June 16, 2017

G67: Red Sox 2, Astros 1

Red Sox - 001 000 010 - 2  7  0
Astros  - 000 000 100 - 1  6  1
Drew Pomeranz and Mookie Betts led the Red Sox to victory. Good Pomeranz showed up tonight (6.1-4-1-3-4, 97) and Betts scored both runs, the second one coming on his 12th home run of the year, in the eighth inning. Betts also threw out a runner at the plate in the sixth.

Update: The Yankees (38-27) lost again, their fourth defeat in a row. Boston (38-29) is now only 1 GB!

Betts walked with one out in the third. Pedroia singled to right, and Betts went to third. Xander Bogaerts struck out, but Mitch Moreland singled to left, scoring Betts. Mike Fiers's wild pitch moved the runners to second and third and Andrew Benintendi walked. But the bases were left loaded when Chris Young grounded out to shortstop.

Pomeranz was helped out by double plays in the first and fourth innings. And in the sixth, after Pomeranz issued two-out walks to George Springer and Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa singled to right. But Betts gunned down Springer at the plate.

There was also a bit of a scare in the seventh. Brian McCann homered off Pomeranz, tying the game at 1-1. Joe Kelly relieved Pomeranz. Yuli Gurriel doubled to right center and went to third on Alex Bregman's groundout. Derek Fisher was intentionally walked and Norichika Aoki pinch-hit for Jake Marisnick. It was a tense at-bat - ball, ball (Fisher stole second), called strike, swinging strike, foul, foul, ball, foul - before Aoki lined out to third, where Josh Rutledge had to leap to snag the ball.

Fiers (7-5-1-2-4, 97) was pulled after seven and Will Harris took over, facing the top of Boston's order in the eighth. Betts crushed Harris's first pitch over the fence in left.

In the bottom of the eighth, Altuve doubled off Matt Barnes with one out. Barnes then walked Correa on four pitches. Altuve stole third, but Evan Gattis grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Craig Kimbrel retired the side in order in the ninth.
Drew Pomeranz / Mike Fiers
Betts, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Benintendi, LF
Young, DH
Bradley, CF
Rutledge, 3B
Vazquez, C
The Astros (45-22) lead the American League West by 11 games. Since winning 11 games in a row (May 25-June 5), Houston has lost six of nine games. Fiers is the team's only pitcher from the Opening Day starting rotation to have avoided the disabled list.

How do you solve a problem like Pablo? That's what the Red Sox are wondering as Mr. Sandoval turned in yet another putrid night at the plate. Rob Bradford writes that "the Sandoval signing is trending toward becoming one of the worst in franchise history". In 158 games with Boston, Sandoval is batting .236 with a .646 OPS.

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs calls Sandoval "the most glaring example in baseball of a sunk cost":
He still swings at everything — he has the fifth-highest O-Swing% [percentage of pitches a batter swings at outside the strike zone] of any hitter with 100+ plate appearances — and allows pitchers to get him out on pitches out of the zone. Only 38% of the pitches he’s been thrown this year have been strikes, the lowest rate in the majors, so Sandoval is currently swinging at balls and swinging through strikes. That is a bad combination. ...

He has no trade value, and is not likely to ever be someone the team could move for any real return. Sandoval's presence on the roster is solely about whether he can help the team win, and right now, the answer looks to be mostly no. ...

Dave Dombrowski said this week that the organization doesn't feel [Rafael] Devers is quite ready yet, but some of that probably involves the team not yet making the decision that it's time to cut Sandoval and give his roster spot to someone more useful.

They should be there, though. Sandoval looks like a below-replacement level player ... the Pablo Sandoval experiment failed, and it's not going to be any more successful by letting him get at-bats that could go to a better player.
More bad news: Roger Clemens will be filling in for Joe Castiglione on the radio broadcast tonight. Awful Announcing wonders "what WEEI has to gain" since Red Sox fans "seem to largely hate him at worst, and are pretty indifferent to him at best. ... [I]t sure seems to be pretty significant trolling of a large segment of their Red Sox-fan audience."

I won't listen to even one second of Fat Billy, but I am curious about how it goes, since Clemens was not known for his silver tongue during his playing days. So if anyone has the stomach to tune in, feel free to report in the comments.


allan said...

A note from Elias: Dodgers starter Rich Hill lasted only 4 innings against Cleveland last night. It was Hill's 10th consecutive start (dating back to last September) in which he recorded 15 or fewer outs. That's the longest such streak by a Dodgers pitcher since the mound was set at its current distance in 1893.

allan said...

From the SoSH Game Thread last night:

scotian1: "Hard to believe that Sandoval is being paid more than Ortiz ever made in a season."

aksoxfan: "You just made me physically ill."

MuzzyField: "But Panda plays a defensive position. You have to pay a premium for that."


Also, a crazy linescore from the MFY's loss last night:

MFY - 000 003 111 1 - 7 16 0
OAK - 120 001 110 2 - 8 14 0

Jere said...

I don't think they're "trolling," I think they're continuing along the path of their (fucking stupid and insulting) decision to bring him back into the fold. They are great to bring all the legends (and even just average old players) back, but this is one they need to leave alone.

I listened to the fist three minutes or so (because I was still in the car) and "Rocket from the Crapped" thanked Castiglione as if he were the one who invited him or whatever. I did hear him say something you don't usually get out of our other announcers: "I was wrong."

allan said...

So more tone deaf than trolling.

allan said...

Speaking of being tone fucking deaf, here's John Tomase:

"Roger Clemens and Red Sox fans have shared every co-dependent emotion between adulation and betrayal. Now they're fully engaged in forgiveness. ... Since retiring, Clemens has periodically returned to Fenway, where he's consistently greeted with appreciation and respect bordering on unconditional love. We forgive him for the mediocre end to his Red Sox career. We forgive him for the Yankees years. More and more of us even forgive him for the whole steroid thing, with his Hall of Fame vote totals climbing each year."

Well, fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck you, Tomase!

Rich G said...

Not defending Clemens BUT he was invited by Castiglione. Apparently he appeared as a personal favour to Joe (who is reducing his travelling) who he is close to and who asked him to appear whilst we were in Houston so thanking Joe was not only fair enough but entirely the right thing to do.

allan said...

"Rocket from the Crapped"

It took me a few seconds!

When this special event was first announced a few weeks ago, I thought it said the Texas Con Man would be in the booth for all three games of the Astros series. The stuff yesterday made it sound like Friday night only. (But if so, then who is replacing Joe tonight and Sunday?)

allan said...

Also, a crazy linescore from the MFY's loss last night:
MFY - 000 003 111 1 - 7 16 0
OAK - 120 001 110 2 - 8 14 0

I had wondered if a team had ever scored in the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th innings and still lost? I don't know the answer, but in searching for something else, I saw this linescore, where the Rangers scored in the 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th innings - and lost to the Red Sox!

June 13, 1996
TEX - 000 110 112 1 - 7 14 1
BOS - 000 102 012 2 - 8 15 0