July 30, 2018

G108: Red Sox 2, Phillies 1 (13)

Phillies - 010 000 000 000 0 - 1 10  1
Red Sox  - 000 010 000 000 1 - 2  7  0
Blake Swihart smacked a ground-rule double to right-center with one out in the bottom of the thirteenth inning, scoring Eduardo Nunez, who had singled and stolen second base. It was the Red Sox's third walkoff win in their last seven home games (July 14, 27, 30) and their fourth walkoff of the season. Win #75 also increased Boston's AL East lead to six games over the idle MFY.

Swihart was a pinch-hitter in the tenth inning, batting with two outs and Brock Holt on second base as the potential winning run. Holt stole third, getting such a great jump he was actually halfway to the bag by the time the pitcher began his motion. But Swihart ended the inning with a routine fly to left.

Both starters - Aaron Nola (8-4-1-1-6, 105) and David Price (8-8-1-1-5, 97) - dueled for eight innings. I don't know if manager Alex Cora wanted to avoid using Craig Kimbrel at all, but it was odd to watch five other relievers pitch tonight. (Once the eighth inning passed, there was no opportunity for a save.)

Asdrubal Cabrera doubled on Price's first pitch of the second inning and scored on Price's second pitch, which Maikel Franco lined to left.

Price also was hit for one-out doubles in the first and third innings. In the third, Price faced Carlos Santana with one out and men on first and third. Santana chopped the ball to third and Rhys Hoskins broke for the plate. Nunez gloved the ball on the grass and ran directly at Hoskins. Xander Bogaerts covered third base. Nunez threw the ball to catcher Sandy Leon, who chased Hoskins back up the line.

For some strange reason, Odubel Herrera, who had begun the play on first, was running from second to third. Leon's toss to Bogaerts was caught by the Red Sox shortstop just before Herrera arrived at the bag. Bogaerts calmly turned to his left and tagged out Herrera before chasing Hoskins back down the line. Nunez was waiting by the plate and he took Bogaerts's throw and easily tagged out Hoskins for an inning-ending 5-2-6-5 double play.

Nunez made his presence felt two innings later, as well. Jackie Bradley lined a hard single to right with one down in the fifth. Nunez smoked Nola's first pitch to center. Herrera misplayed the line drive. He leapt wildly for it but it sailed well over his glove for a triple. Holt walked, but Nola got out of any further trouble when Leon lined out to second and Holt, who was running on the pitch, was doubled off first.

Price gave up two singles with two outs in the sixth before striking out Franco on three pitches. Herrera doubled with two outs in the eighth and Price appeared to work around Santana, walking him on four pitches. If so, it worked, as Cabrera lined out to Mookie Betts in right-center.

Holt doubled to start the Boston eighth, but Nola set down the next three batters, including a strikeout of Betts.

Ryan Brasier got two quick outs in the tenth, the second of which was a line drive right back at him, which he gloved without any fanfare whatsoever. But he then walked Hoskins and Herrera. Santana ended the threat with a grounder to second.

After Swihart stranded Holt at third in the bottom of the tenth, the Red Sox went in order in the next two innings. Nunez led off the thirteenth by grounding a single into center. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler replaced lefty Austin Davis with righty Luis Garcia to face Holt, a lefty batter. Nunez stole second on an 0-2 pitch before Garcia struck out Holt. Swihart jumped on the first pitch. Right fielder Roman Quinn chased after it, but the ball landed on the warning track and bounced into the Red Sox's bullpen. (The double also extended Swihart's hitting streak to 10 games.)
Aaron Nola / David Price
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Bradley, CF
Nunez, 3B
Holt, 2B
Leon, C
1915 World Series rematch*!

The Phillies are 58-47 and have a 1.5-game lead in the National League East.

They are exactly league-average in runs scored per game, 12th in team average (.237), 9th in OBP (.318), and 10th in slugging (.398). They are 7th in team ERA, 5th in WHIP, and 9th in runs allowed per game. Their record is three games better than their Pythag. (As is the Red Sox's.)

They are 23rd (of 30 teams) in Defensive Efficiency, which is the percentage of balls in play converted into outs. (And for what little it is worth, they have made the third-most errors of any MLB team.)

*: The Red and Phillies have actually played 63 games against each other since 1915. The Red Sox are 39-24, and have won nine of the last 11 games (dating back to 2013).

AL East: The MFY are off. They are also 5.5 GB.

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