April 3, 2018

G6: Red Sox 4, Marlins 2 (13)

Red Sox - 100 000 000 010 2 - 4 12  0
Marlins - 000 100 000 010 0 - 2  9  0
It did not seem wise for Marlins manager Don Mattingly to intentionally walk Andrew Benintendi with two outs and a man on second in the top of the thirteenth inning so reliever Tayron Guerrero could face Hanley Ramirez. ... But, hey, there must be some reason he's called Donnie Baseball.

Ramirez blasted Guerrero's 1-1 pitch to deep left and both baserunners scored without a play. Heath Hembree gave up a one-out single in his second inning of work, but ended the game - and sent Boston out of Florida and north to New England (finally!) with a 5-1 road trip - by striking out Brian Anderson.

The Red Sox seem to have several opportunities to win the game before extras. Rafael Devers led off the fifth with a double but made an ill-advised decision to try for third on Christian Vazquez's chopper back to the mound. Marlins starter Jose Urena (7-4-1-1-7, 109) took his time and made a good throw to nail Devers. J.D. Martinez batted with runners at first and second in the sixth, but ended the inning by grounding into a double play.

Jackie Bradley opened the eighth with a double and advanced to third on Mitch Moreland's fly to center. Miami brought the infield in. Eduardo Nunez hit a two-hopper to Starlin Castro at second. Castro's throw was somewhat off target, but catcher Chad Wallach caught it and whirled around the opposite way and swiped Bradley on the left arm, also effectively blocking JBJ from touching the plate. The out call was challenged by the Red Sox, and was upheld.

Boston scored in the game's first few minutes - Benintendi walked, stole second, and scored on Martinez's single to right-center - to give Chris Sale (5-5-1-0-6, 93) a small cushion. Sale was not as sharp as usual, throwing 27 pitches in the first inning and 21 in the fourth. After a double play wiped out a leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth, Anderson singled and Justin Bour doubled to tie the game at 1-1. (Boston's starting pitchers have not allowed more than one run in each of the first six games of the season, which may be the first time a team has done that in baseball history (a NESN graphic was unclear).)

In the top of the eleventh, Mookie Betts (pinch-hitting) crushed a full-count pitch from Odrisamer Despaigne to deep center. Lewis Brinson leapt at the wall and robbed Betts of a home run. After coming down on the warning track, Brinson did not initially indicate whether he had the ball in his glove or not, so both Dave O'Brien and Jerry Remy had no idea if it was an out or a home run. I'm not sure why both announcers were in the dark since the catch was obvious to me watching at home. (O'Brien said the ball was hit to "dead away" center, which is a phrase no other announcer uses - with very good reason.) But it's not like O'Brien is afraid to make a call before the play has actually happened. In the ninth inning on Monday night, he called a ground ball hit towards third base this way: "Foul ball, that's fair..."

Nunez then doubled to left and scored when Benintendi grounded a single into right field, giving Boston a 2-1 lead. Matt Barnes got the first two outs in the bottom of the eleventh on six pitches, a strikeout and a line out to right, but then he ran into trouble. He walked both Anderson and Bour on full-count pitches. Cameron Maybin belted a 1-0 pitch over Benintendi's head in left - and the only thing on everyone's mind was: How fast is Bour, the second runner?

Benintendi bobbled the ball a little bit, but made a strong throw to Xander Bogaerts, who was in shallow left. X turned and fired a perfect one-hop throw to Vazquez, who put the tag on Bour. The play was not close, but Bour was not out by 20 feet, either. That 7-6-2 play saved the Red Sox's bacon and allowed the game to continue, tied at 2-2.

MFY Watch: The Yankees beat the Rays, but Giancarlo Stanton had nothing to do with it. He went 0-for-5, becoming the first player since at least 1920 to strike out five times in his team's home opener. And, yes, the discerning fans at Yankee Stadium III booed him after both his fourth and fifth K. Manager Aaron Boone: "I actually thought he looked OK at the plate."
Chris Sale / Jose Urena
Nunez, 2B
Benintendi, LF
Ramirez, 1B
Martinez, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF
Sale, P
Note: Early starting time!

Innings pitched by Red Sox starters this year:
000 000
000 000 0
000 001
010 000
010 000
Sean McAdam (Boston Sports Journal) notes:
[T]he five starters have allowed a grand total of three runs in 30 innings, posting an ERA of 0.90. That's remarkable under any circumstances, but given that the Sox are missing two starters (Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz), it's particularly noteworthy.
Urena, a 26-year-old right-hander, had a rough start on Opening Day. His first pitch - the very first pitch of the 2018 MLB season, in fact - was hit out of the park by Ian Happ of the Cubs. Later in that first inning, Urena forced home two runs, with a bases-loaded walk and a bases-loaded HBP. He pitched only four innings, allowing five runs and six hits, while walking four, and hitting three batters.

Hanley Ramirez's post-game tweet:
Before the game I promised this kid if I hit a homer I will give him my jersey. promise fulfilled.
Hammerin' Hanley went deep in the fifth inning. ... Ian Browne has the story and there are a few photos here.

The Cubs have set a new National League record by striking out 58 times in their first five games, including 20 whiffs in a 17-inning loss to the Marlins last Friday night.

The Dodgers had a 364-0 record over the last eight years when entering the ninth inning with a three-run lead. ... That streak ended last night in Arizona. Kenley Jansen, tasked with closing a 6-3 LA win, got two groundouts before issuing two walks. Then Chris Owings hit a first-pitch, three-run, game-tying home run. The Dodgers scored a run in the top of the 15th, but the Diamondbacks got two and won 8-7. Jansen: "Who cares? Who cares? It's one game."

(Also re that Dodgers game, SB Nation asks: "Why does anyone run on Yasiel Puig, don't teams have scouts and video?")

1 comment:

allan said...

NY Post: "John Sterling may have to learn how to say 'whiff' in Italian."