May 2, 2017

G26: Red Sox 5, Orioles 2

Orioles - 000 010 100 - 2  3  1
Red Sox - 010 101 20x - 5 10  0
Chris Sale electrified the Fenway crowd as soon as he took the mound. He struck out the first five batters he faced, and seven of the first nine. Sale retired the first 13 Orioles and ended up issuing a walk to Chris Davis in the fifth - Baltimore's first baserunner - only because home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn did not call strike three on a 2-2 pitch that was in the strike zone.

Sale (8-3-2-2-11, 115) topped ten strikeouts for the fifth consecutive start, joining Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in Red Sox history to do so (Pedro did it four times!).

Hanley Ramirez crushed two long home runs and Mookie Betts delivered a clutch two-out, two-run double to give his team some seventh-inning insurance. (Betts also made a tremendous running catch near the right field corner in the fifth.) And the Red Sox hit into a triple play in the eighth when Jackie Bradley lofted a popup to short left that J.J. Hardy (as he did on a similar play Monday night) could not seem to catch.

The top of the first held more drama than Sale striking out the side. Adam Jones received sustained applause and a partial standing ovation when he came to the plate with one out, as the fans showed their support for the Orioles' center fielder after he said he had heard racial slurs on Monday night. Sale stepped off the mound as Jones acknowledges the cheers, then struck him out on three pitches. Sale threw a pitch behind the next batter, Manny Machado (the ball was around the knees), and Reyburn immediately issued warnings to both teams.

The Red Sox scored more runs tonight when Sale was on the mound than they had in his previous five starts combined. In the second, Mitch Moreland doubled and scored on Dustin Pedoria's single to center. Amazingly, Sale was not pitching with a lead!

Ramirez hit solo home runs leading off both the fourth and sixth innings. Alec Asher (6-6-3-1-4, 101) hung a 1-1 curve in the fourth that Ramirez hit out of sight to left center. In the sixth, with an 0-2 count, Asher hung another breaking ball - and Ramirez obliterated it, sending it out of the park on a line to left.

In the seventh, the Red Sox led 3-2 and had already had a man thrown out at the plate, when Betts - who in his last at-bat had sent Jones to the center field wall with his long fly ball - smoked a double over Jones's glove for two runs. (Before Betts batted, reliever Donnie Hart threw a pitch directly at Benintendi's head. He was able to duck straight down to avoid getting hit in the helmet. Despite the warnings that were so quickly issued in the first inning, Reyburn and the other umpires did absolutely nothing in this case.)

The Triple Play: Moreland singled to start the eighth and Pedroia walked. Jackie Bradley worked the count full, then popped up to short left. Hardy went back but the ball fell untouched. The two baserunners expected the ball to be caught (or maybe they thought the infield fly rule had been called (it had not)) and did not move. Hardy threw the ball to Jonathan Schoop at second base. Schoop tagged Moreland, who was a few steps off the bag. Then he stepped on second base to force Pedroia, who was still standing at first. Schoop threw the ball to Davis at first, which retired Bradley, who was nowhere to be seen in the camera shot.

Craig Kimbrel retired the side in order in the ninth, striking out Davis, with the final out going catcher-to-first.

Four Errors By NESN:

After Pedroia's RBI-single (on an 2-0 count) in the second, Asher threw two balls to Bradley. Dennis Eckersley said Asher was "not getting ahead of anyone in particular". ... Actually, Asher had begun that inning by going 0-2 on Ramirez and throwing a first-pitch strike to Moreland. And in the first inning, Asher went 0-2 on Bogaerts and 0-2 on Andrew Benintendi. In fact, Asher was ahead in the count to four of the first six batters.

Eckersley also called Hanley Ramirez "Manny" during a replay and, in the seventh inning, even though Marco Hernandez had forced Leon at second base, when the next batter singled, Eckersley told us two or (maybe) three times that Leon had gone from first to third.

Dave O'Brien informed us that Pedroia would soon tie "Harry 'The Hat' Hooper" on the Red Sox all-time hit list. Hooper (who played for the Red Sox from 1909-1920 (and won four championships!)) was never called "The Hat". O'Brien must have been thinking of Harry "The Hat" Walker, who played in the 1940s and 1950s.

Throw in some bad camera work regarding the outfielders - and it was just a normal night for the NESN crew.
Alec Asher / Chris Sale
Bogaerts, SS
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Ramirez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Pedroia, 2B
Bradley, CF
Leon, C
Hernandez, 3B
Sale has pitched 37.2 innings this season. During that time, his teammates have scored four runs.

Craig Forde,
In the last 30 years, the only Red Sox pitcher to get less run support in his first five starts with the team was Jeff Sellers, who got three runs over his first five starts in 1988. The only other pitcher during the last 30 seasons to get less than 10 runs in in his first five starts of a season for the Red Sox was Greg Harris, who got 8 runs of support in his first five starts in 1991.
See why W-L records should be completely ignored? (MLB will never get rid of them, but we don't have to acknowledge their existence.)
Chris Sale:    1-2, 1.19 ERA
Steven Wright: 1-3, 8.25 ERA
Sale has pitched at least seven innings in all five starts this year. He is second in the AL in ERA and ERA+, first in strikeouts, second in best BB/K ratio, and fifth in fewest BB/9.


allan said...

From SABR:

Cyril Morong: "Someone on Twitter mentioned that the Nationals scored 73 runs in six games. The 1930 Cubs had 81 in a 6 game span. Does anyone know if that is the most? The 1930 Cubs had 16-15-18-10-13-9. Then got shut out."

Mark Armour: "The 1950 Red Sox, spanning June 2-8, scored 11, 17, 12, 4, 29, 20. That is 93 in six games. They also scored 11 in the game before this, so that would be 104 in 7 games."

johngoldfine said...

My fucking home town, also home of Louise Day Hicks and perch of Tom Yawkey and other assorted racists.

Dr. Jeff said...

Why was Moreland off the bag? Did he not see the throw coming towards 2nd? Why did Bradley not run? Why was the infield fly rule NOT called? That rule exists specifically for this reason, to avoid these types of plays.