June 7, 2018

G63: Tigers 7, Red Sox 2

Tigers  - 501 000 010 - 7 10  0
Red Sox - 100 010 000 - 2  7  0
Jalen Beeks struck out the first major league batter he faced. But most of the rest of his Thursday night outing (4-7-6-3-4, 88) was far from smooth. He was tagged for five runs in the first inning, all of them scoring with two outs. (Beeks had not allowed five runs in any of his 10 starts for Pawtucket.)

After JaCoby Jones fanned, Nick Castellanos doubled off the Wall in left. Beeks walked Miguel Cabrera, but got Victor Martinez to fly to right on an 0-2 pitch. Then Jeimer Candelario doubled to left for one run, John Hicks singled to right-center for two more, and Leonys Martin cracked a two-run dong.

Beeks was in trouble in the second - a leadoff single and two two-out walks - but he left the bases loaded. With one out in the third, Martin tripled and Jose Iglesias doubled, giving Detroit a 6-1 lead. Beeks got the next two batters and retired the Tigers in order in the fourth.

Andrew Benintendi led off the bottom of the first with a long home run over the bullpens in right-center. When the Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the second, it felt like that early Tigers lead might be surmountable. But Benintendi grounded into a double play.

Beeks retired his final five batters and Brian Johnson (who took over in the fifth) set down nine in a row. Three singles in the eighth gave Detroit another run.

Mitch Moreland doubled with two outs in the third. Eduardo Nunez was called safe on an infield grounder, but the Tigers challenged the call and it was quickly overturned. Blake Swihart doubled in the fifth and Xander Bogaerts drove him in with a groundout. Boston loaded the bases against Joe Jiminez with one out in the eighth. Brock Holt (who had replaced J.D. Martinez in right field) singled, Moreland walked and Nunez singled. It all came to naught as Sam Travis struck out swinging and Devers struck out looking.

The Yankees were off, so Boston is now 0.5 GA in the East.

In the top of the third, NESN's Dave O'Brien noted that Jones had "whiffed" in his previous at-bat. But that had been a called third strike. Is it possible for a batter to "whiff" if he does not swing the bat?
Matthew Boyd / Jalen Beeks
Benintendi, CF
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, RF
Moreland, 1B
Nunez, 2B
Travis, LF
Devers, 3B
Vazquez, DH
Swihart, C
Decidedly not crazy about that lineup. I thought we wanted to support the kid ...

Left-hander Jalen Beeks makes his major league debut tonight. Beeks is from Fayetteville, Arkansas, and was drafted by the Red Sox in the 12th round of the 2014 draft (exactly four years ago today!). He will turn 25 in about one month and will be the first "Beeks" in MLB history.

Beeks, whose wife, two daughters, parents, and grandparents will be at Fenway Park tonight:
I think my delivery's gotten better this year, so I think each of my pitches has gotten better. But I've had all four of my pitches in each game better. So I've actually diversified, evened out my percentages throwing each pitch and not over-using any of them.
Sox Prospects:
Stiff delivery with a lot of moving parts, though his delivery is a lot cleaner and easier now than when he signed. ... All this movement and rigidness creates deception, and coupled with his quick arm out front makes it tough to pick up the ball out of his hand.

Fastball: 90-92 mph, tops out at 95 mph with life. Also throws a two-seamer at 87-89 mph that shows late, arm-side run. ... Velocity tends to drop into the high-80s as he works deeper into games. ... Deception in his delivery and quick arm create perceived late life on the fastball and it gets on hitters quickly. ...

Cutter: 87-90 mph. Added pitch in 2017, scrapping his slider. ... Strong feel for the pitch and commands well. Potential above-average offering.

Curveball: 73-76 mph. Pitch has 1-to-7 break with depth, breaking down-and-away from left-handed hitters. ... At its best, the pitch is an average offering.

Changeup: 83-85 mph. Thrown with deceptive arm speed. Has shown the ability to pull the string on it with late drop. ...

Projects as a backend starter who could jump between the rotation and bullpen if necessary. ... In shorter stints, Beeks stuff could play up with his fastball sitting 94-95 mph with two effective off-speed pitches from the left side, allowing him to be effective against both right-handed and left-handed hitters.
In 10 starts with Pawtucket, Beeks had a 2.56 ERA, with 80 strikeouts in 56.1 innings.

More about Beeks. ... SoSH discussion on the callup.

(If Tito were still here, he'd be calling him Beeksy. I hope Cora doesn't do that.)


PK said...

How many times this series did either team load the bases and not get a base hit? Felt like three times a game.

Dr. Jeff said...

Great question about whether called strike 3 should count as a "whiff". Here's your quote from the other night: "In yesterday's doubleheader, Aaron Judge went 0-9 with 8 strikeouts, the most whiffs in a doubleheader since strikeouts were officially recorded." Did he strike out swinging each time? Having seen Judge, I would assume so! That would be an interesting statistic, swinging strike 3 vs. called strike 3 on the high strikeout guys.

allan said...

No, Judge was called out at least once. So I am guilty of it, too!

allan said...

Can you be said to have "fanned" on a called third strike? Not really. You should say "he was struck out" as opposed to "he struck out".

But if you are writing about a bunch of strikeouts, I think you have to be able to use anything, because it would get too crazy, differentiating between swinging and called strike threes.