June 21, 2019

G77: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 5 (10)

Blue Jays - 202 000 100 0 - 5 11  0
Red Sox   - 001 000 310 2 - 7 14  2
Blue Jays reliever Jordan Romano came into the ninth inning of Friday's game having faced only 11 major league hitters (3.2 innings since his debut on June 12). The first seven Red Sox batters were unable to put any of his pitches into play. Romano's first 39 pitches resulted in five strikeouts, one walk, one hit-batter, and a 3-2 count on Christian Vázquez.

Pitch #40 was put into play - and knocked out of the park. 'Someone Named' belted it to the opposite field, over, and well beyond, the Red Sox bullpen for a two-run, walkoff homer. It was Vázquez's second career walkoff homer, the first coming back on August 1, 2017. It was Vázquez's ninth home run of the year. In his first four seasons, he hit a total of only 10.

The Red Sox, who trailed 4-0 in the third inning and 5-1 in the seventh, rallied and tied the game in the eighth on Jackie Bradley's triple and Rafael Devers's pinch-hit single.

Things looked fairly dismal at the start for the home team, as Chris Sale needed 36 pitches to escape the first inning. Sale threw 11 pitches to his first batter, Eric Sogard, who capped the long at-bat with the first of his four singles. Sale got two outs on six pitches, but then walked Teoscar Hernández and Randal Grichuk. Freddie Galvis followed with a single to left, scoring two runs, and the runners moved up to second and third when Andrew Benintendi was charged with a throwing error because Sale failed to back up the play behind the plate.

Sale (5-7-4-2-8, 101) gave up two two-out singles in the second and a two-run dong to Grichuk in the third. He allowed two more hits in the fifth after retiring the leadoff batter. His pitch count: 36-16-21 15-13 = 101.

Boston put two runners on base in each of the first three innings against Trent Thornton (6.1-8-2-1-7, 102), but got only one of the six runners second. Benintendi singled to start the third, went to third on J.D. Martinez's single to right, and scored on Brock Holt's sac fly to center. Later on, the Red Sox left runners at second and third in the sixth when Michael Chavis grounded to shortstop and Bradley struck out.

The Blue Jays made it 5-1 against Colten Brewer in the seventh when Hernández walked, went to second on a wild pitch, and came home on Grichuk's single. Hernández went 0-for-3, but scored three of Toronto's five runs.

In the bottom of the seventh, Thornton struck out Sandy León, but Mookie Betts tripled to center. Tim Mayza came in, gave up a run-scoring single to Benintendi, and departed. Xander Bogaerts and Martinez welcomed Joe Biagini with a double to center and a single to left, thereby cutting the Blue Jays' lead down to 5-4. Biagini got a double play from Holt to abort the rally.

With two outs in the top of the eighth, Ryan Brasier gave up hits to Brandon Drury and Sogard, but got Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on a routine fly to right. The Red Sox tied the game against David Phelps in the bottom half when Bradley tripled into the right field corner and Devers poked a single through the drawn-in infield.

Matt Barnes struck out two of his three batters in the ninth and Brandon Workman struck out his first man in the tenth. Cavan Biggio batted for Danny Jansen and walked. As Billy McKinney went down swinging, Biggio stole second. Umpire Phil "Blind Lemon" Cuzzi called Biggio out - and it took approximately three seconds to correct his blown call.

Biggio looked safe in real time, but that didn't stop NESN's Dave O'Brien from getting very excited by the out call. When the obvious became obviouser on replay, OB was all, 'Oh, of course, he's safe. Clearly.' Workman fell behind Roddy Tellez 2-0 before putting him on first. Sogard whacked the ball back up the middle. It struck Workman, he whirled around and looked down, picked the ball up, and threw Sogard out.

More nonsense from O'Brien:
B1: Benintendi walks on four pitches and O'Brien remarks that he saw "nothing even close" to swing at. But Ball 1 was barely outside, Ball 2 may have been a strike on the outside black, and Ball 4 was just below the strike zone.

