May 13, 2018

G40: Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3

Red Sox   - 201 010 010 - 5  8  0
Blue Jays - 000 030 000 - 3 10  0
J.D. Martinez hit a two-run, opposite-field home run in the first inning and the Red Sox spent a fairly relaxing afternoon in the sun (the roof was open). Andrew Benintendi scored twice and started a 7-6-2 play that cut down a Blue Jays runner at the plate to end the seventh inning.

Drew Pomeranz (4-5-3-5-6, 103) did not pitch well, throwing only 57 strikes. Excluding the leadoff man in each of the five innings he worked, Pomeranz worked to only two (of 17) hitters with no one on base. The Blue Jays stranded six men in the first four innings.

Joe Biagini began the game by getting Mookie Betts looking at strike three, but Benintendi lined a single to left and Martinez homered to right.

Jackie Bradley walked to start the third. He was running on the pitch that Betts slapped into right field, so Boston had men at first and third. Benintendi popped to left and Biagini walked Martinez and Mitch Moreland, forcing in a run. He escaped further damage when Xander Bogaerts grounded into a double play.

Pomeranz threw 27 pitches in the first inning, giving up a double to Josh Donaldson and walking Justin Smoak. Russell Martin singled and Kendrys Morales walked in the second, but Pomeranz struck out Anthony Alford and Richard Urena (both looking) and got Teoscar Hernandez on a fly to right. Pomeranz walked Smoak with one out in the third. He was ready to throw his first pitch to Yangervis Solarte, but he stopped midway through his motion and a balk was called. But Solarte struck out looking and Kevin Pillar flied to left. Morales walked in the fourth and took second on a wild pitch. but Pomeranz left him there, as Alford struck out and Urena flied to right (where Betts made a sensational catch).

The Boston lefty was not as fortunate in the fifth. Both Hernandez and Donaldson singled and they scored on Smoak's double to left. When Pomeranz walked Solarte in a nine-pitch battle, manager Alex Cora went to the bullpen. Hector Velazquez struck out Pillar (eight pitches) and gave up a single to Martin that scored Smoak and cut the Red Sox's lead to 4-3. That threat was aborted when Morales hit the first pitch back to Velazquez, who started a 1-6-3 double play.

Velazquez allowed a one-out hit in the sixth, but got a popup and a strikeout. Solarte singled off Matt Barnes in the seventh and tried to score (with two outs) when Martin lined a double down the left field line. Benintendi got the ball to Bogaerts, who fired home, where Christian Vazquez tagged Solarte out. Heath Hembree allowed a leadoff single in the eighth, but got a fielder's choice and two strikeouts. Joe Kelly needed only four pitches in the ninth inning; the game was over before any possible stress could emerge. Donaldson took a ball and grounded out first-to-pitcher. The next two batters were retired on the first pitch, Smoak on a fly to center and Solarte on a routine grounder to Brock Holt at second.

From the Game Notes: The Red Sox are the only team batting over .200 with two strikes (.211). They also lead all teams in on-base percentage and slugging percentage with two strikes (.335 and .615). ... Since last August 26, Martinez leads all MLB hitters in average (.356, 94-for-264), home runs (28), RBI (69), slugging (.754), and OPS (1.157). ... Martinez is the first Red Sox batter to have 10+ home runs and 50+ hits in the first 40 games of a season since Manny Ramirez did it in 2001.

Is Hanley Ramirez the emergency catcher?

Drew Pomeranz / Joe Biagini
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Holt, 2B
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF
On Friday night, Chris Sale pitched nine innings and struck out 15 batters - and did not get a decision as the Red Sox lost in 11 innings. As the broadcasters say, despite pitching a gem, Sale "had nothing to show for it" ... right, except for what was recorded in every single one of his non-W/L statistics!

Sale was the third starter in a 10-day period (May 2-11) to have 15+ strikeouts and a no-decision. The other two were James Paxton of the Mariners (16K in 7 innings on May 2) and Max Scherzer of the Nationals (15K in 6.1 innings on May 6).

Who were the last pitchers to go at least nine innings and have 15+ strikeouts along with an ND? Mark Prior (9-3-1-1-16 on September 30, 2004) and Randy Johnson (9-3-1-0-20 on May 8, 2001).

Looking for instances back to 1970 at Baseball Reference's Play Index, I learned it happened to Nolan Ryan four times. The first was against the Red Sox on June 14, 1974, a game the Angels won in 15 innings. Ryan pitched the first 13 innings and allowed 8 hits and 3 runs, walking 10 and striking out 19.

Ryan pitched to 58 batters, which means there were four Boston batters that faced him seven times! Tom Tango's Basic Pitch Count Estimator says Ryan threw approximately 249 pitches that night. Also: Luis Tiant pitched a complete game for Boston: 14.1-11-4-4-5!

1 comment:

Paul Hickman said...

Listening to the WEEI radio broadcast on MLB it sounds like that game should count as a "fielding win" !

With Mookie, Brock , Jackie & the relay throw etc. Without all those defensive plays we surely would have lost.

Good teams find ways to win - this is starting to look like a Good team ....... indeed !