moreland to score. With Mookie Betts at the plate, Bradley attempted to steal second. But the Twins never threw down. Instead, they caught Holt way too far down the third base line and he was tagged out in a rundown.

Betts led off the third with a single, but was stranded at second. The Red Sox came up empty in the fourth despite having runners at first and second with no outs and a man at third with two outs. Bradley walked and was on second with one out in the fifth. Andrew Benintendi also walked, but Lynn (5-3-1-5-2, 97) got a force at second and a groundout.

The Red Sox had only one baserunner in the final four innings (a two-out single by Betts in the seventh).

Price worked around a two-out triple in the third, but was tagged for two runs in the fourth. Dozier doubled and, after a walk and a double play, Max Kepler homered to right-center.

Scoring Change: The eighth-inning error charged to Bradley on Tuesday was changed to a double. There were also a few changes to scoring decisions regarding Sunday's game in Seattle. One of them gave Moreland a hit and an RBI.
David Price / Lance Lynn
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Devers, 3B
Holt, 2B
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF
OTM's Cody Rivera writes about Rafael Calcano Devers:
Every day, Devers continues to make further progress in his career, but at the same time, he can be very frustrating to watch.

It's not just [his inconsistent, error-laden defense], though. Devers can be equally frustrating at the plate. He strikes out a lot, frequently becoming far too aggressive and swinging at absolutely anything and everything a pitcher throws to him. ...

But then it always comes back to the age. The biggest thing to remember is that he's still only 21 and that he's got so much baseball ahead of him still.
Devers will turn 22 years old on October 24.

Take a look at the 44 guys who have played for the Portland Sea Dogs, Boston's AA club, this year. None of them are less than seven months older than Devers and 42 of the 44 are between 23 and 29. Devers is also younger than every position player for the Salem Red Sox (Advanced A).

Devers may be rough and have a fair amount of learning to do, but what he has already done - and is doing - in the major leagues at age 20 and 21 is remarkable.

Speaking of remarkable, Mike Trout has been busy doing things that are exceptional even for Mike Trout. In his last eight games (37 plate appearances), Trout is batting .696 with a .778 on-base percentage. His OPS since June 11 is 2.039. ... This is only Trout's eighth season - he turns 27 next month - and there have been several articles this season saying he is already an inner-circle Hall of Famer.

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