August 1, 2017

G108: Red Sox 12, Cleveland 10

Cleveland - 320 020 012 - 10 13  1
Red Sox   - 050 004 003 - 12 15  0

Christian Vazquez's three-run homer to dead center off Cleveland closer Cody Allen was the latest (and last) in a series of WTF? moments on Tuesday night. Chris Sale allowed five runs in the first two innings. But the Red Sox came back to tie the game, then trailed 7-5, rallied to grab a 9-7 lead, watched as Craig Kimbrel blew a save, allowing two runs and giving Cleveland a 10-9 lead.

Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Boston had Rafael Devers on first base and two outs. Mitch Moreland battled for eight pitches, fouling off four of them. He checked his swing on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt. The ball skipped away from catcher Yan Gomes and home plate umpire Marty Foster was extremely slow to call strike three. When he finally did, Moreland ran to first. He's quite slow, but there was no throw and so runners were at first and second - for Vazquez. Allen threw two balls and a called strike. Then he threw another wild pitch - and the runners advanced to second and third. Vazquez connected on Allen's 3-1 pitch and drove it to center. It hit off the outfield wall, to the right of the yellow line, and the craziness began.

In an on-field interview, Vazquez said that his father, sister, and girlfriend were at the game tonight.

The victory also propelled the Red Sox into first place, because the Tigers beat the Yankees 4-3.

Sale (5-8-7-1-5, 94) allowed singles to the first three batters of the game. That resulted in one run and Carlos Santana's two-run double made it 3-0. Brandon Guyer's two-run dong in the second put the Red Sox in a 5-0 hole.

Which turned out to be no big deal. Jackie Bradley struck out to begin the bottom of the second, but Devers walked and Xander Bogaerts doubled him to third. Moreland clubbed a three-run home run to right. Vazquez doubled to center and Mookie Betts walked. Brock Holt hit an infield single and Vazquez scored. Eduardo Nunez doubled Betts home to tie the game at 5-5. Holt was also waved around third (a dumb call from third base coach Brian Butterfield) and was thrown out; Holt danced around the tag, but missed the plate. Holt and Gomes were facing each other. Holt tried a few dekes, but was tagged out. As Cleveland issued an intentional walk to Hanley Ramirez, Terry Francona went to his bullpen, pulling the plug on Carlos Carrasco's night (1.2-6-5-3-1, 56). Tyler Olson fanned Bradley for the final out.

Sale stranded a runner at third in the third and got the side in order in the fourth. He retired the first two batters in the fifth, but Jose Ramirez doubled off the wall and Edwin Encarnacion's high fly to left carried into the Monster Seats.

Bryan Shaw, Cleveland's fourth pitcher, recorded the first out of the sixth, but Moreland doubled down the left field line and Vazquez grounded a single to center. Betts beat out a single to third, scoring Vazquez. Francona called on Andrew Miller, but the move did not work. Chris Young batted for Brock Holt and Miller hit him with a pitch, loading the bases. Nunez fell behind 0-2 but drove a double off the wall, clearing the bases and giving Boston a 9-7 lead. Miller got the second out when Ramirez grounded to third and Nunez was thrown out at the plate. After waking Bradley, he struck out Devers.

Blaine Boyer relied Sale in the sixth and gave up a double and a walk. Giovanny Urshela tapped back to the mound and Boyer threw to third, but the throw was a little late and Devers was not on the bag. Cleveland had the bases loaded with no outs. (Fernando Abad and Austin Maddox were warming up in the pen.) Boyer got an 0-2 count on Francisco Lindor, who flied to short left. Then Guyer hit Boyer's first pitch to shortstop and Bogaerts started a 6-4-3 double play.

Matt Barnes was effective in the seventh, getting two strikeouts and a grounder back to the hill. Addison Reed made his Red Sox debut in the eighth. Santana greeted him with a long home run over the Red Sox bullpen into the bleachers, cutting the lead to 9-8. Reed got the next three batters (5-3, K, L4).

Kimbrel was asked to get the save in the ninth, and turned in one of his worst innings of the year. Lindor led off the inning with a game-tying home run. It was Kimbrel's fourth blown save this year, and all four have come as the result of a leadoff, game-tying home run. It was also the first time in his eight-year career that Kimbrel allowed a homer on an 0-2 count. Kimbrel struck out Bradley Zimmer and got Michael Brantley on a grounder to second.

But both Ramirez and Encarnacion singled to right. (The three hits were the most in any game for Kimbrel this year.) He fell behind Santana 3-0. Santana fouled two pitches off befroe taking ball four, loading the bases. On an 0-1 count to Austin Jackson, Kimbrel threw an outside pitch in the dirt that caromed off of Vazquez's shin guard. Ramirez scored the go-ahead run. Jackson flied to right on the next pitch, but Cleveland led 10-9.

