May 3, 2017

G27: Red Sox 4, Orioles 2

Orioles - 000 002 000 - 2  9  2
Red Sox - 010 300 00x - 4  6  2
Kevin Gausman hit Xander Bogaerts in the ass with a 76-mph curveball (Gameday called it a slider) to start the bottom of the second inning - and was promptly ejected by home plate umpire Sam Holbrook. Both Gausman (1-0-1-1-0, 20) and catcher Caleb Joseph were furious and Orioles manager Buck Showalter came out for a discussion.

On NESN, Dave O'Brien and Dennis Eckersley were about as incredulous as the Orioles. Eck said right away that Holbrook was "clueless" and ought to be "embarrassed"; O'Brien called the ejection "unfair". O'Brien also implied he possesses the ability to read minds when he stated "there was not a hint of intent" on Gausman's part. Later in the game, O'Brien mentioned that Gausman had been ejected, "inexplicably". Inexplicably?!? Seriously? Has O'Brien actually been watching these past few games?

Pitchers do not intentionally drill batters with non-fastballs, traditionally. But perhaps Gausman figured if he plunked a Boston player with something off-speed, he wouldn't get caught. Showalter replaced him with Richard Bleier, who made his 2017 debut. He pitched four innings and then, in the sixth, Showalter brought in tomorrow night's starter, Ubaldo Jimenez. The move baffled me, but because Buck is a certified genius, it must have made good sense.

Before Bogaerts was HBP, Drew Pomeranz wriggled out of trouble in the first inning. Joey Rickard started the game with a soft fly that landed on the right field foul line for a double. Adam Jones reached on an error by Marco Hernandez (his sixth (!) of the season), who hurt himself on the play and was replaced by Josh Rutledge. Pomeranz struck out Manny Machado on a brilliant low, inside pitch. Mark Trumbo flied to center and, after Chris Davis walked to load the bases, Pomeranz struck out Jonathan Schoop. (Pomeranz threw 16 pitches to the first two batters and needed 34 to finish the inning.)

When Bleier took over, with Bogaerts on first, he missed with his first six pitches, walking Mitch Moreland and falling behind Chris Young. Young forced Moreland at second, before Rutledge's single to left scored Bogaerts.

Pomeranz retired eight in a row before Davis singled through the shift with one out in the fourth. Schoop struck out, but Trey Mancini reached on an infield single and both runners took an extra base when Rutledge's throw to first was wild. Pomeranz stranded both runners by striking out J.J. Hardy.

Hardy's tough time in the infield in this series continued. Bogaerts's grounder to open the bottom of the fourth went through Hardy's legs for an error (or an "air", as Eckersley says). Moreland lined a single off the base of the Wall, putting runners at first and third. Young doubled to left-center to score one run and when Rutledge grounded to shortstop, Hardy made a wild throw home and Moreland scored. (No error was charged, however.) Dustin Pedroia's sacrifice fly made it 4-0.

With one out and a man on first in the top of the fifth, Jones took a 2-1 pitch that appeared to be up and a bit outside. Holbrook made a delayed strike call, which pissed off Jones, and when he swung and missed at the next pitch, he unloaded on Holbrook and was ejected. Now, every player knows that arguing balls and strikes will lead to an ejection, but when you also grab your nuts and later tell the umpire several times to (if my lip-reading skills are solid) to go fuck himself, you probably won't be in the game much longer. either.

The Orioles got on the board in the sixth. Trumbo walked (although Pomeranz clearly struck him out with Pitch #6, which Holbrook - who was shitty to both sides all night - called ball 4). Here are the strike zones of MLB and Brooks:
Davis struck out looking, but Schoop hit a ground-rule double to center and Pomeranz (5.1-5-2-2-7, 100) left with runners at second and third. Heath Hembree was not as sharp as usual and allowed both runners to score, with Mancini's sac fly and Hardy's single bringing home the runs. When Caleb Joseph followed with a single, the Orioles brought the potential go-ahead run at the plate. Hembree came through by fanning Rickard on a 3-2 pitch.

Matt Barnes set down the Orioles in order in the seventh and got the first two men in the eighth, but Mancini reached on an infield hit and Hardy singled to center. Seth Smith was announced as a pinch-hitter for Joseph and John Farrell brought in Robby Scott. Showalter countered and went with Francisco Pena as the pinch-hitter. It was Pena's first plate appearance of the season and he grounded to third, where Rutledge forced Mancini to end the threat.

Craig Kimbrel breezed through the ninth, striking out the side. Over his last 10 appearances, Kimbrel has retired 30 of 32 batters, striking out 19 of them.

Also, during the middle of the game - which lasted 3:24, but seemed to drag on much longer - Eckersley mentioned that Andrew Benintendi had a pitch thrown at his head by Donnie Hart on Tuesday night. That was good to hear. Okay, it came about 22 hours late, but hey ...

Can someone tell me why Dave O'Brien is so obsessed when the team with fewer runs has more hits? He mentions it in every game in which it happens (usually starting in the fifth inning or so) and referred to it at least five times tonight. I don't think it's that noteworthy. ... Looking at the schedule and working backwards, it happened twice on Tuesday, twice on Monday, twice on Sunday, once on Saturday, and five times last Friday. (There were also several games in which the two teams had the same number of hits.) So in only five days, this wild and crazy thing happened 12 times. Stop making a fuss about this, Dave, it's not that big of a deal.
Kevin Gausman / Drew Pomeranz
Pedroia, 2B
Benintendi, CF
Betts, RF
Ramirez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Young, LF
Hernandez, 3B
Vazquez, C
Kyle Kendrick will get the ball on tomorrow night, starting in place of Steven Wright, who is on the DL. Kendrick, 32, has a 6.00 ERA in 27 innings (four games) this year for Pawtucket. Kendrick last pitched in the major leagues in 2015, with the Rockies.

So Hanley Ramirez is totally on fire with the bat, right? Eight-game hitting streak, four home runs in his last four games, 1.478 OPS in his last six games. He doesn't think so. "Not yet. Not yet. I'm getting close. Getting close."

Manny Machado did not appreciate Chris Sale throwing a pitch behind him last night:
I mean, if you're going to fucking hit me, hit me. Go ahead. Fucking hit me. Don't let this shit keep lingering, fucking around and keep trying to hit people. It's fucking bullshit. ... Fucking pussy shit. Coward stuff. I mean, that's the stuff you don't fucking do. But I mean, I'm not on that side. I'm not in that organization. They're still thinking about that same slide that I did. There was no intention on hurting anybody, and I'm still paying. I'm still trying to get hit at, get thrown at on my fucking head. They're fucking throwing everywhere. ... You have pitchers out there with fucking balls in their hands throwing 100 mph trying to hit people. I've got a fucking bat too. I could go up there and crush somebody if I wanted to, but you know what, I'll get suspended for a year -- and the pitchers only get suspended for two games. That's not cool.
Sale's response: "Whatever, man. Not losing any sleep tonight."

It appears that no one asked Andrew Benintendi how he felt about Donnie Hart throwing a pitch directly at his head. ... (I'm pretty sure I saw this happen in the seventh inning last night. Or maybe I imagined it?)

I should have included this in the previous post about Pedro Martinez and Sale: The major league record for most consecutive starts with 10+ strikeouts is eight: set by Pedro (August 19-September 27, 1999) and - how about this! - Sale, when he was with the White Sox (May 23-June 30, 2015).

1 comment:

johngoldfine said...

MM sounds agitated, judging by the fuck ratio in his comments--as well he might.