September 15, 2019

Linescore Fun: Cubs Score 47 Runs In Three-Game Sweep, D-Backs Win With One Baserunner, And The Seven Home Teams That Have Scored Five Runs In An Extra Inning

The Cubs scored 47 runs in a three-game sweep of the Pirates: 17-8, 14-1, 16-6. That set a modern-era franchise record for a three-game series. Back on July 23-25, 1894, the Colts (as they were then called) 48 runs against the Pirates (!): 6-14, 18-11, 24-6. (Yes, they lost the first game.)
Pirates - 400 030 010 -  8 13  0
Cubs    - 505 070 00x - 17 16  3
Pirates - 000 100 000 -  1  8  0
Cubs    - 041 233 10x - 14 14  0
Pirates - 005 100 000 -  6 14  1
Cubs    - 305 221 21x - 16 19  1
The Cubs scored in 13 of their final 15 innings of the series. (Also, the Pirates led in two of the three games, though, admittedly, not for very long in both cases.) The Cubs also set a new team record with 14 home runs in a three-game series (previous mark: 12, in 1998).

The 2019 Cubs became the fifth team since 1900 to score at least 14 runs in three consecutive games:

1901 Pirates
September 5 at Giants (G1): 15-1
September 5 at Giants (G2): 15-7
September 6 at Giants (G1): 15-2
These three games were in the middle of Pittsburgh's six-game sweep of the Giants (three doubleheaders in three days): 12-6, 10-3, 15-1, 15-7, 15-2, 13-4.

1928 Pirates
August 2 at Phillies: 18-4
August 3 at Phillies: 14-6
August 4 at Phillies (G1): 14-8
The Pirates also won Game 2 on August 4: 11-4.

1930 Cubs
June 1 vs Pirates: 16-4
June 3 at Boston: 15-2
June 4 at Boston: 18-10
Before the win on June 1, the Cubs had walked off in their last two games, beating the Cardinals 9-8 in 10 innings and then 6-5. After these three games, they beat Boston again, 10-7 on June 5 and then headed to Brooklyn, winning 13-0 on June 6.

1993 Tigers
August 10 vs Orioles: 15-1
August 11 vs Orioles: 15-5
August 12 vs Orioles: 17-11
In the first month of 1993, the Tigers scored 20 runs twice within four games (April 13 and 17) and scored 12+ runs in three straight games, beating the Twins 12-4, 17-1, and 16-5 (April 23-25).
On September 14, the Diamondbacks beat the Reds 1-0, despite putting only one man on base. Nick Ahmed led off the third with a triple (a chopper over the third baseman that rolled semi-slowly down the left field line) and scored on the next pitch, Jarrod Dyson's sac fly.

According to Elias Sports, it was the first time in the modern era (since 1900) that a team won in nine or more innings despite having only one baserunner. The Reds could not score despite three hits, two walks, and one Arizona error.
Reds         - 000 000 000 - 0  3  0
Diamondbacks - 001 000 00x - 1  1  1
Last week, when the Astros beat the Mariners 21-1 (Sunday the 8th) and Athletics 15-0 (Monday the 9th), it was the first time a major league team had won two consecutive games, each by 15+ runs, since June 17-18, 1953, when the Red Sox routed the Tigers 17-1 and 23-3.

In the later game, the Red Sox set a major league record by scoring 17 runs in one inning. Before these two games, the Red Sox had scored only five runs in their last four games, and had been shutout twice.
Tigers  - 000 000 001 -  1  5  2
Red Sox - 220 710 05x - 17 20  2
Tigers  - 000 201   0 00 -  3  7  5
Red Sox - 030 002 (17)1x - 23 27  0

B7: Red Sox ahead 5-3, Steve Gromek pitching:
Sammy White singles to center.
Gene Stephens singles to right, White to third.
Stephens steals second.
Tom Umphlett singles to left, White scores, Stephens scores (7-3).
Johnny Lipon strikes out.
George Kell doubles to left, Umphlett to third.
Billy Goodman walked intentionally.
Jim Piersall singles to center, Umphlett scores, Kell scores, Goodman to third (9-3).
Dick Gernert homers, Goodman scores, Piersall scores, Gernert scores (12-3).
Ellis Kinder singles to right.
White walks, Kinder to second.
Dick Weik replaces Gromek.
Wild pitch, Kinder to third, White to second.
Stephens doubles to center, Kinder scores, White scores (14-3).
Umphlett walks.
Lipon singles to left, Stephens scores, Umphlett to second (15-3).
Kell flies out to left.
Goodman singles to right-center, Umphlett scores, Lipon to second (16-3).
Earl Harrist replaces Weik.
Ted Lepcio pinch-runs for Goodman.
Al Zarilla pinch-hits for Piersall.

Zarilla walks, Lipon to third, Lepcio to second.
Gernert walks, Lipon scores, Lepcio to third, Zarilla to second (17-3).
Kinder singles to center, Lepcio scores, Zarilla scores, Gernert to third (19-3).
White singles to center, Gernert scores, Kinder to second (20-3).
Stephens singles to right, Kinder scores, White to third (21-3).
Umphlett singles to left, White scores, Stephens to second (22-3).
Lipon walks, Stephens to third, Umphlett to second.
Kell flies out to left.
17 runs, 14 hits, 6 walks, 3 runners left on base.
The Red Sox went 15-for-27 with runners in so-called "scoring position" in that game! Also, in the next inning, the first three Red Sox (Lepico, Zarilla, Gernert) singled. This game also featured a blown save by Boston reliever Ellis Kinder, who allowed the Tigers to tie the game 3-3 in the sixth. Kinder pitched the final four innings and got the 'win'.
Jere brought last night's Tigers/Orioles linescore to my attention: "The rarest of extra innings, that 4-run difference. But even rarer when it's 5-1, not 4-0. Can't remember the last time I saw that."
Orioles - 000 000 030 001 - 4 10  0
Tigers  - 001 010 001 005 - 8 13  1
After checking B-Ref's Play Index, I reported: "A home team has won in extra innings by four runs 87 times since 1908. I'll bet more a few are not simply a '4'."

I looked at those 87 linescores today. Three of the games were by a 4-0 score. Two went 10 innings and one went 12 innings (that was the Red Sox beating Cleveland on April 11, 1962; Yaz led off the B12 with a triple; after two intentional walks, Carroll Hardy belted a grand slam.)

Here are the seven extra-inning games that ended with a 1/5. There has never been an extra inning other than 0/4 or 1/5 (at least as far back as 1908 ... so who knows?).

