April 20, 2017

G16: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1 (10)

Red Sox   - 000 000 001 3 - 4  7  0
Blue Jays - 000 000 001 0 - 1  5  0
John Farrell is an idiot.

The Red Sox manager has made his share of strange in-game decisions over the years, but I don't think I have been as pissed at one of his blunders as I was this afternoon. It does not matter what his reasoning will be for pulling Chris Sale after eight dominating, scoreless innings. The move made absolutely zero sense. But Farrell slavishly followed the "accepted wisdom" that states if you have a lead in the ninth inning, you must bring in your closer. And so, apparently giving no thought to the context of the situation, Farrell robotically called for Craig Kimbrel. Sale had been utterly dominating and Kimbrel had not pitched since Monday. (In the game thread, I wrote: "Sale should get the 9th, at 102 [pitches]. Kimbrel worries me with a few days off.")

The game had been scoreless until Mitch Moreland doubled off Jays closer Roberto Osuna with two outs in the top of the ninth. Xander Bogaerts then lined a single to the opposite field, giving Boston a 1-0 lead. Kimbrel had begun warming earlier in the inning and despite Sale's amazing performance - 8-4-0-1-13, 102 - Kimbrel faced Toronto's 3-4-5 hitters in the bottom of the ninth. Kendrys Morales looked at a low fastball for ball 1, then crushed an off-speed pitch deep to dead center for a game-tying home run. Kimbrel got the next three hitters, striking out two of them, but ...

John Farrell is a goddamn idiot.

Jason Grilli retired Pablo Sandoval on a fly to deep center in the top of the tenth, but Sandy Leon worked a seven-pitch walk. Brock Holt (who saw 18 pitches in his first two at-bats) drilled a first-pitch single to right. Marco Hernandez pinch-ran for Leon at second. Dustin Pedroia fouled out to third, but Andrew Benintendi walked on five pitches, loading the bases for Mookie Betts. (To that point, Betts had walked and struck out twice, but he was 3-for-6 against Grilli and 9-for-25 (.360) with the bases loaded.) Grilli's 2-0 pitch came inside, right into Betts's zone - and Mookie smoked it down the left field line. It was Betts's 100th career double, and all three runners scored easily. Kimbrel pitched the tenth, as well, and he struck out the side - giving him both the blown save and the "win". Boston improved to 10-6.

Before all the late-inning drama, I was going to lead this post by saying what a joy it is to watch Sale pitch. He works fast - he retired the Blue Jays in the first inning in only 2:24, the length of a commercial break! - and he throws strikes - of his 31 pitches through three innings, only three were balls. He is utterly calm and shows no emotion on the mound. Even after he struck out Jose Bautista for the fourth time, ending the eighth inning with a man on first, his mouth remained a thin, straight line. He simply stands on the mound and methodically mows down the opposition.

Toronto barely managed a threat against Sale, whose ERA dropped to 0.91. With a man on first and one out in the third, Sale struck out both Kevin Pillar and Bautista. With runners on second and third and two outs in the fourth, Jarrod Saltalamacchia took strike three. A baserunner in the sixth was erased on a double play and Pillar, who had singled with two down in the eighth, was stranded where he stood.

Marco Estrada (6-3-0-2-7, 106) was nearly as dominating as Sale. He left a man at second in the first and fanned Betts to end the third after Pedroia and Benintendi had singled. Betts walked in the sixth and stole both second and third; Toronto was in a shift on the right side of the infield against Moreland, so Betts simply jogged to third, and Estrada could do nothing but step off the mound and watch him go.

For the first time in their history, the Blue Jays (now 3-12) have lost their first five series. ... Boston now heads to Baltimore for three games against the Orioles. It's an AL East Showdown!
Chris Sale / Marco Estrada
Pedroia, 2B
Benintendi, CF
Betts, RF
Ramirez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Sandoval, 3B
Leon, C
Holt, LF
In Sale's three starts, the Red Sox have scored a grand total of three runs.

From MLB.com's preview: "Through three starts, Sale owns a 1.25 ERA and has held opponents to a .149 batting average. ... In his last outing, Sale generated 21 swinging strikes, a total he matched or exceeded in only three starts last year."


