July 14, 2018

G97: Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 2 (10)

Blue Jays - 000 000 200 0 - 2  7  2
Red Sox   - 000 100 001 4 - 6 11  0
Damn it! Why? Why is baseball so incessantly boring?

After Eduardo Rodriguez (5.1-4-0-0-5, 67) left the game with a sprained right ankle, the Blue Jays rallied to take a 2-1 lead. The Red Sox tied the game in the bottom of the ninth but failed three times to get the winning run home from second. In the bottom of the tenth, an error, a single, and an intentional walk loaded the bases with one out. Xander Bogaerts slammed a 2-0 pitch to the base of the flag pole in center field for a game-winning grand slam.

It was the Red Sox's ninth grand slam of the season. Since June 21, they have gone 18-4. They have the best record in MLB at 67-30. They are on pace to win 112 games, which would shatter the franchise win record by seven games.

The last game-winning grand-slam by a Red Sox batter was by Rico Brogna on August 14, 2000 (B9: HBP, SB, F9 (runner to 3rd), K, BBI, BBI, BOOM!)

Also: Bogaerts had 62 RBI last season. ... He has 62 RBI now. With 65 more games to play.

Bogaerts also got the game-tying rally started when he lashed a double into the left field corner off Tyler Clippard. Jackie Bradley fouled off a bunt attempt before lining a double of his own towards the right field corner. Dwight Smith cut the ball off before it got to the warning track dirt.

Clippard threw Eduardo Nunez five pitches out of the strike zone and Nunez still managed to strike out, swinging and missing at two high offerings for strikes 2 and 3. Blake Swihart battled through an eight-pitch at-bat before flying to center. Sandy Leon ended the inning with a little squib of a grounder towards third base.

After Craig Kimbrel had dispatched the Blue Jays in the top of the tenth (K, K, BB, P9), Chris Rowley took over for the Jays. Rowley - starter in AAA - was making his first appearance of the season, though he pitched in six games for Toronto last year. With one out, Mookie Betts's routine grounder to Lourdes Gurriel went through the shortstop's legs for an error. (Betts was on base five times today, with three singles and a walk earlier.) Mookie took off on a 2-1 pitch and Brock Holt reached out and slapped the ball through the vacated shortstop spot into left field for a single.

With runners at first and third, Blue Jays manager decided to walk J.D. Martinez - who had homered in the fourth, but had struck out in both the sixth and eighth - intentionally. Rowley threw two sinkers that did not sink to Bogaerts, at 87 and 86; both were well inside. Rowley came back with a fastball, at 87, and this one was over the heart of the plate. Bogaerts drove it to straightaway center where it landed on the small ledge just to the left of the tarp-covered seats and bounced back in the field.

You can't get the barrel of your bat centered on a pitch any better than Bogaerts did here.

The ball is a blur against the green wall between on-deck batter Jackie Bradley and the bat boy.

Two shots of the baseball in flight, courtesy of NESN's award-winning camera/production team.

My MLBTV feed froze on Rowley's bemused reaction to watching the ball land for a home run.

Holt had not had much luck before his hit-and-run single in the tenth. He grounded into a double play in the first inning, then flew into a double play in the third, when Lin was caught off second base. The Red Sox had a second double play like that in the seventh, when Swihart singled and was doubled off first on Leon's fly to left.

Outside of Martinez's 29th home run, the Red Sox did not have a runner touch third until Betts singled and took second on an error and stole third.

Rodriguez was superb until he hurt himself trying to avoid a collision while covering first base. He had retired 11 in a row when Gurriel grounded to the right side. Swihart ranged far to his right and tried to lead Rodriguez with his throw. Gurriel went in with a headfirst slide and Rodriguez (who did not catch the throw) had to leap over him. When he landed, he twisted his right ankle and fell to the ground.

Rodriguez had been working extremely efficiently, which was fantastic to see. He retired the side in third on eight pitches and he needed only six to set down the Jays in the fifth. He was at 60 pitches through five innings.

Joe Kelly had more trouble today, allowing two hits and a walk, and two runs. Kendrys Morales singled to right and Smith doubled to left. Kelly got two groundouts, but a run scored on the second out. Kelly walked Luke Maile on four pitches - and Matt Barnes took over. He gave up a single to Gurriel that put the Jays up 2-1 before striking out Yangervis Solarte.

AL East: The Yankees play in Cleveland at 7 PM. They are 4 GB at the moment.
Sam Gaviglio / Eduardo Rodriguez
Betts, RF
Holt, 2B
Martinez, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Bradley, CF
Nunez, DH
Swihart, 1B
Leon, C
Lin, 3B
Gaviglio will be pitching on two days rest. He threw only 48 pitches last Wednesday night, allowing six runs in 1.2 innings to Atlanta. I cannot see this experiment going particularly well for the Blue Jays.

Mookie: Last night was the 10th game this season in which Betts had three or more hits and the ninth game in which he reached base four times. Mookie leads the AL in average (.357) by 22 points, slugging (.697) by 53 points, and OPS (1.142) by 73 points. Mookie is also second in on-base percentage (.445, 10 points behind Mike Trout), second in runs scored, and fourth in total bases and extra-base hits.

AL East: MFY/CLE, 7 PM. The Yankees are 3.5 GB. ... Their top slugger is at .551, a whopping 146 points behind Betts.


allan said...

July 11
According to @EliasSports, Rockies pitcher German Marquez's home run off Arizona's Daniel Descalso (and infielder) was the first time a pitcher homered off a position player since June 23, 1986, when Mike LaCoss (SF) did so off Dane Iorg (SD)

Also, the Rockies linescore started off: 543 61 - but then they stopped scoring.

allan said...

July 14

1915: White Sox pitcher Red Faber steals three bases in the fourth inning against the Philadelphia A's. With the White Sox leading 4-2 and rain threatening, the A's try to delay the game. Joe Bush purposely hits Faber with a pitch, and Faber, trying to speed up the game, tries to get thrown out by stealing. Little effort is made to retire him, and he scores Chicago's 5th run. His "steal" of home turns out to be the winning run, as rain never materializes, and Chicago wins, 6-4.

1934: In an effort to keep Lou Gehrig's consecutive game streak intact, the Yankees have lumbago-stricken Gehrig bat lead-off in Detroit and list him as the shortstop in the lineup. After singling in the first inning, Gehrig leaves the game. The Tigers beat the Yankees 12-11.

1946: The famous Boudreau Shift against Ted Williams is born. Cleveland manager Lou Boudreau shifts all his players, except the 3B and LF, to the right side of the diamond in an effort to stop Williams.

1968: Astros pitcher Don Wilson fans 18 batters in a 6-1 win at Cincinnati, tying the major-league record set by Bob Feller. Wilson also ties the major-league record with eight strikeouts in a row.

1977: The Red Sox beat Cleveland 7-4. Carl Yastrzemski's 5th-inning single gives him a career total of 2,655 hits, moving him ahead of Ted Williams as Boston's all-time hit leader.

1994: Blue Jays outfielder Joe Carter appears with his uniform spelling "Torotno".

allan said...

Rays beat the Twins 19-6. Minnesota led 6-4 after six innings, but Tampa Bay did this in the last three innings - 555 - to become the first team in the live-ball era (since 1920) to record five or more runs in each of the final three innings. (But does that mean a team did it earlier? I need to know!) The 19 runs tied a team record. Seven TB players had multi-hit games.

allan said...

The Giants were the last team to score 5+ runs in three straight innings of one game. They did it in innings 3-5 against the Phillies on July 14, 1991.
SFG - 005 650 010