July 29, 2018

G107: Red Sox 3, Twins 0

Twins   - 000 000 000 - 0  4  1
Red Sox - 020 100 00x - 3 10  0
I think I could grow to like this Nathan Eovaldi fellow. The Red Sox's newest starting pitcher allowed only four baserunners in seven innings on Sunday afternoon (7-4-0-0-5, 82). Only one of those four Twins runners got past first base.

Eddie Rosario hit a one-out double in the first inning, then watched as Jorge Polanco flied out and Brian Dozier went down swinging. Eovaldi also allowed an infield single with two outs in the second, another infield single leading off the fourth (a double play followed three pitches later), and a two-out single in the fifth.

Eovaldi was also extremely economical with his pitches, throwing only eight in the third and nine in each of the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Nevertheless, manager Alex Cora opted to go to the pen in the eighth. Matt Barnes walked his first batter, but got two strikeouts and a groundout. Craig Kimbrel hit Polanco with one out. Dozier then lined out to shortstop and Polanco was doubled off the bag for the final out. (Polanco was the second and last Minnesota runner to venture past first base.)

The Red Sox have won 18 of their last 22 games and are 43-18 (.705) since May 18. Their overall record is 74-33 (.692) and they are 41 games over .500 for the first time since September 27, 1946 (when the team was 56 games over (104-48)). The 1946 and 2018 teams are tied for the most wins through 107 games.

The Red Sox had ample opportunities to score in the first four innings. They scored three runs, but left 10 men on base (including eight on second or third). It's a damn good thing Eovaldi and the pen were outstanding.

A single from Andrew Benintendi, a walk by J.D. Martinez, and an infield error on Steve Pearce's grounder loaded the bases with one out in the first inning. But Jose Berrios (4.2-9-3-3-6, 106) struck out Jackie Bradley and got Eduardo Nunez on a grounder to shortstop.

Of the six different players on base for the Red Sox in the second, only one crossed the plate. Blake Swihart singled and Brock Holt was hit by a pitch. Sandy Leon grounded back to the pitcher and Swihart was forced at third. Mookie Betts reached base when Leon was forced at second. Benintendi walked, loading the bases for the second straight inning. Martinez doubled to left for two runs.

Nunez singled and Swihart doubled in the third but were left on base as Holt struck out looking and Leon grounded to first. Holt was extremely pissed at the strike three call and barked loud and long at plate umpire Doug Eddings. Cora came out and directed him back to the dugout. The pitch was inthe low/outside corner of the zone.

In the fourth, Benintendi doubled to left and scored on Martinez single. With two outs Bradley singled and Nunez walked, loading the bases yet again. But Swihart struck out.

Jackie Bradley made another eye-popping catch, this time in the third inning. Statcast said he covered 78 feet in 4.4 seconds. He sprinted to deep left-center, dove towards the warning track, caught the ball at full extension, and then contorted his body so when he slammed into the dirt, he rolled into the base of the wall.

AL East: The Yankees beat the Royals 6-3 to remain 5.5 GB.
Jose Berrios / Nathan Eovaldi
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Martinez, DH
Pearce, 1B
Bradley, CF
Nunez, 2B
Swihart, 3B
Holt, SS
Leon, C
The Red Sox put Rafael Devers on the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring injury) and called up Tzu-Wei Lin.

Blake Swihart is making his first career start - minor or major leagues - at third base.

Nathan Eovaldi is wearing #17.

Mookie Betts is the youngest Red Sox player in history to hit 100+ home runs and steal 100+ bases. (He will turn 26 on October 7.) Betts is also the only Red Sox hitter with 100+ homers and 100+ steals in his first 600 games with the team (103 dongs, 100 steals, 594 games). And Betts is the first player in Red Sox history to have as many as three seasons with 20+ home runs and 20+ stolen bases.

Chris Sale has a 0.23 ERA (39 innings, one run) over his last six starts. It's the second-lowest ERA for a Red Sox pitcher over any span of six starts in a season since 1913, when earned runs became an official stat.

Elias reports Babe Ruth had a 0.16 ERA over six starts in 1916, but I looked at Ruth's 1916 Game Log and in six starts from August 15-31, he allowed one earned run in 44 innings. That is a 0.20 ERA, not 0.16.

The Red Sox's Game Notes contained an amusing typo - or perhaps Sale is even better than I think he is:
AL East: KCR/MFY, 1 PM. The Yankees are 5.5 GB.


allan said...

On Thursday, July 26, three Phillies each hit two home runs (Rhys Hoskins (1st and 6th innings), Maikel Franco (5th and 7th), Nick Williams (3rd and 9th)).

The last team to have three players go deep twice in one game was the 2003 Red Sox. On July 4, Flo, the Cactus, and the Pro hit double dingers in a 10-3 win over the MFY in New York. The World's Strongest Jew played right field for Boston that day. He is now the Phillies' manager.

FenFan said...

Six wins in five starts? He's other worldly!