June 26, 2018

G80: Red Sox 9, Angels 1

Angels  - 001 000 000 - 1  5  1
Red Sox - 141 011 10x - 9 14  0
David Price had another excellent outing (6-5-1-2-7, 99) and Jackie Bradley went 3-for-4 with a single, double, and a home run, and four RBI.

Mookie Betts started things off right in the bottom of the first by smacking John Lamb's first pitch into the Boston bullpen in right-center. Angels right fielder Michael Hermosillo ended up tumbling over the short wall, but did not come close to catching Mookie's 20th homer.

You may read elsewhere that this was Betts's 15th career leadoff home run, but do not believe it. A player cannot hit a leadoff home run at home - because the game has already begun a half-inning earlier. (Likewise, we do not call a home run that puts a team ahead to stay in the top of the ninth a "walkoff" home run.)

Betts's blast was, in effect, leading Lamb to the slaughter. He did not complete the second inning (1.2-6-5-2-2, 38). After Eduardo Nunez singled, Rafael Devers grounded to second. Ian Kinsler ranged to his right, no doubt thinking about a double play, but he could not field the ball cleanly. A groundout moved the runners to second and third and Bradley's double to left scored both runners.

Lamb walked Betts and gave up a run-scoring double to Andrew Benintendi. J.D. Martinez struck out looking and Xander Bogaerts was walked intentionally, loading the bases for Mitch Moreland (a lefty/lefty matchup). That strategy immediately failed, as Moreland lined the ball back to the mound. It glanced off Lamb's glove and died in the grass. Boston led 5-0 and LA manager Mike Scioscia called for the bullpen.

Deck McGuire allowed four hits in four innings. The first three were dongs: JBJ in the third, SNCV in the fifth, and JDM in the sixth. Bradley later drove in Blake Swihart, who hit for Nunez and singled in the seventh. (How badly has Bradley been hitting? After back-to-back three-hit games, his average is up to .199. Yeesh.)

The Red Sox finished with 14 hits: four singles, six doubles, and four home runs. (And they drew four walks.)

Price allowed seven baserunners, with four of them coming in the third inning, when he threw 34 pitches (after needing only 19 for the first two innings). Chris Young homered with one out and the Angels eventually loaded the bases, but Albert Pujols grounded to Devers, stranding three runners. Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman, and Justin Haley each pitched a clean inning of relief.

AL East: The Yankees held onto their 0.5-game lead by beating the Phillies 6-0.

NESN: Dave O'Brien said that the Angels, who came into the series 41-38, 10.5 GB, were having a "disappointing" season. One reason for that might be having a leadoff guy with a .277 OBP (Kinsler) batting in front of the greatest baseball player in the world. Smart move, Scioscia. ... In the bottom of the first, O'Brien let us know that Trout was batting "for the first time in this series". Yeah, first game of the series, Price has thrown only two pitches, you gave us the Angels lineup three minutes ago, yeah, we got it. ... OB also referred to Rick Sutcliffe, who was sitting in the stands with Tom Werner, as "Sutty".

Anyone else notice that O'Brien does not finish some of his sentences? (Which is odd, for a guy who loves to talk.) OB will sometimes give pitching stats this way: "Smith is 3-2 with a 3.75." (And you are left hanging, waiting to hear "ERA".) He will say that "Jones is recently back from Tommy John" or "Watson will be out for 12 months with Tommy John", which makes it sound like these guys are vacationing with the former lefty.

Tonight, O'Brien said "Steven Wright has gone on the DL with a knee." That was the entire sentence. How hard would it be to drop the "a" and end the thought with "inflammation"? Sure, it's a few more syllables, but you'd be giving the viewer some actual info! (Well, actually, OB was wrong. Wright went on the DL with two knees. And two elbows, two eyes, one nose, ten toes, etc.)
John Lamb / David Price
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Nunez, 2B
Devers, 3B
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF
Steven Wright - who allowed 10 runs in 3.1 innings to the Mariners last Friday - has been put on the 10-day disabled list with left knee inflammation. Justin Haley was recalled from Pawtucket. He has pitched in one game for the Red Sox this year.

AL East: MFY/Phillies, 7 PM. New York is 0.5 GA.


Unknown said...

You clearly have a pet peeve about calling lead off homers by a home team lead off hitter. I do not think baseball history and parlance support your position. The walkoff analogy is not a good one since a visiting team clearly cannot just walk off the field after taking the lead, the home team does in fact walk off. As for lead offs, there is a leadofff hitter in every half inning. What would you call the lead off hitter in an inning for the home team? Lead-off. Same for the game, regardless of the half. It is still the first at bat for that team.

allan said...

Words have specific meanings and when those words are used to describe something that they are not, it annoys me.

As for lead offs, there is a leadofff hitter in every half inning.

If so, then we should call a home run by any batter who begins a half-inning a "leadoff" home run. It should not matter if it is the first inning or sixth inning or tenth inning. If Mookie Betts can be said to have hit a "leadoff" home run even if the Red Sox are losing 5-0 in the bottom of the first, then any home run that begins a half-inning qualifies as a leadoff home run.

A leadoff batter in this context (which is key) is thought of by most people as "the first batter of the game". As such, there can be only one. (Under your definition, which I quoted above, there could be as many as 18 leadoff home runs in a nine-inning game.)

If I walk into an empty room, I'm the first person to be in that room. If someone else comes in five minutes later, she cannot credibly claim to be the first person in the room. Even if she tell me, "Well, I'm the first woman to be in this room - it's the same thing", it really isn't the same thing.


the home team does in fact walk off

As another commenter has noted over the years, it is actually the visiting team that walks off.