July 28, 1951
Cleveland    - 000 000 110 000 001 1 - 4 11  0
Red Sox      - 200 000 000 000 001 5 - 8 16  2
June 2, 1952
White Sox    - 000 010 000 1 - 2  8  0
Red Sox      - 000 000 100 5 - 6  9  1
May 4, 1961
Dodgers      - 000 210 101 1 -  6  9  2
Milwaukee    - 010 000 121 5 - 10 13  2
June 15, 1985
Cleveland    - 100 001 000 000 1 - 3 10  2
Angels       - 000 001 001 000 5 - 7 13  2
April 18, 1987
Mets         - 013 100 002 1 -  8 11  1
Cardinals    - 000 501 001 5 - 12 14  0
May 9, 2000
Dodgers      - 302 010 000 001 -  7 15  0
Diamondbacks - 210 000 210 005 - 11 15  0
May 13, 2009
Tigers       - 000 212 400 000 1 - 10 14  1
Twins        - 201 103 020 000 5 - 14 17  0

G149: Red Sox 6, Phillies 3

Red Sox  - 104 001 000 - 6  6  0
Phillies - 010 011 000 - 3  7  1
Christian Vázquez hit two home runs, including the first grand slam of his career, and drove in five runs. It was also the catcher's first multi-home run game.

Rick Porcello (5-5-2-1-6, 76) showed a strong curveball, getting six swings and misses after having no more than one swinging strike in any of his last three starts.

Boston got on the board immediately as Andrew Benintendi began the game with a single off Jason Vargas (3-3-5-1-6, 71). Xander Bogaerts grounded back to the mound and Vargas's throwing error put Red Sox at second and third. Then Vargas hit Rafael Devers. Bases loaded, no one out. Scoring only one run was a squander of sorts, as J.D. Martinez hit a sacrifice fly and the next two batters were quietly retired.

After striking out the side in the second (and watching Rhys Hoskins tie the game with a solo dong off Porcello), Vargas faltered again in the third. Benintendi was hit by a pitch, Bogaerts singled to left, and Martinez walked with one out. Moreland struck out, but Vázquez sent a 2-1 knuckle curve just over the fence in left.

Bryce Harper and Phillies manager Gabe Kapler were both ejected by plate umpire Gabe Morales for pointing out Morales's incompetence in ringing up Harper on a 1-2 pitch well inside and out of the strike zone.

Vázquez homered to left in the sixth, his 21st of the season. SN had the chance to do more damage in the eighth when he batted with JDM on second and Moreland on first, but he lined out to left.

Rick Porcello / Jason Vargas
Benintendi, CF
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Martinez, RF
Moreland, 1B
Vázquez, C
Travis, LF
Owings, 2B
Porcello, P
Chris Owings, 2019:  .095/.174/.143, .317 OPS
R. Porcello, career: .186/.186/.233, .419 OPS

September 14, 2019

G148: Red Sox 2, Phillies 1

Red Sox  - 000 000 101 - 2  6  0
Phillies - 000 000 100 - 1  5  0
Eduardo Rodriguez struck out 12 Phillies (6.2-4-1-1-12, 105) as the Red Sox squeezed out a 2-1 win on Saturday night.

Rodriguez battled Aaron Nola (7-4-1-3-9, 103) through six scoreless innings. He allowed a two-out single in the second and a two-out double in the fourth. Nola retired the first 10 Boston batters before Xander Bogaerts singled to right in the fourth.

Gorkys Hernández led off the sixth with a single to right and Rodriguez bunted him to second. But Marco Hernández lined out to right and Bogaerts struck out swinging.

Both teams scored a run in the seventh. Rafael Devers walked and went to second on J.D. Martinez's single. Mitgh Moreland fanned, but Christian Vázquez doubled Devers home for a 1-0 lead. Jackie Bradley walked to load the bases, but Gorkys Hernández grounded to third and JDM was forced at the plate. Then Rodriguez struck out.

After the stretch, Bryce Harper singled before Rodriguez rallied, striking out both Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery. Then things went sideways. Cesar Hernández singled to center, Adam Haseley was hit by a pitch, and Rodriguez walked Maikel Franco to force in a run (not one of the four balls was close). Josh Taylor came out of the pen and struck out pinch-hitter Phil Gosselin, stranding three baserunners.

In the bottom of the eighth, Matt Barnes gave up a leadoff single to Jean Segura, who promptly stole second. J.T. Realmuto grounded out to shortstop and Segura had to stay put. Harper was walked intentionally and Barnes wriggled out of trouble, getting flyouts to right and center.

Moreland started the ninth with a single off Hector Neris; Chris Owings pinch-ran. Vázquez singled, putting men at first and third. Bradley lined out to shortstop, but pinch-hitter Brock Holt walked on four pitches, loading the bases. Andrew Benintendi batted for Barnes and lifted Neris's first pitch to left for a sac fly, as Owings scored.

Brandon Workman walked the leadoff man in the bottom of the ninth (Cesar Hernández), but the Phillies could not advance him from first. Haseley was called out on strikes, Jay Bruce flied to right, and Logan Morrison went down swinging.
Eduardo Rodriguez / Aaron Nola
Betts, RF M. Hernández, 2B
Devers, 3B Bogaerts, SS
Bogaerts, SS Devers, 3B
Martinez, LF RF
Moreland, 1B
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
G. Hernández, 2B LF
Rodriguez, P
Peter Abraham, Globe: "Betts has a sore left foot. ... Betts will get checked out by a doctor but the belief is it's not something serious."

Top 10, Most Runs Scored, Season, Red Sox
150 - Ted Williams, 1949
142 - Ted Williams, 1946
141 - Ted Williams, 1942
139 - Jimmie Foxx, 1938 
136 - Tris Speaker, 1912
135 - Ted Williams, 1941
134 - Ted Williams, 1940
131 - Mookie Betts, 2019
131 - Dom DiMaggio, 1950
131 - Ted Williams, 1939
Betts is also tied for 13th place, with 129 (2018).

September 12, 2019

G147: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 4

Red Sox   - 021 100 201 - 7 12  0
Blue Jays - 000 020 011 - 4  7  3
Xander Bogaerts collected his 50th double of the season in the top of the third inning on Thursday.

With Rafael Devers also having hit 50 doubles, it's the first time in Red Sox history two teammates have had 50+ doubles in the same season. And the 2019 Red Sox are only the third team since 1947 to have two or more players with 50+ doubles (1996 Mariners, 2000 Rockies).

Bogaerts is also only the second player in Red Sox history with a 30/50 season (David Ortiz, 2007) and only the second shortstop in history (Alex Rodriguez, 1996).

No major league team has ever had two players with 30+ home runs and 50+ doubles in a season. Bogaerts has 31 home runs and 50 doubles and Devers has 29 home runs and 50 doubles. The Red Sox have 15 more games for Raffy to go deep one more time.

No major league team has ever had four players with 75+ extra-base hits. The Red Sox could be the first: Devers (83), Bogaerts (81), Mookie Betts (73), J.D. Martinez (70). Devers and X rank 1st and 2nd in the majors.

Betts went 3-for-5 against the Blue Jays, stealing his 15th base of the year and scoring two runs. Bogaerts and Brock Holt each had two hits, with Martinez chipping in with a double and drawing Boston's only two walks of the night.

Marco Hernández's two-run double in the second got the Red Sox on the board against Clay Buchholz (4-7-4-1-4, 80). Back-to-back "Baltimore dongs" by XB and JDM made it 3-0 and Juan Centeno singled home Jackie Bradley to give Boston a 4-0 lead.

The Red Sox currently have a 20-man pitching staff, so using nine pitchers, as Alex Cora did tonight, was no big deal. Only one of the nine threw more than 23 pitches: starter Jhoulys Chacin (2.2-2-0-2-3, 48). After Chacin, Darwinzon Hernández, Josh Taylor, Brian Johnson, Ryan Brasier, Andrew Cashner, Marcus Walden, Matt Barnes, and Brandon Workman all toed the slab, as some people still say.
Jhoulys Chacin / Clay Buchholz
Betts, RF
Holt, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Benintendi, LF
Moreland, 1B
Bradley, CF
M. Hernández, 2B
Centeno, C
Since being traded after the 2016 season, Clay Buchholz has pitched in only 26 major league games, two with the Phillies (2017), 16 with the Diamondbacks (2018), and eight with the Blue Jays (2019). (He also started three games in the Royals minor league system in 2018.)

Buchholz was successful in Arizona, with a 2.01 ERA, including a 0.89 ERA in his last seven games (40.1 innings). He has made three starts for Toronto since coming off the injured list (right shoulder inflammation) in late August. Buchholz, who turned 35 about one month ago, has never pitched against Boston. Manager Alex Cora was the Red Sox's shortstop when Laptop made his major league debut on August 17, 2007.

The Red Sox (76-70) need at least six wins in their final 16 games to finish above .500. They have lost their last five games and seven of their last nine. At this point last season, they were 100-46.

The Red Sox managed only two singles last night, so their streak of consecutive games with an extra-base hit ended at 159, the fourth-longest streak since 1900. The 2004-05 Red Sox hold the major league record (164 games).

The Red Sox have hit .186 in their last seven games, and have scored 0 or 1 run in four of the seven games (1, 6, 1, 5, 0, 3, 0).

Mookie Betts has 28 home runs. Two more dongs will make Betts the sixth player ever with 30+ homers, 40+ doubles, and 5+ triples in as many as three seasons (2016, 2018). The other five players are in the Hall of Fame: Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial, Hank Greenberg, Chuck Klein, Rogers Hornsby.

Betts leads both leagues with 129 runs scored. No Red Sox player has scored 130 runs in a season in the last 68 years (since 1950). Betts could become the only Red Sox player other than Ted Williams to score 140+ runs in a season. He is on pace for 143.

September 11, 2019

G146: Blue Jays 8, Red Sox 0

Red Sox   - 000 000 000 - 0  2  1
Blue Jays - 000 260 00x - 8 11  1
The Red Sox managed two singles at Skydome on Wednesday night, one in the first inning and one in the ninth.

Wilmer Font (2-1-0-0-2, 23) pitched the first two innings for Toronto, before Trent Thornton threw five no-hit innings, striking out seven (5-0-0-1-7, 75). Jason Adam and Ryan Tepera took care of the eighth and ninth, respectively.

After Rowdy Tellez hit a two-run dong off Trevor Kelley in the fourth, the Blue Jays unloaded on Ryan Weber and Travis Lakins in the fifth. With one out, Weber surrendered singles to Danny Jansen, Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio, loading the bases. Vladimir Guerrero singled home two runs (4-0). Brian Johnson retired Tellez, but Lakins gave up a two-run double to Randal Grichuk (6-0) and a two-run homer to Teoscar Hernández (8-0).

Rafael Devers singled to left with two outs in the first inning, but J.D. Martinez flied to right. Christian Vázquez reached base on an infield throwing error with two outs in the second. He also stole second base, but was stranded as Jackie Bradley struck out. Xander Bogaerts walked with two outs in the third before Devers fanned.

Devers was the first of 16 straight Red Sox batters to be retired. In that time, the score changed from 0-0 to 0-8. Boston's streak of futility was snapped when Brock Holt singled to lead off the ninth. But the next three batters - Chris Owings, Devers, and Martinez - each grounded into a fielder's choice and a force out at second base.

AL Wild Card: TBR +0.5, OAK –, CLE 0.5, BOS 10.0.
Bobby Poyner / Wilmer Font
Holt, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Benintendi, LF
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
M. Hernández, 2B
Bobby Poyner is the Red Sox's 15th starting pitcher this season, the most since 1958 (18).

Sean McAdam (Boston Sports Journal) offers one (reasonable) explanation of why the late Sunday night firing of Dave Dombrowski happened when it did.

Dombrowski was never thought of as a long-term solution as general manager (or "president of baseball operations"). His contract was up at the end of 2020 and with several important roster decisions in the immediate future (Mookie Betts being #1) and the task of rebuilding the farm system, the ownership group did not want Dombrowski in a lame-duck position next season, making decisions that his successor would have to live with for years.

The Red Sox were going to let Dombrowski go at the end of this season, but last Sunday night, according to McAdam, Dombrowski pressed someone in the ownership group for clarification on his future. There was a hastily-called meeting and
Dombrowski was told he would not be returning for the final year of his contract and he eventually left the ballpark.

After informing Dombrowski of the decision, the Red Sox had planned to keep the news from going public Sunday night and scheduled a press release for Monday.

But then some hints of the firing began showing up on social media. In some areas of the ballpark, workers got word of the move and began spreading the news.
The Red Sox scrambled to issue the news on their own, doing so shortly after midnight. The firing was made official on Monday. As McAdam writes: "Sunday wasn't the first time that Dombrowski had sought some clarification on his future from ownership — merely the last."

McAdam adds that Dombrowski felt he was underpaid ($2.5-$3 million annually), both relative to his accomplishments and in comparison to other GM-level men in the game, such as Theo Epstein of the Cubs and Andrew Friedman of the Dodgers, who are both paid more than $7 million annually.

AL Wild Card: TBR +1.5, OAK –, CLE 0.5, BOS 9.0.

September 10, 2019

G145: Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 3

Red Sox   - 100 020 000 - 3  8  0
Blue Jays - 001 120 00x - 4  9  0
Mookie Betts hit the first pitch of the game off the left field foul pole - a true leadoff home run, the 14th of his career - but the Blue Jays came back and won 4-3 on Tuesday night.

(Betts has also hit six home runs as the first batter in the bottom of the first inning, but those are not "leadoff" home runs. Ignore anyone who says Mookie has hit 20 leadoff homers.)

