May 12, 2018

G39: Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 2

Red Sox   - 003 001 001 - 5 12  1
Blue Jays - 000 101 000 - 2  7  1
The top three batters in the Red Sox's order - Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Hanley Ramirez - did serious damage today: seven hits (including three doubles and one home run), four runs scored, and four RBI. David Price (5.1-5-2-3-6, 93) looked much more like the guy we saw at the beginning of the year, though he did work with a lot of runners on base.

Boston grabbed the lead in the third when Betts doubled to left with one out and scored on Benintendi's ground-rule double, which bounced over the fence in left-center. Ramirez followed with a hit that sailed over the same fence in the air, his sixth home run of the season.

Price struck out the side in the second and fanned Luke Maile to start the third. Gio Urshela and Teoscar Hernandez both singled, but Price wiggled off the hook when Josh Donaldson smoked a line drive at Xander Bogaerts, who tossed to Eduardo Nunez, doubling Urshela off second base.

Price walked two in the fourth and Anthony Alford knocked in Kevin Pillar with a two-out single to center. Price ended the inning by fanning Maile (again). Hernandez doubled with one out in the fifth and went to third with two outs and was stranded when Yangervis Solarte popped to shortstop.

Keegan Matheson reported that Price's "cutter velocity remained consistent and his two-seamer velocity of 93.3 mph was above his season average. ... [H]e set a season high by forcing 11 swinging strikes. ... Increased curveball usage gave Price a different look on Saturday, too. He entered play throwing that pitch just two percent of the time, but he turned to it 10 times against the Blue Jays."

The Red Sox led 4-1 in the sixth when Bogaerts doubled and scored on Rafael Devers's single. That bit of insurance was welcome because Justin Smoak homered off Price in the sixth.

The Blue Jays did not mount any threat against the bullpen. Carson Smith relieved Price with one out in the sixth. Devers committed a two-base error with two down, but Smith struck out Maile (that's three!).

Hector Velazquez gave up a single to pinch-hitter Richard Urena to start the seventh but was walking back to the visitors' dugout only two pitches later. Hernandez grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Donaldson grounded out first-to-pitcher. Pillar singled with two outs in the eighth after Joe Kelly struck out the first two batters. Pillar stole second, but Russell Martin whiffed.

Boston tacked on a run in the ninth when Betts doubled and scored in Benintendi's single.

Craig Kimbrel pitched an interesting ninth. He threw three pitches to Curtis Grandson, all knuckle-curves at 85-86: two called strikes and a tapper back to the mound. Then he started Maile off with two more knuckle-curves (both at 84) for a 1-1 count. Finally he threw his fastball ... and Maile swung and missed at two in a row (97, 97) for his fourth strikeout of the game (he had no fair balls on nine swings today). Kimbrel went fastball 96, knuckle-curve 87, fastball 97 to Urena and racked up another strikeout (called, swinging, swinging).
More than a few jaws dropped in the top of the seventh when Christian Vazquez attempted to steal third base with no outs. He and Betts had both singled and lefty Aaron Loup was facing Benintendi. Vazquez took off on an 1-0 count. It was Vazquez's first attempt to steal this year and only his second try since last August.

With a left-handed batter at the plate, Maile had a clear field of vision and the play was close, but Vazquez was tagged when he came off the bag after his slide. Betts snuck into second on the play. Benintendi struck out and Seunghwan Oh got Ramirez to pop to short.

In the SoSH game thread, no one was happy:
I came back in the room and was shocked to see Vas running. Of course he's out. He hasn't been on base in a month. Out of practice.

This is a stupid team.

Cora has to speak to that after the game. If he called it, he needs to own it. If he didn't, he needs to call Vazquez out bc that is inexcusably moronic

This team's collective base running IQ is two above plant life.

Lefty hitter up with 0 out, slowest runner on the team on 2nd base, and middle of the order up. Sure, let's try the double steal. Moronic.
And from DennyDoyle'sBoil:
It was one of the most stupid things I've ever seen this team do. It is so fucking inexcusable given the score, lineup, runner at second, batter at the plate, that I have ever seen.

I fucking made a joke about making an out on the bases [Only 2-3 minutes before the play, DDB posted: "No runners tagged on the bases today yet. Can we get the counter to 1?"] because it's a miracle when he gets on base and is a candidate to make an out at the plate from second base. If a fucking moronic baseball couch potato like me is smart enough to know he can't run or slide, then people actually paid to know what the fuck they are doing have no fucking excuse.

It is fucking shocking. It is horrible. It is unbearably awful baseball.
Pandemonium67 offered another, more optimistic, possibility:
You guys are underestimating Cora. He knew the double steal was such a dumb idea that the Jays would be totally unprepared. The problem was the Jays' catcher is so dumb he didn't know a DS attempt was a dumb idea. That fact is now in stored Cora's mental computer.
The Athletics blew a 5-1 lead and lost to the Yankees 7-6 in 11 innings. (Aroldis Chapman walked the first three batters in the ninth, but Oakland could not score.) ... Boston and New York, both 27-12, remained tied atop the East.
David Price / Marco Estrada
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Ramirez, 1B
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Nunez, 2B
Bradley, CF
Vazquez, C


allan said...

Date of 9th Win of Season
Red Sox: April 10
Orioles: May 9

Steve said...

Did you see that awful zoomed replay of Mookie's infield hit in the 7th? Jerry was talking about how he was surprised the shortstop didn't go to second to get Vaz. They went to two different angles and, in both of them, you couldn't even see Vaz going into second because both cameramen zoomed so close on the fielder.