August 8, 2019

G118: Red Sox 3, Angels 0

Angels  - 000 000 000 - 0  2  0
Red Sox - 020 010 00x - 3  5  0
Chris Sale (8-2-0-0-13, 99) pitched his best game of the season and Sam Travis and Sandy León hit home runs as the Red Sox blanked the Angels on Thursday night.

Sale faced only two batters over the minimum. Shohei Ohtani doubled with two outs in the first inning. Sale retired the next 16 Angels in a row before Mike Trout singled to begin the seventh. And That. Was. It. (Brandon Workman pitched a clean ninth, fanning two, including Trout to end the game.)

Sale threw 67 strikes and 32 balls. He threw his fastest pitch of the season (98.4) in the seventh, while striking out Albert Pujols.

Travis gave Sale all the support the lefty would need when he homered (#4) following J.D. Martinez's leadoff single to right in the second inning. León kicked off the fifth frame with a dong (#5).

The game was played in 2:16. Thinking it might have been a while since Boston played such a quick game, I was surprised to see a 2:15 game late last season: Rick Porcello's complete-game one-hitter against the Yankees, on August 3.

Sale's eight innings (baserunners in bold):
1st:  F8  Kc  2B  Kc    16 pitches
2nd:  43  Ks  53         9 pitches
3rd:  Kc  P5  63        14 pitches
4th:  Ks  F8  Ks        10 pitches
5th:  F8  F7  Kc        10 pitches
6th:  F8  Kc  53         9 pitches
7th:  1B  Kc  Ks  Ks    17 pitches
8th:  Ks  F9  Ks        14 pitches
The strikeout to end the fifth was Sale's 200th of the season. He is only the fifth pitcher to strikeout 200+ batters in seven consecutive seasons. The other four: Walter Johnson (1910-16), Tom Seaver (1968-76), Fat Billy from Ohio (1986-92), and Max Scherzer (2012-18).

Sale is also the third pitcher in Red Sox history to have 200+ strikeouts in three or more seasons. Fat Billy from Ohio had eight seasons and Pedro Martinez had six.

AL Wild Card: CLE/TBR –, OAK 0.5, BOS 5.5, TEX 7.0.

Dillon Peters / Chris Sale
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Travis, 1B
Benintendi, LF
Chavis, 2B
León, C
Bradley, CF
David Price has been placed on the 10-day injured list after an MRI revealed a TFCC (triangular fibrocartilage complex) cyst within his left wrist. Hector Velázquez from has been called up from Pawtucket. Price has 10.59 ERA over his last four starts (17 innings).

Mike Trout turned 28 years ago yesterday. His career WAR of 71.7 is the highest in history for any player before his 28th birthday. His WAR total is already greater than 27 Hall of Famers. Trout's career OPS+ of 176 is #5 all-time, behind only Babe Ruth (206), Ted Williams (190), Barry Bonds (182), and Lou Gehrig (179).

AL Wild Card: CLE/TBR –, OAK 0.5, BOS 6.0, TEX 7.0.


allan said...

I missed the game, but the double wasn't a "line-drive double". OTM: "Ohtani broke up the potentially perfect opening frame with a double, though it was far from your typical double. The two-way star who is only playing one-way this year hit a relatively slow roller down the third base line. Rafael Devers committed towards it then, at the last second, thought it was going foul and pulled back. It stayed fair, got by the bag and Ohtani got to second by the time Devers backtracked and picked up the ball."

FenFan said...

Boston has played 27 games this season that have lasted less than three hours. Three games have been under 2:30, including one against the MFY.

Number of games under three hours by season:

2018: 57
2017: 48
2016: 53
2015: 74

All games since 1969 under three hours

1974: 146 (same mark in 1970 and 1971)
1973: 145 (same mark in 1976)

For further comparison, all games since 1969 under two hours

1975: 12 (same mark in 1976)
1971: 11
Since 2000: 4 (two in 2009 and one each in 2006 and 2013)

FenFan said...

So I went and refined my search slightly after realizing that some of those "under two hour" games were rain-shortened.

Since 2000, Boston has played ZERO nine inning games played in under two hours. The last time the Red Sox played a game in under two hours was on 22 April 1999 versus the Tigers in Detroit at old Tiger Stadium, losing 1-0 in 109 minutes (1:49). The only run came with two outs in the bottom of the eighth on a Brad Ausmus home run off Mark Portugal. Boston had just two hits, while Detroit had only three. Justin Thompson got the win for the Tigers, throwing 106 pitches, Todd Jones earned the save, and Portugal was the hard luck loser despite throwing just 84 pitches and walking none.

Boston's shortest game since 2000 came on 08 August 2000 versus the Angels, a 2-1 loss. The game went 122 minutes (2:02). Pedro Martinez gave up just three hits, walked none, struck out nine, and retired the last 12 batters he faced, but took the loss on a Tim Salmon HR B2 and a Garrett Anderson RBI single B4; Ed Sprague plated the only run for Boston T5 on a RBI groundout.

Across the league, only 82 games have been played in under two hours since 2000. The most came in 2005 (14 total); 2019 has seen one game, the first one since 2015 when there were two.