B1: O'Brien reports that Holt "had a field day" against the Blue Jays last season, with 11 RBI. Sure, 11 RBI in 17 games is good, but is it really "a field day"? (And can you have a "field day" that lasts an entire year?) By the way, J.D. Martinez knocked in almost twice as many runs against Toronto as Holt did (20, which tied him for the most RBI against the Blue Jays in 2018).

So why didn't O'Brien tell us that JDM had a "field day" against Toronto? Probably because he had no clue that it happened. OB spied the Holt factoid in the press notes, gave it (maybe) .00001 of a second thought, and parroted the fact out of context. It wasn't particularly amazing or enlightening, it was merely some noise to fill the quiet between pitches. (I'd rather have the quiet, thank you.)

T10: Watching live, it was clear Bogaerts's tag was late and Biggio had stolen second base easily. OB: "And he's out!! ... [Sees the Blue jays dugout motioning to challenge the call] ... Or is he safe?" Well, that's the big question, isn't it, Dave? It's probably one or the other. (I would say that the NESN announcers fail to see and properly report what happens on the field for well over half of the plays that truly need a description.)
Also: In the bottom of the ninth, NESN's game recap listed seven strikeouts for Sale. He actually had eight. Here's some tips for how NESN's graphics people can avoid dumb mistakes: Watch the game. Ask Remy. Check mlb.com. Watch the game (it's your job).

And why does NESN usually put the DUE UP box featuring the next three batters when there are already two outs and the inning is perhaps only a handful of pitches from being over? How about giving viewers that information when the inning begins and some of those guys might actually come to the plate?

AL East: MFY 4, Astros 1. Rays 5, Athletics 3. ... MFY –, TBR 4.5, BOS 7.0.
Trent Thornton / Chris Sale
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Holt, 2B
Chavis, 1B
Bradley, CF
Núñez, 3B
León, C
The Red Sox have played 34 home games, the fewest of any American League team. (The Yankees and Rays have played 39 and 38, respectively.) Boston is 3-7 in their last 10 games at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox will host the Blue Jays and White Sox for three games each before heading to London for two games against the Yankees on the weekend of June 29-30. Then they have three games in Toronto and three in Detroit before the All-Star Break.

Chris Sale has a 2.09 ERA and an average of 14.6 K/9 in his last nine starts. He has allowed 0, 1, or 2 earned runs in eight of his last 10 starts.

Chris Sale has struck out 10 or more batters in each of his last four starts. No other pitcher has as many as three straight starts with 10+ strikeouts this season. Sale also leads all MLB pitchers with eight games of 10+ strikeouts, one more than Gerrit Cole and three more than Max Scherzer.

In his last 10 games at Fenway, Jackie Bradley is hitting .394/.474/.818 for a 1.292 OPS. ... Overall, he has a .997 OPS since May 20. ... He also leads all MLB players in SB% since the start of 2018 (92.0%, 23-for-25).

Rafael Devers is one of four qualified AL players with at least a .300 average, 50 runs scored, and 40 RBI. Devers ranks among AL leaders in multi-hit games (T-2nd, 29), hits (3rd, 91), runs scored (4th, 54), doubles (T-8th, 18), average (5th, .307), and RBI (T-13th, 47). ... He also leads all MLB players in batted balls with an exit velocity of 95+ MPH (121).

Devers leads all AL third basemen in runs scored (54), hits (91), average (.307), multi-hit games (29), and doubles (18 (tied)), and is #2 in RBI (47), extra-base hits (32), and stolen bases (8).

Devers is also one of only five Red Sox players with at least 100 extra-base hits through their age-22 season: Ted Williams (239), Tony Conigliaro (202), Bobby Doerr (157), Carl Yastrzemski (116), Devers (101).

AL East: MFY –, TBR 4.5, BOS 7.0. ... Astros/MFY, 7 PM; Rays/Athletics, 10 PM.

No comments: