September 23, 2019

G156: Rays 7, Red Sox 4

Red Sox - 011 200 000 - 4 10  0
Rays    - 000 601 00x - 7  8  0
Ji-Man Choi, Brandon Lowe and Willy Adames all homered in the fourth inning as the Rays erupted for six runs, wiping out Boston's 4-0 lead.

With one out, Jhoulys Chacín (3.2-4-4-1-5, 57) gave up two singles and a three-run dong to Choi. After a groundout, Lowe blasted a solo shot. Bobby Poyner took over, hitting Kevin Kiermaier and giving up Adames's two-run homer.

Jackie Bradley went 3-for-4. He singled in the second, stole second, and scored on Marco Hernández's double. In the third, Bradley doubled in Mitch Moreland, who had also doubled.

The Red Sox scored twice after two were out in the fourth. Devers and J.D. Martinez each singled in a run, but Boston left the bases loaded in that inning (Bradley ended things with a strikeout). The Rays set the Red Sox down in order in three of the next four innings.

And: Mookie: "I didn't know I could do that. It's fun to do stuff that you didn't know you could do."

Jhoulys Chacín / Blake Snell
M. Hernández, 2B
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Martinez, DH
Travis, 1B
Bradley, CF
G. Hernández, LF
Owings, SS
León, C
It makes no difference at this point, I know, but seeing a guy with a .279 on-base percentage at the top of the lineup just pisses me off. (It's .302 for his career.) There is absolutely no reason ever to do that.

David Price will have surgery on his left wrist on Thursday. A cyst developed in the wrist in July. Through July 14, Price had a 3.16 ERA in 17 starts. After that, in his final five starts, his ERA ballooned to 9.47 and he pitched only two innings after August 4. Manager Alex Cora said the team wants Price "to get it over with and ... start the offseason, quote unquote, the right way".

At his home in the small town of Demopolis, Alabama, Butch Hobson was thrilled that Rafael Devers had broken his Red Sox record for home runs in a season by a third baseman. Hobson hit 30 in 1977; Devers has 31 with seven games left on the schedule.
That's awesome. I'm excited for him. I haven't seen every game he's played, but that young man has plenty of opposite-field power and I like that. He's a heck of a hitter. ... He always plays with a smile on his face and I like that. Baseball should be fun. ... His ability to take that fastball to left field is what makes him so dangerous.
Hobson notes that he actually should have hit 32 homers in 1977: "Al Bumbry robbed me of a home run in Baltimore and I had another one at Fenway that hit a bar holding up that net over the wall and they called it a double. George Brett told me the next day that it went over. But what can you do?"

Alex Cora mentioned "the struggles of September" (Devers has hit only .213 this month, as opposed to .351 in May and .358 in July) and said:
He'll take [that] home and he'll understand what they're trying to do. He'll be better because of that. [Could Devers hit 40 homers*?] We'll see. I like the fact that he hit 50 doubles, too. Some of those doubles are going to turn into home runs. I don't want to put a number on it but I know that he's a force offensively.
*: In 104 games since May 20, Devers has hit 28 homers, which projects to 43.6 over 162 games.

Back in the spring, Cora assured everyone that Devers had learned a lot and made adjustments after his 2018 season - and that was certainly true. His OPS has increased from .731 to .910 and he leads the majors with 341 total bases. Watching Devers's continued maturation as a hitter will be one of the more exciting aspects of 2020.


FenFan said...

At this point, Cora is just giving guys chances they would otherwise never have. I'm still having a difficult time understanding why Owings keeps getting inserted in the lineup. He has been downright awful from what I can tell.

allan said...

If you go 3-for-21 (.143) and your batting average GOES UP, you may be having a bad season.

(That's what Owings has done since August 21: .129 to .131.)