Toronto led 2-1, when Devers doubled (#50) with one out in the top of the fifth. Devers is the youngest Red Sox player to hit 50 doubles in a season, the eighth Red Sox player overall, and the first since Dustin Pedroia had 54 in 2008. J.D. Martinez followed with a ground-rule double to left, thanks to fan interference. Devers scored to tie the game. With two outs Andrew Benintendi singled to center, scoring JDM.

But as been the case so often during this depressing season, the opposition immediately wiped out the Red Sox's lead. After Nathan Eovaldi (4.1-6-3-2-6, 93) walked Cavan Biggio and struck out Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Josh Taylor gave up a two-run dong to Rowdy Tellez.

The Red Sox were retired in order in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. With one out in the ninth, pinch-hitter Brock Holt singled off Ken Giles. Gorkys Hernández ran for Holt and stole second. Giles struck out Marco Hernández, but he walked Betts. Devers got ahead 2-0 and eventually knocked a 2-2 pitch to center, where Jonathan Davis made the game-ending catch.

AL: The Yankees lost 12-11 to the Tigers, after blowing leads of 6-0, 8-6, and 11-10. ... The Astros outscored the Mariners 36-1 on Sunday and Monday, but were routed 21-7 by the Athletics this evening.

AL Wild Card: TBR +1.5, OAK –, CLE 0.5, BOS 9.0.
Nathan Eovaldi / T.J. Zeuch
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Benintendi, LF
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
Owings, SS
M. Hernández, 2B
Tonight is T.J. Zeuch's second major league appearance and his first start. On September 3, the 24-year-old right-hander pitched four innings of relief against Atlanta, giving up three hits, two walks, and two runs. Blue Jays catcher Beau Taylor said Zeuch's debut was "absolutely amazing".

Zeuch made his AAA debut with the Buffalo Bisons on June 22, pitching 5.2 scoreless innings. On August 9, he threw a complete-game no-hitter, walking one and hitting a batter.

AL Wild Card: TBR +1.5, OAK –, CLE 0.5, BOS 8.0.

September 9, 2019

G144: Yankees 5, Red Sox 0

Yankees - 000 010 301 - 5 12  0
Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0  7  0
The Red Sox, champions of the American League East for the past three seasons, were officially eliminated from the division race on Monday night.

And for the first time in 117 years, the Red Sox and Yankees finished a season with no games against each other decided by one run.

David Ortiz threw out the night's first pitch, his first public appearance since being shot on June 9.
First of all, I want to thank God for giving me a second opportunity in my life to be able to be here with all of you. I want to thank the Red Sox, my real family, they have always been there for me, supported [me]. With what happened to me, they were the first supporting me. Thank you very much, Red Sox family. ...

I want to thank all of you for all the prayers, all of them came home. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much. I want to thank my former teammates for being there for me. And also, all of them came home to check on their boy. Also, I want to thank the Yankees, a lot of my boys over there came over to check on Big Papi. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you very much. God bless you all. Go Sox.
The Red Sox trailed 1-0 after six innings, thanks to a solid performance by Eduardo Rodriguez (6-5-1-1-9, 117). Darwinzon Hernandez gave up a home run to start the top of the seventh and could not finish the inning, allowing two doubles, a single, a wild pitch, and two more runs.

Jackie Bradley went 3-for-3 and Christian Vázquez had two hits. Boston left 10 men on base and went 0-for-7 with RATS.

Astros Score 36 Runs In Two Games: On Sunday, the Astros beat the Mariners 21-1. On Monday, the Astros beat the Mariners 15-0. Houston hit six home runs in the first two innings on Monday, something never done by a major league team before.

AL Wild Card: TBR/OAK –, CLE 1.0, BOS 8.0.
James Paxton / Eduardo Rodriguez
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Vázquez, C
Travis, 1B
Holt, 2B
G. Hernández, LF
Bradley, CF
As noted yesterday, the Red Sox and Yankees have never had a season series – not once in 116 years – without at least one game decided by a single run. 2019 could be the first season, as tonight's game is the final contest of the year between these two teams.

The Red Sox are 5-13 against the Yankees in 2019 (scores, with wins in bold):
0-8, 3-5, 1-4, 3-5, 8-5, 13-17, 8-12, 19-3, 10-5, 9-5, 6-9, 2-4, 2-9, 4-6, 4-7, 6-1, 1-5, 5-10
Only 4 of the 18 games have been decided by two runs and fewer than half (8 of 18) have been decided by two or three runs.

If the Red Sox lose tonight, they will be mathematically eliminated from the AL East race.

AL Wild Card: TBR/OAK –, CLE 1.5, BOS 8.0.

Red Sox Fire Dave Dombrowski


The Red Sox fired President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski late Sunday night. The news was announced by press release, not at a press conference.

While the decision seems oddly-timed, coming with only 19 games remaining in the season, it was, according to several reports, in the works for a while. Back on August 6, Dan Shaughnessy wrote that Dombrowski, who joined the Red Sox in August 2015:
has increasingly isolated himself with pals Frank Wren and Tony La Russa and has few friends inside Fenway's walls. ... He's clearly not the guy to oversee a much-needed farm system rebuild.
Evan Drellich, The Athletic:
Last year's World Series win says little about Dave Dombrowski's ability to run the Red Sox long-term.

The championship doesn't speak to a multi-year plan for the roster and payroll, to a vision to push the organization forward — to do exactly what American League powerhouses, like the Astros and Yankees, are doing year-in and year-out. To sniff a Dodgers-like run. ...

Talent, money and strong people in supporting roles can enhance strengths and cover up holes. But only for a time. Eventually, process matters — particularly in the modern baseball environment, which is ultra-competitive.

Little advantages, or disadvantages, eventually prove to be separators. There is a reason the Red Sox may miss the playoffs this year: not just bad luck, but a series of management decisions that played into one another.

Red Sox ownership had been grappling with Dombrowski's future for some time. More than once since winning the World Series, Dombrowski asked ownership for an extension and was rebuffed, a person with knowledge of the situation said in August. ...

The short version: Dombrowski is out because he spent a huge amount of money and was no longer delivering results.

The long version: Dombrowski's job is to control and direct processes, which are often unseen. And those processes during Dombrowski's tenure were sometimes chaotic. He did not take full advantage of the available information and resources. There were many days when functionality inside the Red Sox front office felt like a minor miracle to the people around him. That was true even as the 2018 World Series championship season unfolded.
Sean McAdam, Boston Sports Journal:
[S]oon, the Red Sox will employ their fourth top baseball executive this decade. ...

That's hardly the kind of stability to which a franchise aspires. ... It suggests chaotic leadership at the top and frequent philosophic shifts. ...

