June 21, 2017

G72: Royals 6, Red Sox 4

Red Sox - 000 220 000 - 4  5  0
Royals  - 011 000 04x - 6  8  2
Despite recent strong performances from just about everyone in the bullpen, I doubt I was the only Red Sox fan who began experiencing a growing sense of doom as Matt Barnes walked the first two Royals in the bottom of the eighth. Several of Barnes's pitches to Jorge Bonifacio were high, and he walked him on a full count. All four of his pitches to Lorenzo Cain were up, out of the strike zone. Boston held a 4-2 lead.

Lefty Robbie Scott came in to face lefty Eric Hosmer, who had doubled and scored the Royals' first run. Scott's pitches: outside, low/outside, well outside, well outside. Kansas City had the bases loaded with no one out. Manager John Farrell has stated he would rather avoid using Craig Kimbrel before the ninth inning, and I don't think Kimbrel ever got off the bench in the bullpen. But Farrell was slow to have Heath Hembree warm up, given the assumption that Hembree (a righty) would pitch to Salvador Perez. But Hembree began warming up only after the walk to Hosmer and a mound visit by pitching coach Carl Willis. So it would be up to Scott.

Scott's first five pitches to Perez were outside, making it 15 straight pitches out of the strike zone by Boston relievers. However, Perez swung and missed at two of those pitches, so the count was actually 3-2. Perez then fouled off three pitches, two of which were right over the heart of the plate. Scott's ninth pitch of the at-bat was a bit inside and that's what Perez was looking for. He crushed the ball to deep left for his 102nd career home run - and his first grand slam.

Mike Moustakas then bunted against the shift, towards third, and reached with a single. Now it was time for Farrell to call on Hembree, who retired Alex Gordon on a pop up and got a double play from Alcides Escobar.

Jackie Bradley doubled to lead off the top of the ninth, but Kelvin Herrera set down the next three batters: Josh Rutledge grounded to short, Christian Vazquez struck out looking, and pinch-hitter Hanley Ramirez flied to center.

If the Red Sox had won the game, Drew Pomeranz (6.1-6-2-1-5, 93) would have received deserved attention for his solid start. He allowed two early runs. Hosmer doubled in the second and scored on a double play. Escobar doubled to start the third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Whit Merrifield.

Boston tied the game in the fourth when Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts hit back-to-back home runs. (NESN missed the second pitch of Bogaerts's at-bat because it was showing yet another replay; it was nice of Xander to wait and hit his homer on the fifth pitch, so we could see it live.)

Vazuqez singled to open the fifth. Deven Marrero bunted towards first base. Pitcher Ian Kennedy fielded the ball as second baseman Ramon Torres rushed over to cover the bag. Kennedy's throw sailed over Torres's head - and Boston had runners at second and third. Mookie Betts brought Vazquez home on a fly to left. Marrero took third on Benintendi's fly out to Cain on the warning track in right-center. After Bogaerts was intentionally walked, Kennedy (4.2-3-4-3-4, 89) was pulled for Mike Minor. With a 1-2 count on Mitch Moreland, Minor threw over to first. The ball went past the first baseman and struck Red Sox first base coach Ruben Amaro in the right chest or shoulder. Marrero alertly scored, Amaro appeared to be okay (he apparently never saw the ball coming), and Moreland flied to short center.
Drew Pomeranz / Ian Kennedy
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Young, DH
Bradley, CF
Rutledge, 2B
Vazquez, C
Marrero, 3B


FenFan said...

The real "shame" is that the person MOST responsible for the loss, Barnes, doesn't even get tagged with the loss; it goes to Scott, who also gets a blown save.

So here is yet another reason why wins and losses don't statistically mean anything (ICYDK, Barnes has five wins this season, which places him third on the team in that category).

allan said...

MFY win 8-4 and move back into 1st.

Orioles lose 5-1. 18 STRAIGHT GAMES OF ALLOWING 5+ RUNS!