Allen began the ninth by making Bradley look silly, getting him swinging off-balance at curveballs for strikes two and three. Devers chopped the ball very high to third. Urshela's throw was late and Devers, despite stupidly diving head first into the bag, slowing himself and increasing his chances of making an out, was safe. Bogaerts flied to center for the second out. Moreland reached on a strikeout/wild pitch. After a second wild pitch, Vazquez hit only his second home run of the season.

Nunex drove in four runs and is hitting .500 (11-for-22) since joining the Red Sox. ... Devers's two hits upped his batting average to .429. ... Moreland and Vazquez, the #8 and #9 hitters in the lineup, each scored three times and drove in thre runs. ... Ramirez was robbed of a home run in the fifth when Jackson leapt at the bullpen wall, reached over and caught the ball, then tumbled over the fence into the pen. He held onto the ball.

The heart of Boston's order - the #3-4-5 hitters - did not score any of the 12 runs. (However, Nunez did drive in four.)

Carlos Carrasco / Chris Sale
Betts, RF
Holt, LF
Nunez, 2B
Ramirez, DH
Bradley, CF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Vazquez, C
Today: Dustin Pedroia was placed on the 10-day disabled list because of left knee inflammation, retroactive to July 29.

Sale has not allowed a run since July 6. His scoreless streak of 20.2 innings is currently the longest in the majors. In his last six starts, he has an ERA of 1.10.

Sale is the second pitcher in Red Sox history with 14 or more double-digit strikeout games in a season. Pedro Martinez did it twice (19 in 1999 and 15 in 2000). In 1999, Martinez struck out 10+ in 19 of his 29 starts (65.5%), which is insane.

AL East: The Red Sox are 0.5 GB, with the Rays 4.5 GB. ... DET/NYY and TBR/HOU.


allan said...

SoSH in the 9th:

Cody Allen is having a panic attack
Take take take
Oh boy, they REALLY want to make this one hurt!
Fuck me.
Hahaha I'm dumb
Holy shit.
NO WAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!
I believe in Christianity!
HOLY SHIT VAZQUEZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 I TAKE IT BACK
What a crazy game.
Shut the FUCK UP!
Holy shit
Water Bomb!
Crazy water.
OMG, wake me up I'm dreaming!
Win of the season
Baseball is fun.
Holy Shit!!! No chance!!!
What a game!
I can't believe what I just saw!
Game of the decade. It's on motherfuckers.
Holy shit
that was fucking insane
Team of destiny
Glad for Vaz.
Vaz atones. What a great game
Holy water!
all worth it. amazing
Nice job, Vaz!
Vaz taketh away, Vaz giveth. Maybe he's not so bad after all.
don't throw anything in his eye, fuckers
Craziest game in a long time
Ho Lee Fuk!
The Indians were no strikes away!
Not sure I comprehend anything thats happened tonight...but...Cool.
OMG LOL this game
holy fucking shit
Pants off water!!!!!
That was an absolute fucking bomb
I can't believe what I just saw!!!!!!
Vaz crushed that.
Back in 1st. Never look back
This game went from the worst game of the year to the best to the worst to the best again.
Vaz you magnificient SOB!
Kimbrel with the much-earned win
That game was one of the wildest I can remember.
You have got to be kidding me. What a game.
Sorry Tito.
OMG OMG OMG!!! Onward Christian soldiers, through dirty water.
First Place Water!!!
Such a good feeling. Eff you Yankees!
"So, Addison, do you remember the first game you pitched in for the Red Sox?"
I mean, Sale + Kimbrel = W. What were you expecting?
That game went from shitty loss to great win to season worst loss to season best win. I'm fucking exhausted.

Bill said...

Holy shit! I was stuck working late, and following on the gamecast. I saw "Moreland struck out swinging" and got pissed off and closed the window. Get home to this!

allan said...


Christian Vazquez’s three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth gave the Red Sox a 12–10 win over Cleveland at Fenway Park. Vazquez is the second Boston catcher to hit a walkoff home run in 2017, joining Sandy Leon, who connected against the Pirates on April 5. The only other season in which two different Red Sox catchers hit game-ending homers was 1995, when Mike Macfarlane connected against the Yankees on May 14 and Bill Haselman did the same versus the Blue Jays on June 27.

Vazquez would never have had the chance to win it if the batter immediately before him, Mitch Moreland, hadn’t reached first on a wild pitch after striking out. The last team to go on to win after striking out when trailing with two outs in the ninth inning or later was the Twins, on July 31, 2003 against the Orioles.

Chris Sale, who had not allowed a run in any of his previous three starts, was pounded for seven runs, including five over the first two innings, in Boston’s 12–10 home win over Cleveland. Only one other Red Sox starting pitcher coming off three or more straight scoreless starts had ever given up at least five runs before the start of the third inning. On July 6, 1903, Cy Young, who had thrown complete-game shutouts in his previous four starts, allowed four runs in the first inning and one in the second, but still managed to pitch a complete-game, 8–6 win over the St. Louis Browns in Boston.