Unknown said...

Facing the 3-4-5 hitters strikes me the most, fears of pulling a Grady?

allan said...

It was like a "Reverse Grady".
As soon as the Red Sox got the lead, Farrell couldn't wait to pull his starter.

Kathryn said...

Sale just can't catch a break. The sad part is that none of his numbers will matter when it comes to post season recognition except for W-L.

Paul Hickman said...

Agreed - Farrell has a bad habit of pulling pitchers who are going quite smoothly , even tremendously !!! Ever since Kimbrel "mangled" that game against the MFY late last season it has been a "Kimbrelcoaster" of ups & downs which consistently gives you the yips ! Here comes a Train or a Trainwreck .......

Anonymous said...

Replacing John Farrell with a well-tuned algorithm might be worth considering. Some forward-looking franchise with a Silicon Valley bazillionaire owner should consider that, soon.
Success could turn it into a trend. Watching the upcoming battle of wits between Farrell and Buck Showalter should be entertaining, and instructive.

allan said...

SOSH Game Thread

So while we wait to see how badly hurt he is, let's discuss whether or not Sale finishes this game off.

No. Kimbrel all the way.

Farrell will make the wrong decision

Damnit. I wanted Sale to get the CGSO

I think they would have a hard time stopping him from going back out. And if somebody gets on, Kimbrel comes in.

Oh no. O'Brien just said Kimbrel has been "lights out".... we are so fucked.

102 pitches. Hmm. I may have left him in. But I really don't know.

Well I'm not nervous about this at all...

I would have stayed with Sale

Guess I'm wrong. I would have let him start the 9th.

This is the wrong decision

I really question taking him out of the game

Thanks Kimbrel.... Tie game.


Smart move, Farrell

Thanks asshole.

And there it is.


Well, that backfired quickly

LOL you gotta be shittin me

Thanks Craig. Who didn't see that coming?

Fire Farrell. I mean it.

i'm wrong, it's completely fucking believable

Oh fuck right the fuck off. Fuck you Farrell. Fuck you Kimbrel. Fuck you ump. Fuck sports.

fastball right down the middle...opposite of Sale's exceptional command.


Let the second guessing begin.

I mean, 102 pitches, absolutely zero stress all game. Worst decision of the year.

Sale 102 pitches = 0 runs. Kimbrel 1 pitch = 1 run.

If I was Sale I'd be pissed. Another great example of Farrell have absolutely no feel for the game situation.

Keep Sale away from the scissors

Kimbrell should have to shave every time he does that

His scrotum. With a straight razor.

Fuck you O'Brien.

I dunno it happens. In a vacuum i'm okay with the decision of Kimbrel pitching this inning. Everybody is freaking out if Sale gives up a run conversely. Rather not throw him out there for 110-120 IP in April.

(Let the second guessing begin.) It began BEFORE they tied it.

Would have liked to seen Sale's expression as that ball went out.

Kimbrel looked great after the HR!!!!

Well, last year he would have walked two guys before giving up the moon shot, so he's probably feeling pretty good about himself right now.

Nice - xtra innings. So now we can use more pitchers we didn't need to use. (And don't have)

So do we put this on the list of game changing Farrell fuck ups or not?

Really sharp inning other than the game-tying 900 foot home run.

You have to have a feel for the game. He was at 102 pitches but they could not have been more stress free. Blue Jays had no shot ALL DAY. He's your ace. He's the best you got I don't give a fuck if it's a save situation. Your best bet to have a scoreless ninth is Chris Sale.

Nail on head. No feel for the game. None.

Fire up the fire Farrell thread again. Today is unforgivable. I don't care how good Kimbrel has been. Sale was as good as vintage Pedro, vintage anybody today, and at 102 freaking pitches. The other thing is, in spite of the new math, pitchers still love CGSHOs. Fattell gave him no chance at it. Leaving the typo.

Jere said...

"Ever since Kimbrel "mangled" that game against the MFY late last season it has been a "Kimbrelcoaster" of ups & downs which consistently gives you the yips !"

And also the entire season leading up to that game.