July 30, 2019

G108: Rays 6, Red Sox 5

Rays    - 001 032 000 - 6 12  0
Red Sox - 201 020 000 - 5 13  1
The Red Sox's bats had a late-inning, self-induced LOB-tomy on Tuesday night. Boston stranded seven baserunners in the final three innings, including the bases loaded in the eighth. This chronic squandering was especially bad because (a) the Red Sox had held leads of 2-0, 3-1, and 5-4 and (b) the Yankees had already lost to the Diamondbacks.

Andrew Benintendi drove in three runs, with a single in the third and a two-run homer in the fifth. When he batted against Colin Poche with runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of seventh, however, he fanned a 1-2 pitch.

In the eighth, Sam Travis, hitting for Mitch Moreland, who drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the first inning, doubled off the Wall in left, after nearly poking a line drive safely down the right field line. Christian Vázquez chased one of Chaz Roe's sliders and struck out. Oliver Drake entered the game and walked Brock Holt and got Jackie Bradley to line out to third.

Then it was Emilio Pagán's turn to pitch. Mookie Betts (at that point 0-for-his-last-11) reached safely on an infield hit off second baseman Eric Sogard's glove (he had been shifted over to the shortstop's side of the bag). So the bases were loaded for Rafael Devers, who had already doubled and singled twice. After a low and very inside ball 1, Devers took a hellacious swing at a fastball. (NESN's Dennis Eckersley spoke the truth: "You can't swing much harder".) After a called strike, a foul ball, and another inside pitch, Devers flied to left, Austin Meadows jogging in a bit and gloving the ball.

In the ninth, with Pagán still pitching, Xander Bogaerts flied to right and J.D. Martinez struck out. However, Pagán's 2-0 pitch to Martinez was well outside, but plate umpire Tim Timmons called it a strike. A 3-0 count is far different than 2-1, so Timmons's blown call had a profound effect on the outcome of this game.
Benintendi blooped a single into short left. Travis grounded a single into right, with Benintendi taking third. Vázquez swung at an inside slider and missed before taking two balls, the first one in the dirt, but Mike Zunino was able to block it. Vázquez then hit a high fly that Meadows drifted back on and caught on the warning track.

After David Price (4.1-9-4-2-9, 94) escaped a bases-loaded-one-out jam in the fourth, holding on to a 3-1 lead, he allowed two solo home runs in the fifth, each coming on the first pitch, to Travis d'Arnaud and Avisaíl García. Price also gave up a single and a double before being pulled, and Marcus Walden allowed the go-ahead run to score on a groundout.

Benintendi gave the Red Sox back the lead in the bottom of the fifth, but the bullpen let it get away again. Walden got the first two outs before walking d'Arnaud. Josh Taylor gave up a single to Meadows. Then Alex Cora called on Colten Brewer, who surrendered a two-run double to García. Rookie Darwinzon Hernandez pitched the seventh and retired the Rays in order, the only time Tampa Bay were set down 1-2-3 in this game. Hernandez struck out the first two batters looking and would have been a better choice for the sixth inning. Brewer may have had some good outings this year, and perhaps I even witnessed one (or two, if he had two) of them, but my mind is blank. When I see him on the mound, I feel like Cora has given up on the game. (Which would be particularly bad in this case, since Boston was up 5-4 when Brewer entered.)

Also: The media get a lot of information well before the start of the game, including the umpiring assignments. As Price finished his warm-up pitches, NESN showed this graphic (the bottom of the screen is cut off because I don't want to give a huge company a small amount of free advertising):

NESN went 0-for-4, as every umpire is listed at the wrong base. Tim Timmons (who is, in fact, #95) was behind the plate, Sean Barber was at first, Mike Winters was at second, and Rob Drake was at third.

When I saw that MLB's Gameday's box score was much different than NESN, I went to check the online press packet. And, just as I assumed, NESN had screwed up. It's no hanging matter in the overall scheme of things, but it's certainly typical of the network's attention (or lack thereof) to detail.

AL East: Diamondbacks 4, MFY 2. ... MFY –, TBR 7.5, BOS 9.0.
Charlie Morton / David Price
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez,, DH
Benintendi, LF
Moreland, 1B
Vázquez, C
Holt, 2B
Bradley, CF
The Red Sox went 5-2 in the first half of a two-week stretch against their division rivals. Boston hosts the Rays for three games before going to the Bronx on Friday for another four-game series, including a Saturday day-night doubleheader.

John Sterling, longtime insufferable MFY announcer (known mostly for his idiotic home run calls and for hallucinating during games), says he will never change his style: "The world doesn't feed its hungry by how I make a call." That is true enough. His broadcasting style also makes the world's satiated lose their lunch.

AL East: Diamondbacks/MFY, 7 PM. ... MFY –, TBR 8.5, BOS 9.0.


Jake of All Trades said...

On WEEI, Dale Arnold called JD Martinez “Hernandez” multiple (4+) times during his 7th inning at bat.

Jim said...

Jake--yeah, I was struck dumb. He called him Hernandez during the entire AB (a long one) plus his recap. Neither Castig nor Fleming corrected him, nor any of the technical crew. I eagerly awaited (as much eagerness as I could muster considering I knew the game had "4 hours" written all over it) a correction the next inning, but alas, not a mention. I simply don't get the incompetence--or is it lack of respect for simple accuracy? Maybe guys who spend their lives reading commercials are so used to bullshit they just let it all pass ....