July 1, 2017

G81: Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 1

Red Sox   - 220 010 002 - 7 12  0
Blue Jays - 000 000 001 - 1  6  1
Chris Sale's line against the Blue Jays - 7-4-0-1-11, 116 - is beginning to resemble an average outing for the left-hander. We haven't been saying that about a Red Sox pitcher since 2003 or so, toward the end of the unprecedented five-year run when Pedro Martinez made every major league team seem like a bunch of rag-tag high schoolers.

(Over those five seasons - 1999-2003 - Pedro had a 2.10 ERA. For those who still care about a pitcher's record, he was 82-21. He walked fewer than two batters every nine innings while striking out an average of 11.6. In 2000, when the AL's average ERA was 4.91, Pedro's was 1.74.)

Sale allowed more than one baserunner in only two innings. He left runners at first and second in the first inning when he fanned Troy Tulowitzki. In the sixth, he hit Russell Martin (his second HBP of the day) and gave up a double to Justin Smoak, so Toronto had runners at second and third with only one out. Whatever. Tulowitzki grounded back to the mound and Steve Pearce popped up to first.

(Sale's first HBP was Pearce, leading off the second inning. Sale then struck out the next three batters, with a minimum of effort (each K was on a 1-2 pitch). Sale's only walk of the afternoon was to the first batter he faced, Jose Bautista.)

Unlike Friday night, the Red Sox wasted no time in taking a lead. Mookie Betts began the game with a four-pitch walk. Francisco Liriano (6-7-5-3-4, 100) got two outs, but Hanley Ramirez doubled to left. Jackie Bradley, who had hit .381 in his last 11 games, lined Liriano's first pitch into left for a double, scoring the two baserunners.

In the second, Boston enjoyed some BETOF (bases-empty, two-out fun). Sam Travis grounded to second and Sandy Leon fouled to third. Then Deven Marrero singled to right. Betts drew another four-pitch walk. With a 2-2 count on Dustin Pedroia, Marrero and Betts pulled a double steal (the second for the Red Sox in as many games (actually, their second in three innings, as they also did it in the eleventh (and final) inning last night)). Pedroia doubled to right, giving the Red Sox a 4-0 lead.

In the fifth, Betts walked (this time on five pitches). He stole second and went to third on Pedroia's groundout. Xander Bogaerts brought him home with a sac fly to center.

Boston added two unnecessary insurance runs in the ninth. Leon singled to right-center and Marrero reached on an infield single, and both runners took an extra base on a throwing error. Pedroia walked. Bogaerts dumped a single into left, scoring Leon and Marrero.

Blaine Boyer hit Martin with a pitch to start the eighth, but retired the next three men. Robby Scott gave up a shutout-ruining home run to Pearce to open the ninth.

Betts walked three times and scored three times. Ramirez had three hits and Leon, Marrero, and Chris Young each had two. Marrero scored twice. Only three batters drove in runs: Bogaerts (3), Pedroia (2), and Bradley (2).
Chris Sale / Francisco Liriano
Betts, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Ramirez, DH
Bradley, CF
Young, LF
Travis, 1B
Leon, C
Marrero, 3B
Happy Canada Day!

After this game, the regular season is at its midway point. A win would give Boston 46 wins, which is (obviously) a 92-win pace. ... The Red Sox lead the AL East by one game.

On Thursday night's flight to Toronto, David Price "had a verbal confrontation" with NESN's Dennis Eckersley. It was regarding comments Eckersley made on NESN's postgame show. As ESPN's Scott Lauber wrote, "It's unclear what specifically about the broadcast angered Price, who allowed three runs in seven innings ... but neglected to cover first base at one point in the fourth inning."

John Tomase of WEEI stated: "Eckersley is one of the most universally respected figures in the game. He's as friendly off the air as he is colorful and knowledgeable on it. ... [He] seems genuinely without ego. Simply put, this is a fight Price will never win." Tomase added that Price is "acting dumber than a POTUS tweet" and bringing "unnecessary drama into the clubhouse".

Price - who has been exactly league average over his seven starts (4.61 ERA) - also seems about as thin-skinned as Trump. ... Jesus, grow up and pitch good - and all will be well.


allan said...

Tomase has another column that highlights the difference between Sale and Price:

"Chris Sale doesn't do social media, barely talks to the media other than on the days he pitches, and doesn't seem to care what anyone thinks, says, sings, interpretive dances, or writes about him.

"He's also establishing himself as a pillar of the Red Sox in every sense of the word, which is in sharp contrast to Price, who has emerged as impossibly thin-skinned in his battles with the media ... Price followed up by cryptically telling the Boston Globe that, "some people just don't understand how hard this game is."

"If that's a shot at Eck, it's jaw-droppingly misguided. Eckersley is a Hall of Famer who played for 24 years (8 in Boston), remade himself from an All-Star starter to an unhittable closer ...

"If anyone knows how hard this game is, it's Eckersley. When Price suggests otherwise, he comes off as a spoiled brat who feels he can treat anyone any way he wants because he's rich, famous, and unfortunately, clueless. It's disappointing."


Tomase quotes Sale from spring training: "For me, it's like a horse running a race. The horse has his blinders on and he runs until he's told not to run or the race is over, whatever it is. That's my goal this year, to just focus on baseball things. Anything outside of that, put the blinders up. A lot of distraction can go on throughout the season and in the clubhouse, whatever it is, and I'm going to do my best to kind of keep those separated and keep my focus on baseball-related things."


That seems to be working quite well.

hrstrat57 said...

it appears that Price is trying to force a trade.

Attacking Dennis would be a perfect way to do it.....

allan said...

MFY - 000 005 100 - 6 10 1
HOU - 000 021 04x - 7 8 0

Betances: 0.2 IP, 1 hit (HR), 3 walks, 4 runs!
Dude's walking a TON of guys lately! (6 BB in his last 3 app., 1.2 IP)!