June 12, 2017

G63: Red Sox 6, Phillies 5 (11)

Phillies - 400 010 000 00 - 5 14  2
Red Sox  - 012 100 010 01 - 6 15  2
Dustin Pedroia's opposite-field single scored even Marrero with the winning run on a hot night (93 degrees) at Fenway. Pablo Sandoval began the rally with an 0-2 single off Casey Fien, who was beginning his third inning of relief. Marrero pinch-ran and was bunted to second by Sandy Leon. After Mookie Betts was given an intentional walk, Pedroia, also down in the count 0-2, came through, giving the Red Sox only their second walkoff win of the season. (I was more than a little worried when I saw Fernando Abad warming up to pitch the 12th inning. Perhaps Pedroia was similarly concerned and figured the time to win was now.)

As happy as the Red Sox were at the end of the game, that's how dismal the beginning felt, as Rick Porcello (6-10-5-1-4, 115) allowed four runs. (In his 13 previous starts this season, he had allowed a total of four runs.) After Odubel Herrera singled and Daniel Nava doubled, it looked like Porcello might escape unscathed. Aaron Altherr struck out and Herrera was tagged out at the plate on Howie Kendrick's grounder to first. But Porcello struggled to get the third out. After Kendrick stole second without a throw, Tommy Joseph singled in two runs, Andres Blanco doubled in one, and Maikel Franco singled in another one. The three run-scoring hits came on three consecutive pitches.

In their half of the first, the Red Sox squandered a scoring opportunity. Betts doubled to leadoff and then stayed at second as the next three batters were retired on a fly to right, a strikeout, and a groundout to shortstop.

Boston began their comeback in the second inning when Andrew Benintendi homered to center. Betts began the third with a ground rule double. He stole third and scored on Pedroia's groundout. After Xander Bogaerts fanned, Mitch Moreland singled and scored on Benintendi's single to center. Jackie Bradley opened the fourth by reaching on Kendrick's error. He went to third on Leon's one-out single and scored on Betts's double into the left field corner. (It was the first three-double game of Betts's career. He added a single in the seventh, giving him the third 4-hit game of his career.)

After Boston had tied the game at 4-4, it took the Phillies only four pitches to regain the lead. Altherr doubled and scored on Kendrick's single. Betts saved another run from scoring with a running catch towards the right field corner. Kendrick stole second and after Blanco walked, the two baserunners pulled a double steal. With runners at second and third and one out, Porcello wriggled out of trouble, as Bogaerts gloved Franco's liner and then grabbed Andrew Knapp's grounder and threw him out.

Hanley Ramirez tied the game at 5-5 when he belted a long home run over everything in left with two down in the eighth.

After Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth, Matt Barnes took the tenth. Joseph blooped a single into right and, after Blanco struck out, Franco doubled to right center, putting the potential go-ahead run at third (now pinch-runner Ty Kelly). Barnes showed pinpoint control facing Knapp, getting two called strikes on pitches at the top of the strike zone but a little off the plate. He then painted a 95-mph fastball on the outside black for a swinging strike three. He went 2-2 on Freddy Galvis before freezing him with a similar pitch on the outside black for a called strike three. Barnes gave up a leadoff single in the eleventh, but got Nava on a high fly to left and struck out both Altherr and Kendrick, the latter not coming close to a curveball in the dirt to end the inning.

NESN is still showing its newfangled on-screen graphics - and they are as worthless as ever, never having anything to do with what is going on in the game at that moment. In response to heavy criticism (I'm assuming), NESN has cut back drastically on the frequency of this nonsense. When NESN debuted the graphics, they were constantly on screen. Tonight, they were shown no more than once per half-inning. An approximate count of times I saw them was about 14-15. Of course, that is still 14-15 too many.

When will NESN realize that the ONLY reason we tune in is to SEE THE GAME? Everything else - on-screen clutter, cut-aways to the on-field reporter, booth guests, etc. - is simply shit we must tolerate, and would rather not see/hear at all. (Because it is NOT THE GAME!)
Jerad Eickhoff / Rick Porcello
Betts, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Benintendi, LF
Ramirez, DH
Bradley, CF
Rutledge, 3B
Leon, C
Neither starter has been all that good lately:
Porcello's ERA, last six starts: 5.06
Eickhoff's ERA, last eight starts: 6.75
The Red Sox (34-28) are four games behind the Yankees, who are out west, playing the Angels.

Speaking of the Yankees, they have been scoring a shitton of runs - and no one can stop talking about Aaron Fucking Judge (who it's about time the league's pitchers got a book on). New York has scored at least eight runs in each of their last five games, an achievement they have done only one other time in the last 75 years: July 6-13, 1956.

The Yankees outscored the Red Sox and Orioles 55-9 during that five-game streak, becoming the fourth team since 1900 to score 55+ runs and allow fewer than 10 runs over a five-game span. The others: 1911 Pirates (55-9, July 26-29), 1937 Yankees (58-8, July 4-10) and 1939 Yankees* (56-8, August 25-28).

*: The 1939 Yankees also had a 59-16 streak from August 22-25. So, in a nine-game stretch - August 22-28, all wins - they outscored their opponents 104-24.

Elias notes that the Yankees scored six first-inning runs on Saturday and five on Sunday. It's the first time that they have scored at least five first-inning runs in back-to-back games since August 25, 1939 when they scored five runs in the first inning in both games of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Browns.

And for the second game in a row, the 3-4-5-6 slots in the Yankees' batting order knocked in 12 runs. The Yankees are the second team since 1920 to have back-to-back games in which those four slots in the batting order combined for at least 12 RBIs. The Red Sox did it on June 7-8, 1950, when they beat the Browns 20-4 and 29-4.

Also: It is being reported that Washington's Max Scherzer reached 2,000 strikeouts faster than all but two major league pitchers. That's if you look at games played and innings pitched. But when you rank pitchers by batters faced, Scherzer has reach 2,000 faster than any pitcher ever.
Randy Johnson     262
Clayton Kershaw   277
Max Scherzer      287
Nolan Ryan        287
Rogers Clemens    294
Pedro Martinez    300
Innings Pitched
Pedro Martinez   1,711.0
Randy Johnson    1,733.1
Max Scherzer     1,784.0
Batters Faced
Max Scherzer      7,277
Randy Johnson     7,284
Nolan Ryan        7,915
Roger Clemens     8,796
Steve Carlton    10,721

1 comment:

allan said...

Bad news from Jerry Remy (via Twitter): "I have been diagnosed with cancer again. Treatment starts in 2 weeks. Still strong. Please see your doctor"