When a Boston Globe report earlier this summer strongly suggested that Dombrowski wouldn't return next season, the story was met with silence from the upper levels of management. That was the first suggestion that the story had merit. ...

The thinking is that Dombrowski was not fired for the job he did — three division titles and a World Series win in three of his first four seasons at the helm — but rather, for his unsuitability for the job ahead.

The Sox face a rash of big decisions in the next 15 months, not the least of which is the future of outfielder Mookie Betts, who is eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. Of more immediate concern is the possibility that J.D. Martinez, who has been stellar in the middle of the lineup in his first two years here, could opt-out after the current season.

Then there's the matter of the farm system, which has been depleted by a number of trades executed by Dombrowski. ... The team's minor league system ... is now ranked in the bottom third ...

[Principal owner John] Henry has [also] noted that ... the team was failing to turn a profit and failing to generate any revenues for its limited partners and minority owners. ...

It's likely that, as the pendulum swings back, the Red Sox will be looking for someone who prioritizes player development, thus enabling the franchise to field a competitive team at a more modest cost.
Manager Alex Cora, shortly after the team's 10-5 loss to the Yankees:
Surprised. I'm shocked, honestly. Right now, I don't have too much to say. ... It's one of those that they just told me, so I'm not ready to talk about it.
J.D. Martinez:
Just a shock. ... We had a good team and, I guess, like I said, ownership has their reasons. It's a business. That's their call.
Mookie Betts, whose next contract (or free agent departure) will be a top priority for DD's successor:
It doesn't really matter who's there, it's going to be the same answer. Nothing's gonna change. This is proof that this is a business. Like I said, I love it here, but definitely this is still a business.

September 8, 2019

G143: Yankees 10, Red Sox 5

Yankees - 022 220 002 - 10 13  0
Red Sox - 002 200 010 -  5  9  3
The Yankees hit two two-run homers off Rick Porcello (4-7-6-0-1, 73) and won easily. Gleyber Torres (3-for-5, 4 RBI) went deep in the second and Tauchman homered in the fourth.

Porcello has given up 30 dongs this year, the second-most of his 11-year career. (He allowed an MLB-worst 38 in 2017.) Going back to the beginning of July, only two of Porcello's 12 starts have been dong-free.

Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley went deep for Boston. ... Rafael Devers committed three errors.

For the second consecutive game, the Red Sox had only two plate appearances with runners at second and/or third. They went 0-for-2 on Saturday (both in the eighth inning) and 1-for-2 on Sunday (both in the fourth inning).

In this latest loss, the Red Sox put only one runner on base after the fourth inning: Betts's homer leading off the eighth.

Elsewhere: The Astros beat the Mariners 21-1. They also out-hit them 22-1.

AL Wild Card: TBR/OAK –, CLE 1.5, BOS 8.0.
Masahiro Tanaka / Rick Porcello
Betts, CF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Benintendi, LF
Holt, 2B
Moreland, 1B
León, C
Bradley, CF
Sarah Langs @SlangsOnSports:
The Red Sox and Yankees have yet to play a 1-run game against each other this season.
They've been playing each other since 1903. They've *never* had a season series that didn't feature at least one 1-run game.
They have two games left against each other this season.
AL Wild Card: TBR/OAK –, CLE 1.5, BOS 7.0.

September 7, 2019

G142: Yankees 5, Red Sox 1

Yankees - 000 400 001 - 5  9  0
Red Sox - 000 000 001 - 1  5  0
Xander Bogaerts's fourth-inning single was the 1,000th hit of his career.

Bogaerts is only the third player (along with Tris Speaker and Bobby Doerr) to have 1,000 hits in a Red Sox uniform before turning 27. ... Carl Yastrzemski had 980 career hits when he turned 27 on August 22, 1966. He got his #1,000 hit on September 15, 24 days later.

The milestone hit came on his mother's birthday.
She texted me ... "You gotta do it today." I'm like, "My numbers aren't pretty good against Happ." In the end, I got one ... My first big league home run came against the Yankees on my mom's birthday. A thousand hits against the Yankees on my mom's birthday again is pretty neat.
Also, Bogaerts needs one more double to become the third shortstop in major league history with 30+ home runs and 50+ doubles in a season. Alex Rodriguez was the first, with 36/54 for the 1996 Mariners, and Alex Bregman had 31/51 for the Astros in 2018. (Bogaerts, however, could be the first 30/50 shortstop not named Alex.)

A season with 30 homers and 50 doubles is, of course, an arbitrary benchmark. If you widen the search for players with 25+ home runs and 45+ doubles, you get 11 seasons from 10 players, all since 1982.

DJ LeMahieu singled off Ryan Weber to start the top of the fourth. Aaron Judge struck out and Didi Gregorius lined a ball right at J.D. Martinez in right. He lost the ball in the sun (being charitable). It handcuffed him and went to the wall.

Colten Brewer walked into that jam and merded the mattress, giving up a ground-rule double to Gary Sánchez (on a pop-up near the right-field line that JDM took a bad route on and was not hustling) and a two-run homer to Edwin Encarnación. Brewer also allowed a two-out single, a stolen base, and a walk before getting the third out.

The Red Sox were helpless against J.A. Happ (6.1-2-0-1-7, 92) and did not have two runners on base at the same time until the eighth. Mitch Moreland and pinch-hitter Marco Hernández both singled off Tommy Kahnle with one out. Zack Britton came in and struck out Brock Holt and got Mookie Betts to line out to right.

In the ninth, J.D. Martinez hit his 35th home run off Aroldis Chapman, but there were already two outs. Andrew Benintendi popped to first to end the game.

AL Wild Card: TBR/OAK –, CLE 1.5, BOS 7.0 (assuming Oakland beats the Tigers).
J.A. Happ / Travis Lakins
Betts, CF
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Martinez, RF
Benintendi, LF
Vázquez, C
Moreland, 1B
Travis, DH
Holt, 2B
AL Wild Card: TBR/OAK –, CLE 0.5, BOS 6.0.

September 6, 2019

Red Sox Minor League Pitcher Strikes Out 12 Consecutive Batters In Class A Playoff Game

On Thursday night, September 5, the Lowell Spinners hosted the Batavia Muckdogs in Game 2 of their New York-Penn League playoff series. In the top of the fourth, Yusniel Padron-Artiles took the mound in relief of Jay Groome.

Padron-Artiles was drafted by the Red Sox last summer in the 22nd round. After adding a slider to his repetoire this spring, he finished the season (spending time in both Greenville and Lowell) with a 3.38 ERA. For Lowell, he had an ERA of 2.67 in nine starts and four relief appearances.

Padron-Artiles struck out the first 12 batters he faced, setting a new record for professional baseball (majors or minors*). Batavia did not put any of his first 61 pitches into play.

Nic Ready (fbcb) struck out looking.
Albert Guaimaro (cf) struck out on a foul tip.
Julian Infante (ff) struck out looking.

