May 23, 2017

G44: Red Sox 11, Rangers 6

Rangers - 001 011 210 -  6 13  0
Red Sox - 011 034 02x - 11 12  1   
After scoring 12 runs in Oakland on Sunday, the Red Sox flew across the country, had a day of rest, and came out swinging at home, scoring 11 times and easily defeating the red-hot Rangers (who came into the game having won 11 of their last 12 games).

Xander Bogaerts led the way with three hits, four runs scored, and three RBI. Mitch Moreland and Dustin Pedroia drove in two runs each and Mookie Betts and Deven Marerro each scored twice.

Rick Porcello (6.2-11-5-0-4, 111) was not sharp, but he got plenty of run support. He retired the first six batters, but then allowed at least two hits in each of the next five innings. (Porcello tied a season-high by giving up 11 hits and has now allowed 77 hits, the most by any pitcher in either league.)

The game was tied 2-2 when Marrerro and Betts began the bottom of the fifth with singles. Pedroia walked, loading the bases for Bogaerts. This was an interesting at-bat, mostly because it was the highlight (or lowlight) of the utter shitshow put on by home plate umpire Bill Welke. Andrew Cashner's 1-1 pitch to Bogaerts was clearly outside, according to NESN's zone - and Welke called it a strike. (Brooks had the pitch on the border of the zone.) Then Cashner threw one a little low, but right over the middle of the plate (#4) - and Welke called it a ball. (It looks like Welke missed the call on pitch #2, as well.)
All night long, Welke called strikes on pitches that were outside and/or low, while squeezing all of the pitchers when they came inside. From start to finish, his strike zone judgment was a disgrace.

Bogaerts grounded a single to left, scoring two runs. Cashner walked Andrew Benintendi on four pitches, reloading the bases. Hanley Ramirez's grounder to third resulted in a force at home. Moreland flied to left, and Bogaerts scored. When the throw went through to the plate, Benintendi tried for third. The throw was late and catcher Jonathan Lucroy threw to second baseman Roughned Odor who fired the ball to Joey Gallo at third. Benintendi appeared to elude Gallo's tag, but he was called out, and the Red Sox did not challenge the call.

Boston added four more runs in the sixth. And it all happened after Dario Alvarez retired the first two batters. Marrero walked. Jeremy Jeffress came in from the pen and walked Betts. Pedroia lined a double towards the right field corner. Nomar Mazara dove for the ball but it bounced in front of him and caromed away. Two runs scored, giving the Red Sox a 7-3 lead. Bogaerts followed with a double to left-center that scored Pedroia. After Benintendi was given an intentional pass, Jeffress walked Ramirez, loading the bases. With Moreland at the plate, a wild pitch brought in Bogaerts.

Moreland drove in a run in the eighth and Boston's final run scored on a balk.

The Yankees and Orioles both lost, so the night was a total success. The Red Sox are 3.5 GB.

For reasons that remain unknown to me, NESN's poll question concerned ties (again). "Should tied games end after 12 innings?" When NESN asked a question a month ago about the possibility of having games end in ties, 8% of voters said that ties should exist. Tonight, 12% of voters answered Yes to the Tie After 12 Innings question. ... NESN's viewers are getting dumber.
Andrew Cashner / Rick Porcello
Betts, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Benintendi, LF
Ramirez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Bradley, CF
Leon, C
Marrero, 3B
Also: Sam Travis, a 23-year-old 1B/DH, has been called up from Pawtucket. In 23 games since April 22, Travis is batting .344 with a .909 OPS.

The Red Sox have made the playoffs eleven times since 1995. Alex Speier (108 Stitches) notes that all eleven of those teams won at least 24 of their first 43 games. Boston is 22-21 this year. From Speier's Monday newsletter:
To date, the 2017 Red Sox have been a team that has been unable to define itself. They've staggered through fitful performances, winning no more than four straight this year and losing no more than three straight. ... The inconsistency has been somewhere between puzzling and maddening to both observers and members of the team alike, a head-scratcher for a team expected to run away with the division.
T.R. Sullivan,
Cashner ... allowed two runs in seven innings in a 9-3 victory over the Phillies on Wednesday in Arlington. Cashner has had trouble against leadoff hitters in an inning. They are hitting .306 off him and his seven leadoff walks are the fourth most in the Majors. But opponents are hitting .103 off him with runners on base and .074 with runners in scoring position.
Fangraphs: "Craig Kimbrel Is Basically Perfect Again"


allan said...

It would be nice to have the Red Sox get a nice head of steam going into the games against the Shitbirds and MFY.

allan said...

Pitching line for Mariners' starter Christian Bergman: 4-14-10-2-0, 92.

The Nats scored 2 in the 2nd and 8 in the 4th - and Bergman was there for all of it.

FenFan said...

New poll question: are NESN viewers getting dumber?

FenFan said...

If Manfred Truly is floating the idea of tie ball games, then he is inching closer to Bud Selig territory in terms of stupidity. IT'S THE COMMERCIALS, STUPID!

allan said...

If Manfred institutes ties, he immediately leaves Selig in the dust. Instant Worst Commissioner Ever.

Commercials? No, it's the intentional walks! Of which there are maybe like 1.3 every game. Now those are not cluttering up the games, so things are improving. ... Maybe if there was not enough time to take a fucking nap between pitches, things would also get zippier.