May 5, 2018

G33: Red Sox 6, Rangers 5

Red Sox - 000 012 201 - 6  9  0
Rangers - 010 031 000 - 5  6  2
Joe Kelly's assignment was simple: get the toughest two outs of the night while stranding all three enemy baserunners. The game was tied 5-5, after the Red Sox had fought back from being down by three, and the Rangers had loaded the bases with only one out.

Kelly's first batter was Joey Gallo, who had homered twice off Eduardo Rodriguez. On a 2-2 count, Kelly got Gallo to chase a 98-mph fastball up and out of the zone for the second out.

Kelly got ahead of Jurickson Profar 1-2, threw ball 2, then Profar fouled off two pitches and looked at ball 3. The eighth pitch of the battle was in the dirt and would have brought home the go-ahead run if Profar could have ignored it. He could not, hacking at it and fouling it away. He spoiled two more pitches before Kelly got him looking on the 11th pitch of the at-bat.

Both Kelly and Christian Vazquez reacted to the pitch well before umpire Adrian Johnson called it strike 3:

In the top of the ninth, Andrew Benintendi tripled to right-center with one out, his third hit of the night. He scored on Hanley Ramirez's sac fly. Craig Kimbrel came in and got a foul pop-up and two strikeouts. It was Kimbrel's 300th career save and he reached that milestone "faster" than any other reliever, in only 330 opportunities.

Boston (24-9) maintained its one-game lead over the Yankees, who beat Cleveland 5-2 for their fifth straight victory and 14th win in 15 games. It's the first time a Yankees team has had a 14-1 stretch since June 24-July 12, 1998.

With the game tied 1-1, Rodriguez (6-4-5-2-10, 107) struck out the first two men in the fifth, but allowed a single and a walk to the bottom two spots in the Texas order. After a mound visit, Rodriguez faced Delino DeShields and the Rangers' leadoff man hit the first pitch to deep left. The ball came down and bounced off the top of the left field wall for a three-run homer.

In the sixth, Mitch Moreland cracked a two-run dong to bring the Red Sox to within one run, 4-3. Gallo hit his second homer in the bottom half, but the Red Sox tied the game at 5-5 in the seventh. With one out, Mookie Betts walked. Benintendi doubled on a bloop into short left field, near the line. Profar went out and got the ball, stumbled slightly, and looked at Benintendi going into second. Betts, at third, sensed Profar was dozing and sprinted home. Mookie was right, of course, and Profar's throw was late as Betts slid in safely head first. Benintendi went to third on Hanley Ramirez's grounder to the pitcher and scored on J.D. Martinez's single to center.

Heath Hembree struck out the side in the sixth, but dug himself a hole in the seventh. DeShields singled and Shin-Soo Choo doubled and the Rangers were making a serious threat, with men at second and third and no outs. The Red Sox brought the infield in and held the runners as Isiah Kiner-Falefa grounded out to shortstop. Nomar Mazara was intentionally walked and Kelly came in and established himself as the night's hero.

Eduardo Rodriguez / Cole Hamels
Betts, RF
Benintendi, CF
Ramirez, DH
Martinez, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Nunez, 2B
Devers, 3B
Vazquez, C
Markus Lynn Betts
                           Games Played   Plate App.   Games w/3 HR
Mookie Betts                    534          2,422          4
Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth      2,503         24,564          3
(As of May 3, 2018; regular-season games only)
Mookie now holds the record for fewest games played to reach four three-HR games (534). The previous record was 701, by Johnny Mize.

Mookie has hit 11 home runs in his last 14 games. He is the only Red Sox player in history to homer 11 times in a span of 14 or fewer games.

Mookie: 25 of his 38 hits are for extra bases, including 13 of his last 15, and each of his last 6.

Mookie leads the majors in home runs (13), extra-base hits (25), runs scored (34), average (.365), slugging (.856) and OPS (1.298).

Mookie is the fastest Red Sox hitter to reach 25 extra-base hits since (at least) 1908.

Mookie tied Fred Lynn (1979) for the most home runs in the Red Sox's first 32 games of a season.

Mookie's 89 total bases are the most by a Red Sox hitter through 32 games since Jim Rice had 96 in 1978. (Rice set the team record with 406 total bases that season.)

Mookie's 34 runs scored through 32 team games are the most by any Red Sox hitter since Johnny Pesky in 1946 (35).

Mookie has 13 home runs, 13 walks, 13 strikeouts.

Mookie has five home runs and zero strikeouts in his last 12 plate appearances.

Date Mookie Hit His 13th Home Run: 2016 (June 1), 2017 (June 29), 2018 (May 4)

Mookie's 29 runs scored in April set an American League record for that month. The only hitters with as many runs in April since 1900 are Bryce Harper (32 in 2017) and Larry Walker (29 in 1997). (Note: Many seasons did not begin until early or even mid-April.)

Mookie has played in 28 of 32 games this year. That percentage (87.5%) works out to 141.75 games in the regular season. If my math is correct, Mookie is currently on pace to hit 66 home runs (actually 65.8).

Markus Lynn Betts has a clean shirt, new shoes, silk suit, and blue tie. He don't need a reason why. Look at his gold watch and diamond ring. He ain't missin' not a single thing. He knows they come running just as fast as they can, because every girl is crazy about a sharp-dressed man.

Also: The Red Sox are the top team in average and OPS with two strikes (.209/.623) and they have three of MLB's top six two-strike batting averages: Xander Bogaerts (1st, .368), Brock Holt (tied for 2nd, .346) and Mookie (6th, .327).

And God is a Bruins fan:


GK said...

I remember it being pretty warm and dry on all of Mookie's the four -HR games.
Looked up weather for those days. 2 of them in low humidity weather, and 2 in not-so-low humidity weather. Pretty good.

May 31 2016 Baltimore
High : 85 F
Dew point 66 F
Humidity:48-73-97 (min-mean-max)

Aug 14 2016 Boston
High : 96 F
Dew point 71 F

APRIL 17, 2018
At Anaheim
High : 74 F
Dew point 35 F

May 2 2018 Boston
High : 89 F
Dew point 39 F

Dr. Jeff said...

I've said it before: your game summaries are excellent. I don't know how long you spend on each one, but they are concise but informative. You create suspense by avoiding the strictly chronological rehash, you lead with the critical moment, and then cycle through the other highlights before returning to the key sequence at the end of the piece. Well done. I'm not watching as much this season, and I count on the JOS write-ups to keep me current.