Milton Smith (cfb) struck out looking.
Michael Hernandez (sbcbfb) struck out swinging.
Nasim Nunez (cbf) struck out swinging.

J.D. Orr (sbcbffb) struck out swinging.
Dalvy Rosario (ccbb) struck out swinging.
Troy Johnston (fcbfbb) struck out swinging.

Ready (fbbbf) struck out looking.
Guaimaro (bcf) struck out swinging.
Infante (fbc) struck out swinging.

Smith (b) singled on a ground ball to shortstop.
Hernandez (cftt) out on a sacrifice bunt, first to second, Smith to second.
Nunez (ffbb) flied out to left (in foul territory).
Mound visit.
Orr (bbccff) lined out to right.

Rosario (bcbs) struck out swinging.
Johnsaton (b) popped out to shortstop.
Ready (fcffb) struck out swinging.

6 innings, 1 infield hit, 14 strikeouts, 90 pitches.

Tom Seaver set the major league record when he struck out the final 10 Padres in the Mets' 2-1 win on April 22, 1970. Padron-Artiles admitted after the game he had never heard of Seaver, who had been retired for more than a decade by the time he was born in November 1997.

*: On May 13, 1952, Ron Necciai, age 19, of the Bristol Twins, had 27 strikeouts in a nine-inning no-hitter against the Welch Miners (Class D Appalachian League), but he did not strike out more than 11 in a row.

G141: Red Sox 6, Yankees 1

Yankees - 000 010 000 - 1  3  0
Red Sox - 000 420 00x - 6  6  0
Mitch Moreland's three-run homer, one of his three hits on Friday night, led the Red Sox to an easy win over the Yankees on Friday night. Moreland collected as many hits in four trips to the plate as the entire Yankees team managed in 32 plate appearances.

Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts each hit their 49th double of the season. Bogaerts drove in two runs while Devers also walked twice and scored twice.

The Red Sox used seven pitchers. Jhoulys Chacín (2-0-0-0-4, 35) started and turned in two perfect innings. Six of the first eight Yankees went down on strikes. Andrew Cashner allowed the only run, a solo homer in the fifth. It's the tenth game this year in which Red Sox pitchers allowed three or fewer hits. Boston has given only five hits in their last two games.

Devers led off the fourth with a double and found himself on third with two outs. Andrew Benintendi walked before Brock Holt singled, scoring Devers. Moreland's dong to right (#15) made it 4-0.

In the fifth, Mookie Betts walked with one out. Nestor Cortes relieved Domingo Germán (4.1-3-5-4-5, 92) and walked Devers before giving up Bogaerts's two-run two-bagger. After intentionally walking J.D. Martinez, Cortes got out of the inning with a force play and a strikeout.

The top of the seventh ended with Gary Sanchez being thrown out at the plate by Jackie Bradley. Darwizon Hernandez issued a harmless two-out walk in the eighth and Bobby Poyner retired the side in order in the ninth, getting Didi Gregorius to foul out to Christian Vázquez before striking out Sanchez (swinging) and Edwin Encarnación (looking).

AL Wild Card: TBR/OAK –, CLE 0.5, BOS 6.0.
Domingo Germán / Jhoulys Chacín
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Benintendi, LF
Holt, 2B
Moreland, 1B
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
This weekend's four-game series against the Yankees will be fairly anti-climatic, though the Red Sox basically need to win every single game until the end of the season to have any hope of seeing the postseason.

New York leads the AL East by 9.5 games over the Rays, and with the Red Sox a distant 16.5 games out of first, Boston will not win the division for the first time since 2015. This season will be the first since 2011 (Terry Francona's last season as manager) that Boston will not finish first or last/fifth in the AL East.

Jhoulys Chacín, released by the Brewers on August 26 and signed to a minor league contract by the Red Sox five days later, will appear in his first game since July 24. He allowed 11 runs in his final two starts for Milwaukee (5.1 innings) and has a season ERA of 5.79.

The Red Sox have won 12 of their last 18 games and in that time (since August 13), they have the AL's lowest ERA (3.50). The bullpen has the AL's lowest ERA since July 24 (3.38). ... Overall, the Red Sox bullpen leads the majors with 10.58 K/9.

With his 40th double of the year last night, Mookie Betts is only the third Red Sox player with 40 doubles in five consecutive seasons, joining Wade Boggs (8) and David Ortiz (5).

Betts leads MLB with 126 runs scored and is on pace to score 145 runs. Only one Red Sox player has ever scored 140+ runs in a season and he (Ted Williams) did it three times. Betts is also one of only four Red Sox to score 120+ runs in as many as three seasons, joining Williams (8), Dom DiMaggio (3), and Jimmie Foxx (3).

J.D. Martinez has six home runs in 15 games this year against the Yankees. The only Red Sox players to hit seven or more dongs against the MFY in a season are Foxx (8 in 1936), Jackie Jensen (7 in 1955), Mike Napoli (7 in 2013), and Manny Ramirez (7 in 2004, 7 in 2006).

Rafael Devers needs one more home run to become the 10th player in baseball history with 30+ HR, 100+ RBI, and 100+ runs in a season before turning 23 years old. Devers leads MLB with 81 extra-base hits; that is the second-most ever by a Red Sox player in a season prior to turning 23 (Ted Williams, 86 in 1939). Devers also leads the majors with 320 total bases and is tied (with Xander Bogaerts) for the lead in doubles (48).

J.D. Martinez has 34 home runs, Xander Bogaerts has 31, and Devers has 29. Boston has had three players with 30+ homers in a season only two times: 1977 (Jim Rice 39, George Scott 33, Butch Hobson 30) and 2016 (David Ortiz 38, Mookie Betts 31, Hanley Ramirez 30).

As mentioned, Bogaerts and Devers each have 48 doubles. The Red Sox have never had two players with 50+ doubles in the same season. The only teams in the last 72 years (since 1947) are the 1996 Mariners and the 2000 Rockies. No team has ever had two players with 30+ HR and 50+ doubles in a season. Both Bogaerts and Devers need two more doubles and Devers needs one more home run.

Bogaerts has 998 career hits. Two more hits will make him the 32nd player to have 1,000 hits in a Red Sox uniform, but only the third before turning 27 (Tris Speaker and Bobby Doerr are the others). With 31 homers and 48 doubles, Bogaerts is trying to become only the second shortstop in history with a 30/50 season (Alex Rodriguez had 36/54 in 1996).

And: Joel Sherman of the Post thinks the Yankees should "tank this rivalry series" because:
[T]he Yankees would absolutely maul the Red Sox in a five-game series with Games 1, 2 and 5 at Yankee Stadium.
Sherman adds that the Red Sox "look more haggard than Nick Nolte at the end of "48 Hrs".

