April 29, 2019

G29: Red Sox 9, Athletics 4

Athletics - 040 000 000 - 4  8  2
Red Sox   - 006 010 11x - 9 12  0
The Red Sox took advantage of two Oakland errors in the third inning, including one by second baseman Jurickson Profar on a grounder that should have been an inning-ending double play. Boston charged through the open door, eventually sending 10 men to the plate and scoring six times. (They were also aided by a possible blown call at first base by the video review team.)

Michael Chavis knocked in three runs and Xander Bogaerts had two doubles and two RBI. Mookie Betts singled three times. Matt Barnes faced a potential sticky situation with one out in the ninth and got the final two outs on only two pitches.

Down by four runs, Christian Vazquez walked with one out and Tzu-Wei Lin hit a routine grounder to second baseman Profar. Oakland had turned double plays to end each of the first two innings and this looked like it would be a hat trick. But Profar spiked the ball wide of second base and both runners were safe.

Andrew Benintendi was then called safe on a first-to-pitcher play, with umpire Tom Hallion saying Athletics starter Frankie Motas did not get his foot on the bag. At least one NESN replay seemed to show that his foot was against the side of the bag, but after the Athletics challenged the call, the video review did not overturn the call and Motas was charged with an error. Then came the runs. Betts and J.D. Martinez each singled in a run. Bogaerts blasted a double over Ramón Laureano's head in center to tie the game at 4-4. Chavis added a two-out single to right for two more runs.

Eduardo Rodriguez (4.2-7-4-2-7, 97) had walked the first two batters in the Oakland second and threw 19 pitches as the Athletics loaded the bases. Then, over only six poitches, three runs scored on two singles by the #8 and #9 hitters in the lineup. After giving up three singles in the fifth (one runner had been picked off), Heath Hembree came in and stranded the potential tying runs.

Boston added a run in the fifth on Devers's double and Chavis's single, but the Red Sox left the bases loaded when, after a five-pitch walk to Lin, Benintendi swung at the first pitch and popped to center.

Brandon Workman walked the first two Athletics in the top of the seventh. He rallied and struck out Matt Chapman and Stephen Piscotty. Ryan Brasier came in and fanned Khris Davis. Brasier also tossed a clean eighth.

Jackie Bradley knocked in a run in the seventh and Martinez's sac fly scored a run in the eighth.

Up by five runs, Alex Cora wanted Hector Velazquez to pitch the ninth. Profar crushed his first pitch into the triangle. Bradley ran it down in front of the 420 sign for the first out. Velazquez walked Nick Hundley on four pitches, gave up a single to Marcus Semien, and walked Chapman.

Piscotty was up and if he got on, Davis (#2 in the AL in homers with 10) would be the potential tying run. Matt Barnes was summoned. Piscotty lifted a high fly to Benintendi in left. One pitch - and now there were two outs. Davis also put Barnes's first pitch into play, smacking a hard grounder to shortstop. Bogaerts was knocked backwards but he held on to the ball, and flipped it to Lin for a game-ending force.
Frankie Montas / Eduardo Rodriguez
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Chavis, 1B
Bradley, CF
Vázquez, C
Lin, 2B
Matt Collins, Over The Monster:
Early in the year, Eduardo Rodriguez was all kinds of frustrating ... He was inefficient, he was falling in love with specific pitches and refusing to mix it up, and he was just plain not attacking. Lately, though, he's turned it around and is improbably the starting pitcher in which I have the most confidence right now. That is bound to end poorly for me, but I'm riding this high as long as I can. Over his last three starts, Rodriguez has pitched to a 3.00 ERA while allowing a .593 OPS with 21 strikeouts and only four walks over 18 innings. In fact, his last truly poor start was in Oakland when the A's scored six runs in just 3.2 innings. This will be a big test against a team that has shown they can hit him and also features a number of tough right-handed hitters.
The Athletics are second in the AL in runs scored against left-handers (40, one behind Seattle). They are also fourth in OPS (.832) against lefties.

Michael Chavis has hit seven home runs this season between Pawtucket and Boston. The distances (in feet) of the most recent six:
Pawtucket: 434, 467, 470
Red Sox: 441, 374, 441
Collins also writes about how two of Chris Sale's pitchers - his fastball and slider - have not been very efficient.

It's almost May and Marcus Walden still leads the pitching staff in wins. I have nothing against Walden when I say this, but that's a disturbing factoid. After 28 games, only one of Boston's starters has more than one win*. The Red Sox's starters are 13th in the AL (and 28th in MLB) in ERA (5.62).

*: Pitchers' wins is still a stupid, uninformative statistic, however..

MFY Update: Two more injuries! DJ LeMahieu (right knee inflammation) and Gio Urshela (hit by pitch on left hand) both left Sunday's game. The MFY have had 15 players on the injured list this season and only two have returned.


FenFan said...

MFY Update: Two more injuries!

Unfortunately, the MFY continue to win games, while the relatively healthy Red Sox can't buy a win (and yes, attributing wins and losses to a single pitcher tells us nothing about a pitcher's ability, although clearly Sale is NOT pitching well).

Jim said...

On that Benintendi play at first base, one of the replay angles showed where the ump was. He was in a perfect position, right on the line, head down, eyes on the play. None of the angles we saw could clearly show whether the first baseman's foot was actually touching the bag because of all the dirt. I guess the video guys couldn't find a reason to overturn the call.