July 4, 2017

G84: Red Sox 11, Rangers 4

Red Sox - 020 231 120 - 11 19  0
Rangers - 000 000 031 -  4 10  2
Six hours before the first pitch, I wrote that I wanted Yu Darvish "to give up seven runs". I didn't actually think that would happen. In 14 of his 17 starts this year, Darvish had allowed three runs or fewer. He allowed a season-worst five runs in a mid-June outing. But since everything is clicking for the Red Sox right now, they promptly battered Darvish for 11 hits and seven runs in his shortest start of the year (4.1-11-7-0-4, 89).

Andrew Benintendi led the way. He went 5-for-5, with two singles, a double, and two home runs. He scored four runs and had a career-best six runs batted in. (It was his second five-hit game of the season; he went 5-for-5 on April 23 against the Orioles.) Adding in his game-winning hit from Tuesday, Benintendi has six hits in his last six at-bats, with 8 RBI.

The bottom of the Red Sox's batting order could not stay off the bases. The #6-9 hitters - Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, Christian Vazquez, and Tzu-Wei Lin - went 14-for-19, with seven runs scored and 10 RBI. (On the flip side, the top three batters in the starting lineup - Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, and Xander Bogaerts - went 1-for-16. So expect the dim bulbs on sports radio to instruct Red Sox fans to start panicking.)

David Price (6-6-0-2-9, 106) was sharp. He allowed a single and a double with two outs in the first, but fanned Carlos Gomez to strand the runners. Price struck out two batters in each of the next three innings. He did not walk anyone until the sixth.

Darvish retired his first four batters, but gave up a quick run when Hanley Ramirez doubled and Benintendi singled him in. Benintendi came around to score on hits by Vazquez and Lin. (With Betts batting, Vazquez and Lin pulled off the Red Sox's third double steal in their last five games (!).)

Darvish cruised through the third, but the bottom of the order got him again in the fourth. Benintendi doubled to right with one out. Bradley's infield hit put runners at first and third. Vazquez singled in one run and Lin singled in another.

In the fifth, Darvish got one out, but Mitch Moreland and Ramirez both singled and Benintendi (minutes after making a stunning leaping catch against the wall in left) crushed a 1-1 pitch to deep right to boost the score to 7-0 (and end Darvish's night). Benintendi also singled in a run in the following inning. Vazquez and Lin began the seventh with hits and Pedroia knocked in Vazquez with an infield chopper than Elvis Andrus threw away for an error.

In the eighth, facing Nick Martinez (who threw 80 pitches in relief), Benintendi and Bradley hit back-to-back home runs on consecutive pitches. Benintendi's shot was down the left field line by the pole, while JBJ's was to right-center. (I thought Martinez's 80 pitches might have been the most thrown by a reliever this year, but 10 pitchers have thrown more than that already.)

Texas spoiled the shutout and prolonged the game with a couple of "Dong Johnsons" (as Eck might say). Mike Napoli blasted a three-run shot in the eighth and Delino DeShields hit a solo homer in the ninth.

Boston began the night with the best staff ERA in the AL (3.79) and the fewest walks allowed. The bullpen has a 2.88 ERA, second best in MLB.

The hitters are fourth in the AL in runs scored, second in hits, third in doubles, fourth in steals (!), second in batting average, third in OBP, and fifth in OPS.

They have 50 hits and 33 runs in their last three games. During their six-game winning streak, they have scored 53 runs on 85 hits and 34 walks. In those six games, they are batting .346.

They have won eight of their last nine games. They are 14 games over .500 and have a season-high four-game lead in the AL East.

As Benintendi says, the Red Sox are "starting to click".
David Price / Yu Darvish
Betts, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Ramirez, DH
Benintendi, LF
Bradley, CF
Vazquez, C
Lin, 3B
Sometimes you learn things that you never knew you needed to know. For example, have you been wondering how many saves Chris Sale has this season? I haven't. But during last night's game, NESN let me know.

Zero. Chris Sale has recorded zero saves this year. So ... now you know.

(Also: Yu Darvish rescues dogs. But I still want him to give up seven runs.)

(And: Milwaukee's Orlando Arcia scored from first base on an infield hit just past the mound. There were no errors on the play.)


FenFan said...

Even Sale looks unimpressed with his line

allan said...

Afternoon Baseball:

TOR - 004 000 000 - 4 9 0
MFY - 000 100 000 - 1 4 0

CC: 2.2-3-4-3-1, 63!
Judge hit #28, but who the hell cares.

3.5 GA!

Jere said...

Allan, NESN also gave a stat box about the 5-game winning streak. The first stat? Record! SPOILER: It was 5-0. (TC actually mentioned it in full-sarcasm mode.)

tim said...

"But I still want him to give up seven runs."


Jake of All Trades said...

"Yu Darvish rescues dogs. But I still want him to give up seven runs"

You called the 7 earned runs exactly!

FenFan said...

Elias Says: Andrew Benintendi was 5-for-5 with two homers and six RBIs on Tuesday night. The only other rookie to ever have a 5-for-5 (or better) game with at least two homers and six or more RBIs was Kevin Seitzer for the Royals in 1987. Seitzer went 6-for-6 with two homers and seven RBIs against the Red Sox.

Benintendi also collected five hits in a game earlier this season at Baltimore. He already has as many career five-hit games (two) as Miguel Cabrera. Or, if you prefer a more historical comparison, Benintendi has two more five-hit games than Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott and Barry Bonds had combined in their careers. None of those three players ever registered five hits in a major-league game.