June 30, 2014

G83: Cubs 2, Red Sox 0

Cubs    - 000 200 000 - 2  5  0
Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0  2  0
Jake Arrieta (7.2-1-0-1-10, 120) came within four outs of a no-hitter, before giving up a line drive single to right field by Stephen Drew. He departed after the hit to a standing ovation from both Red Sox and Cubs fans at Fenway Park.

With Drew on first, Pedro Strop came in and got Mookie Betts on a first-pitch pop-up to third. Pinch-hitter A.J. Pierzynski singled off Hector Rondon to start the ninth inning. But Brock Holt grounded into a 3-6-3 double play (after being screwed on both strikes one and two by home plate umpire Chris Conroy, which would have likely set Holt up for a walk) and Daniel Nava grounded out to second.

[Conroy properly understood that when a pitcher is close to a no-hitter, an umpire's sole job is to change the rules of the game and expand the strike zone to make said pitcher's task easier. What Conroy failed to grasp is that when the no-hitter has been broken up, the home plate umpire should then change the rules back to something approximating the rule book and call a more "proper" strike zone. Conroy was still in "possible no-hitter" mode during Holt's at-bat.]

Arrieta - who took a perfect game into the seventh inning in his previous start, against Cincinnati - retired the first 13 Red Sox before walking Mike Napoli in the fifth inning (although ball 1 was clearly a strike). He struck out at least one batter in each inning.

Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run homer off Jake Peavy (6-5-2-2-7, 109) for the game's only runs.
Jake Peavy / Jake Arrieta
Holt, RF
Nava, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Napoli, 1B
Bogaerts, 3B
Drew, SS
Betts, CF
Ross, C
The Red Sox play 13 games before the All-Star break (opponents and their W-L record as of today):
3 vs Cubs      - 3.0 games worse than BOS
3 vs Orioles   - 4.5 games better than BOS
4 vs White Sox - 0.5 games better than BOS
3 at Astros    - 2.5 games worse than BOS
Three of the four teams have a record that is roughly equal to or worse than the Red Sox's 38-44. With the Blue Jays sliding (7-15 since June 7) and neither Baltimore nor New York taking much advantage, this is a key two-week period in which Boston could gain some ground in the East. The Red Sox are 6 GB, which is the closest they have been to first place since May 22 (5 GB).

Peter Gammons recently quoted a team official saying the club would have a fairly clear idea how it stands at the break. ... If the Red Sox can make up a game or two over the next two weeks, the rest of the month could get interesting. Boston plays seven games against the Blue Jays - July 21-24, 28-30 - before the end of the month.

This is the Cubs' second visit to Fenway Park since the 1918 World Series. The Red Sox won 2 of 3 on May 20-22, 2011.


allan said...

Beating Tanaka and then scoring 8 last night both felt great, but the Red Sox's weak offense has scored 2 runs or fewer in 13 of their last 19 games.

allan said...

Red Sox stat guy Jon Shestakofsky tweets:
The Red Sox allowed 3 runs or less in their last 12 games in Boston, the club's longest streak at home since 1915.

allan said...

Also, re the win over Tanaka:
The only other time Boston scored two runs, both on solo homers, and beat the Yankees was May 8, 1953 at Fenway (Billy Goodman, Dick Gernert).

allan said...

Rays beat the MFY in 12 innings. Don't look now, but the FKR are gaining on us. Boston is 6.5 GB and TB is only 9.5 GB.