July 9, 2018

G92: Red Sox 5, Rangers 0

Rangers - 000 000 000 - 0  5  0
Red Sox - 200 000 03x - 5  9  1
Home runs by Steve Pearce and J.D. Martinez bookended the Red Sox's shutout of the Rangers. Boston won its seventh consecutive game and moved its MLB-best record to 63-29. The Red Sox are now 2.5 GA because the Yankees split a doubleheader with the Orioles, losing 5-4 and winning 10-2.

Eduardo Rodriguez (5.2-3-0-3-5, 105) has said he wants to pitch more economically, but putting that desire into practice on the mound has proven difficult. Rodriguez threw over 20+ pitches in three of the first four innings (23-20-11 28-13-10). He did not allow a hit until the fourth, however.

Mike Minor (5.1-6-2-0-4, 93) retired the first two Boston batters in the first inning, but Martinez lined a single to center and Pearce lashed a full-count pitch over the Wall in left. It was his first home run for the Red Sox. He is hitting .458 (11-for-24) since joining the team on June 29.

(Minor's first three pitches to Pearce were called balls by plate umpire Todd Tichenor, but the first two may actually have been strikes. Pitch #1 is on the line near Pitch #5; Pitch #2 is on line at the top of the zone.)
The Red Sox had runners at second and third in the third (thanks to a single by Sandy Leon and a double from Andrew Benintendi) but Martinez popped to center and Pearce grounded to shortstop.

Rodriguez issued two-walks in both the first and second innings, but got the next man both times. Adrian Beltre singled with one out in the fourth and Jurickson Profar singled with two down before Rodriguez got Isiah Kiner-Falefa to fly to left.

Rodriguez was also helped by two nice catches in the fifth; Xander Bogaerts leapt skyward to snare Delino DeShields's liner and Mookie Betts ran down Elvis Andrus's long drive to right-center.

With two outs in the sixth, Texas had runners at first and second and manager Alex Cora brought in Heath Hembree, who struck out Kiner-Falefa.

Chirinos tripled off Brandon Workman to start the seventh, but Workman struck out pinch-hitter Joey Gallo (who came into the game having fanned in 36.2% of his plate appearances (343 PA, 124 K)) for the first out. DeShields grounded to third and Rafael Devers, playing in on the grass, gloved the ball and froze Chirinos with a stare, before throwing to first. Andrus grounded to second to end the inning.

Jesse Chavez was on the mound in the eighth when Betts grounded a single into center and Benintendi followed with a hit to right. Martinez turned on an inside fastball and drove his 28th home run out of the park to left-center.
Mike Minor / Eduardo Rodriguez
Betts, CF
Benintendi, LF
Martinez, RF
Pearce, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Nunez, 2B
Devers, 3B
Leon, C
Since May 16, the Red Sox are 26-1 when they score five or more runs. (The lone blemish came on June 15, when they lost 7-6 to the Mariners after leading 6-3 in the fifth inning.)

Speaking of which, you may have noticed that Dave O'Brien often says things like "The Sox are 12-1 when Jackie Bradley hits a double"*. Those statements sound good, but they mean nothing. The fact of Bradley hitting a double does not give the Red Sox some near-guarantee of victory. But what if I'm wrong and there is a direct correlation? With that in mind, I did some poking around this past weekend and discovered:
When Brock Holt walks twice, the Red Sox are 4-0

When Chris Sale allows three hits, the Red Sox are 0-1

When Sale gives up two home runs and hits one batter or when he gives up one home run and hits two batters, the Red Sox are 2-0

When Mookie Betts is caught stealing, the Red Sox are 2-0

When Betts grounds into a double play, the Red Sox are 3-0

When Andrew Benintendi triples, the Red Sox are 5-0

When Betts triples, the Red Sox are 0-1
Okay. If Mookie gets a triple ... it's BAD! You can bet your paycheck on a Red Sox loss! But if he gets thrown out trying to steal, start cheering - because the win is in the bag!!

*: The Red Sox actually are 12-1 when that happens, by the way.

AL East: The Yankees will play two games in Baltimore. The teams will make up a May 31 postponement at 4 PM, followed by tonight's regular scheduled contest. The Red Sox lead the AL East by 2 games.

1 comment:

allan said...

In the seventh or eighth inning, O'Brien mentioned Hembree "pitching out of a jam he did not make". ... Could OB have been making a Howard the Duck reference?