Excellent work, Joel! Citing a 37-year-old movie is perfectly in line with the pop culture references used by middle-aged white sportswriters who stopped paying attention to pop culture shortly after graduating high school (or college (maybe)). (Nolte is still working, but he's 78 years old.)

AL Wild Card: TBR/OAK –, CLE 1.0, BOS 6.5.

September 5, 2019

G140: Twins 2, Red Sox 1

Twins   - 000 010 100 - 2  2  1
Red Sox - 000 100 000 - 1  3  1
The Twins scored both of their runs after a Red Sox pitcher had walked the bases loaded. And the night ended with Rafael Devers being gunned down at the plate, trying to score the tying run.

After Mookie Betts's 26th home run of the season had given Boston a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth (it was also the Red Sox's first baserunner of the game), Nathan Eovaldi (5-1-1-4-3, 76) walked the first three batters in the top of the fifth. C.J. Cron grounded into a double play, but the tying run scored.

Andrew Cashner got the first out in the top of the seventh, but he issued three walks (though he squeezed in a strikeout between BB#2 and BB#3). Matt Barnes came in and faced pinch-hitter Willians Astudillo, who singled to right, giving Minnesota a 2-1 lead.

The Red Sox handed out walks like candy on Halloween - nine bases on balls, tying a season high for a nine-inning game.

In the bottom of the sixth, Betts doubled with two outs and Xander Bogaerts walked. An error by Pérez on a pickoff attempt at second put the runners at second and third, but Rafael Devers grounded out to first.

The Red Sox went in order in the seventh and eighth and Betts popped to first for the first out in the ninth. Bogaerts singled and, after Taylor Rogers came in from the pen, Devers forced X at second. J.D. Martinez doubled off the Wall (about halfway up), but Devers (not a speedy man, despite his youth) was easily thrown out at the plate (7-2) to end the game.

AL Wild Card: TBR/OAK –, CLE 1.0, BOS 6.5.
Martín Pérez / Nathan Eovaldi
Betts, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Martinez, DH
Vázquez, C
Benintendi, LF
Travis, 1B
G. Hernández, CF
Holt, 2B
Peter Abraham of the Globe writes that David Price "is having issues with his wrist" and will not pitch in the upcoming Yankees series. The Red Sox likely will have two bullpen games, followed by Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez. Also, Michael Chavis has re-aggravated his oblique strain and it "seems unlikely he plays again this season".

Darwinzon Hernández, 22 years old, made his debut on April 23, throwing 2.1 shutout innings against the Tigers. In 24 games this season, Hernandez has a 2.93 ERA. Although he walks far too many batters (7.2 per 9 innings), his K/9 rate is 17.2.

Since August 11, Hernandez has struck out 21 batters in 11.1 innings. He's allowed seven hits, seven walks, and one run (0.79 ERA). In his last eight games, 18 of his 25 outs have been by strikeout; in his last four games, it's 11 of 13 outs!

Alex Cora:
I like this guy. I like what he's doing right now. Obviously we'll talk about it in the offseason but right now, he's one of the high-leverage relievers on our team. He's a guy who can get lefties and righties out. He has a good mix and he's actually enjoying it.
AL Wild Card: TBR/OAK –, CLE 0.5, BOS 5.5.

September 4, 2019

G139: Red Sox 6, Twins 2

Twins   - 000 000 020 - 2  8  0
Red Sox - 130 002 00x - 6  9  0
Mookie Betts went 4-for-5, with two first-pitch home runs. He drove in five runs and Eduardo Rodriguez threw seven shutout innings (7-5-0-4-8, 113) as the Red Sox coasted on Wednesday night.

The Red Sox turned three double plays, including one to end the game after Darwizon Hernandez walked two Twins with one out in the ninth. Brandon Workman came in got Nelson Cruz to ground a 2-1 pitch back to the mound. Workman started the 1-4-3 twin(s) killing.

After Rodriguez struck out the side in the top of the first, Betts hit José Berríos's first pitch of the game (an inside fastball at 93) over the Wall in left-center (#24). Xander Bogaerts singled and Andrew Benintendi walked later in the inning, but they were left on base.

In the second, Christian Vázquez singled with one out and Jackie Bradley drew a walk. Betts crushed Berríos's first offering (a curveball at 82 that broke right over the plate) over everything in left-center (#25). (Betts came into the game 0-for-his-last-9.)

Betts singled with two outs in the fourth (but he took ball 1 before doing so). In the sixth, Brock Holt singled and Mitch Moreland walked. Vázquez doubled to left, scoring Holt and sending 2-Bags to third. Ryne Harper relieved Berríos and faced only one batter, getting Jackie Bradley for the second out. Cody Shashak got a called strike on Betts before Mookie singled to left, scoring another run.

Betts batted in the eighth with two outs and a man on first, but he lined out to pitcher Brusdar Graterol.

Also: Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen blew the save in the top of the eighth, hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, and played center field in the top of the ninth. The Reds beat the Phillies 8-5 and Lorenzen became the first player to get the win, hit a home run, and play in the field since Babe Ruth did it on June 13, 1921. Ruth started and pitched five innings (5-5-4-7-1) before replacing Chicken Hawks in center field; he hit two home runs.

AL Wild Card: TBR/OAK –, CLE 0.5, BOS 5.5.
José Berríos / Eduardo Rodriguez
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Benintendi, LF
Holt, 2B
Moreland, 1B
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF

AL Wild Card: TBR/CLE/OAK –, BOS 5.5.

September's "Linescore Of The Month" Comes Early: Nationals 11, Mets 10

Major league teams leading by six or more runs going into the bottom of the ninth had been a perfect 274-0 this season.

After last night ... make that 274-1.
Mets      - 000 400 015 - 10 11  0
Nationals - 100 001 027 - 11 15  1

(h/t to Jere for sending me the linescore)

The Mets led the Nationals 5-4 after eight innings. They added five more runs in the top of the ninth and that 10-4 advantage gave them a 99.7% chance of winning the game. In the Baseball Reference box score (linked above), the Nationals' odds of winning was rounded down to 0%.

The Mets and the Expos/Nationals have both been around for 51 years (since 1969). This is the first game the Expos/Nationals have won in which they trailed by six or more runs in the ninth inning or later. And the Mets are now 806-1 with a six-run lead in the ninth inning or later.

Before this game, home teams (all-time) trailing by six or more runs in the ninth inning were 4-1321.


How did it happen?

