April 9, 2019

G12: Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 5

Blue Jays - 002 300 101 - 7 10  2
Red Sox   - 110 002 010 - 5  8  0
Bottom of the ninth, two outs, the Red Sox are down by two runs, but they have men on first and second - and Mookie Betts at the plate. Ken Giles has thrown three straight pitches out of the strike zone and is behind 3-1. Giles put an 86 mph slider right over the plate, a little inside.

It's the kind of pitch we've seen Betts decimate in the past. But Mookie may have been expecting something else, because he let this cookie go, and the count is full. Giles comes back with another slider, a much better one that drops out of the zone and Betts swings over the top of it. Strike 3 - and the game is over.

Boston fell to 3-9 on Tuesday afternoon, being outhit and outscored by a lineup that boasted only two hitters with an average over .194. Two of the Red Sox's five runs scored with the help of an opposition error.

Chris Sale (4-7-5-0-3, 76) retired the first seven Blue Jays (hitting 95 on the radar gun) before giving up singles to six of the next eight batters. Five of those six baserunners scored as Toronto wiped out a 2-0 Red Sox lead and grabbed a 5-2 advantage for themselves. The Red Sox closed the gap on two occasions, but the Blue Jays answered with another run both times.

The Red Sox managed only five hits through the first seven innings - and two of those hits were solo home runs. Mitch Moreland went deep in the first inning and Betts led off the sixth with a dong.

Xander Bogaerts led off the second by reaching on pitcher Matt Shoemaker's error, as he covered first base but misjudged the location of the bag. Rafael Devers singled Bogaerts to third and X scored when Dustin Pedroia grounded into a double play.

Three consecutive one-out singles from Toronto's 8-9-1 hitters in the top of the third (and a sac fly) tied the game at 2-2. The Blue Jays took control of the game in the fourth. Sale allowed singles to the first three batters. Christian Vazquez was charged with two passed balls and Lourdes Gurriel had a straight steal of home. Amazingly, that was the Blue Jays's first stolen base of the season!

Bogaerts and Devers singled with two outs in the fourth, but Pedroia grounded to shortstop. After Betts's home run cut the score to 5-3, Matt Shoemaker (5.2-5-4-2-4, 93) gave a two-out walk to Bogaerts and left fielder Teaoscar Hernandez committed a two-base error, putting runners at second and third. Pedroia lined out to right.

Back-to-back doubles from J.D. Martinez and Bogaerts with two down in the eighth gave Boston another run.

Pedroia began the ninth inning against Ken Giles with a single down the right field line. Bradley walked. Pinch-hitter Blake Swihart flied to center on the first pitch and Andrew Benintendi flied to center on a 1-0 pitch, leaving everything in Betts's hands.

NESN used a three-man booth today, which cut down on the number of words Dave O'Brien spoke, so that was a good thing. Jerry Remy is always looser and more animated when Dennis Eckersley is around. He's much less likely to fall back into his rut of simply narrating the replays. Plus Eckersley's comments often spark thoughts in Remy's mind that he would not have otherwise. (I said last year I would not mind a Remy/Eck booth. If fans are watching the screen, they have little or no use for a strict play-by-play guy anyway.)

NESN still cannot show us a complete game. In the first inning, we missed Martinez fouling off a 2-0 pitch because NESN was busy showing Moreland (who had just homered) standing in the dugout, talking to no one, listening to no one, literally doing nothing. (He might have been taking off his batting gloves, but should that really take priority over someone at the plate, who hit 43 dongs with a 1.031 OPS last year? If the announcers and discussing him, it is not essential that he be shown on the screen.)
Matt Shoemaker / Chris Sale
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Moreland, 1B
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Pedroia, 2B
Bradley, CF
Vázquez, C
The Red Sox are finally back home at Fenway Park, after 11 games on the road - and only three wins. The 2018 World Series champions will receive their rings before the game. (Last year's closer Craig Kimbrel declined the team's invitation to attend the ceremony.)

Tuesday's weather is expected to be chilly (mid-40s, winds at 10-15 mph) and possibly rainy. "A 40 percent chance of rain is forecast early in the afternoon, increasing to 60 percent later in the afternoon."

Dustin Pedroia was activated from the IL and Tzu-Wei Lin was sent to Pawtucket. ... Manager Alex Cora said Chris Sale was sick before his last start and that contributed to his decreased velocity.

The Red Sox will play 16 of their next 21 games at home.
April 9, 11:     2 vs Blue Jays
April 12-14:     4 vs Orioles
April 16-17:     2 at Yankees
April 19-21:     3 at Rays
April 22-25:     4 vs Tigers
April 26-28:     3 vs Rays
April 29-May 1:  3 vs Athletics
We should have a much more definitive view of this team on May 1, after 32 games (almost one-fifth (19.8%) of the season).
Chris Davis of the Orioles went 0-for-5 last night and set a major league record for most hitless at bats in a row. Since last September 14, Davis is 0-for-49. He finished last season 0-for-21, setting a record for the lowest-ever qualifying batting average (.168), and he is 0-for-28 this year, though he has walked four times, including once intentionally (!).

MFY Ace-of-All-Aces Luis Severino, currently on the injured list with an inflamed right rotator cuff, had a less-than-ideal throwing session on flat ground yesterday, so he's headed to New York for another MRI. ... Show of hands — who is not surprised by this news.

The story below must be a misprint, because I read this spring that it was impossible to score a run off the Yankees' super-human bullpen.

1 comment:

allan said...

George A. King III, Post:
The news that Luis Severino has a Grade 2 strain of the right latissimus muscle in the shoulder — and will be shut down at least six weeks — could have been worse, but it certainly wasn't good to hear for the Yankees and the staff ace. ...
According to the Professional Baseball Athletics Trainers Society media guide, a Grade 2 strain is defined as moderate and is an injury in which the musculoskeletal tissue has been partially, but not totally, torn, which causes appreciable limitation in function of the injured tissue.
The recovery can take two to three months.
Since Severino won't touch a baseball for six weeks and will eventually need another six weeks to be ready assuming he does resume throwing after these six weeks, the earliest Severino could return is July.
According to the Yankees, the latissimus problem is separate and independent from the inflamed rotator cuff that surfaced in spring training.