Top 9th, Mets Batting, Ahead 5-4, Roenis Elias pitching
Brandon Nimmo homers to right-center (6-4).
Joe Panik (cbbf) singles to left.
Pitching change: Daniel Hudson replaces Elias.
Juan Lagares pinch-runs for Panik.
Todd Frazier batting, wild pitch by Hudson, Lagares to second.
E3 on foul ball hit by Frazier.
Frazier (ttcstbffbfbffb) walks.
Luis Guillorme (cb) lines out to left.
Tomas Nido (cc) grounds out shortstop to first, Lagares to third; Frazier to second.
Jeff McNeil (bff) singles to left, Lagares scores (7-4), Frazier scores (8-4), McNeil to second on throw.
Pete Alonso (fc) homers to left-center, McNeil scores (9-4), Alonso scores (10-4).
Pitching change: Javy Guerra replaces Hudson.
Michael Conforto (fbff) flies out to center.

Bottom 9th, Nationals Batting, Behind 4-10, Paul Sewald pitching
Victor Robles (cbfb) singles to shortstop.
Howie Kendrick pinch-hits for Javy Guerra.
Kendrick (bf) flies out to right.
Trea Turner (scb) doubles to right, Robles scores (5-10).
Asdrubal Cabrera (bbc) singles to center, Turner to third.
Mound visit.
Anthony Rendon (b) singles to left, Turner scores (6-10), Cabrera to second.
Pitching change: Luis Avilan replaces Sewald.
Juan Soto (fbb) singles to right, Cabrera to third, Rendon to second.
Pitching change: Edwin Diaz replaces Avilan.
Ryan Zimmerman pinch-hits for Matt Adams.
Zimmerman (c) doubles to right, Cabrera scores (7-10), Rendon scores (8-10), Soto to third.
Michael Taylor pinch-runs for Zimmerman.
Kurt Suzuki (sbbbsff) homers to left, Soto scores (9-10), Taylor scores (10-10), Suzuki scores (11-10).

Suzuki's game-winning three-run home run raised Washington's win probability from 28.9% to 100%. I can search Baseball Reference's Play Index for the most WPA by a player in an entire game (Suzuki's .713 ranks 18th in 2019), but I don't think individual hits are searchable.

Travis d'Arnaud has the highest WPA of 2019: .943, in his three-dong night against the MFY on July 15. d'Arnaud's three-run home run off Aroldis Chapman with two outs in the top of the ninth (like Suzuki, it came on the eighth pitch of his at-bat), with the Yankees one out away from a 4-2 win, was good for .727.

The last time a team allowed five runs in the top of the ninth, then scored five or more runs to win in the bottom of the ninth was June 18, 1971, when the Giants beat the Padres 10-9.



Last Wednesday [August 28], there were six starting pitchers with 10 or more letters in their last names: Foltynewicz, Waguespack, Wojciechowski, Syndergaard, DeSclafani, Zimmermann.

Since 1893 (when the mound was set to its current distance from home plate), no team has had a pitcher record 14+ strikeouts in back-to-back team games ... Until today [September 2] when @JustinVerlander & @GerritCole45 became the first. h/t: @EliasSports

September 3, 2019

G138: Twins 6, Red Sox 5

Twins   - 102 030 000 - 6  8  0
Red Sox - 000 040 010 - 5  6  0
Rick Porcello (4-8-6-2-5, 91) did not deliver the goods on Tuesday night. He allowed two long home runs: a 420-foot blast from Nelson Cruz and a 452-foot shot by Miguel Sanó, who drove in three runs.

Boston rallied in the fifth, narrowing the score to 6-4, thanks in part to Rafael Devers's three-run dong (#29).

Jackie Bradley hit a ground-rule double off Tyler Duffey with two outs in the seventh and new reliever Sam Dyson walked Mookie Betts. Dyson's wild pitch moved the runners up, but Devers ended the inning with a fly to left.

There were two outs in the eighth when Andrew Benintendi hit his 13th homer of the year. Mitch Moreland was hit by a pitch, but Christian Vázquez struck out.

With the Red Sox down by one run in the ninth, Brock Holt led off with a single. Marco Hernández pinch-ran and Gorkys Hernández hit for Bradley. Hernández dropped down a bunt on the first pitch, moving the tying run to second. It was a disappointing end, however, as lefty Taylor Rogers got Betts to ground out pitcher-to-first before striking Devers out on three pitches.

AL Wild Card: TBR/CLE/OAK –, BOS 5.5.
Randy Dobnak / Rick Porcello
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Benintendi, LF
Moreland, 1B
Vázquez, C
Holt, 2B
Bradley, CF
It's the start of a seven-game homestand: three games against the Twins (who are 85-52 and lead the AL Central by 5.5 games) and four against the Yankees (90-49, with a nine-game lead over the Rays in the AL East).

The Twins lead all major leagues teams in runs scored (814), runs per game (5.94), home runs (269), total bases (2,449), slugging (.502), and OPS (.842). Minnesota's pitching staff has also walked the fewest batters in the AL.

AL Wild Card: TBR/CLE –, OAK 1.0, BOS 5.5.

September 1, 2019

G137: Red Sox 4, Angels 3

Red Sox - 103 000 000 - 4  8  0
Angels  - 001 100 010 - 3  8  0
Xander Bogaerts singled, doubled, and homered, driving in three runs.

After two innings, David Price (2-1-0-1-2, 45) turned the ball over to Travis Lakins, Ryan Weber, and Hector Velázquez.

In the eighth, Matt Barnes gave up a leadoff homer to Justin Upton before retiring the next three batters. Brandon Workman hit Mike Trout with a pitch with two outs in the ninth and Brian Goodwin flied to center.

J.D. Martinez hit a solo homer (#34) and walked twice.

Also: Justin Verlander pitched his third career no-hitter (9-0-0-1-14, 120), facing 28 batters and striking out 14 as the Astros beat the Blue Jays 2-0 in Toronto. Verlander's second no-hitter was also at Skydome, in 2011.

AL Wild Card: TBR/CLE –, OAK 0.5, BOS 5.0.
David Price / Andrew Heaney
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Travis, 1B
Benintendi, LF
Vázquez, C
Holt, 2B
G. Hernández, CF
David Price (left wrist cyst) is back from the 10-day injured list.

Up from Pawtucket: Outfielder Gorkys Hernández (#47), catcher Juan Centeno (#68), and right-handed pitchers Jhoulys Chacin (#43), Hector Velázquez, Travis Lakins, and Ryan Weber.

J.D. Martinez on the current road trip, which ends today: 7 games, 13-for-29 (.448), 5 home runs, 10 runs scored, and 17 RBI; 4 walks and only 5 strikeouts; .448/.500/1.034 (1.534 OPS).

Last night, Mike Trout became the youngest player in history - 28 years, 24 days - to have 200 home runs and 200 stolen bases, slipping in ahead of Barry Bonds (28 years, 349 days). ... Earlier this season, Trout became the first player in American League history to have 25+ home runs and 10+ stolen bases in eight consecutive seasons.

AL Wild Card: CLE/OAK/TBR –, BOS 5.5.