August 11, 2018

G119: Red Sox 6, Orioles 4

Red Sox  - 000 111 021 - 6  7  0
Orioles  - 011 001 001 - 4  7  0
Again, the Red Sox trailed the Orioles and, again, they calmly came back and won. J.D. Martinez hit two home runs and drove in three runs, giving him 104 RBI, with 42 games left in the season. Boston used seven pitchers in Saturday's nightcap, with starter Hector Velazquez (2.2-2-2-1-0, 41) facing the most batters (12).

One interesting feature of this game was that none of the Red Sox's first five pitchers recorded a strikeout. An Orioles batter did not see strike three until the final out of the eighth inning. (Thinking the Red Sox might have zero punchouts when the game was over, I did some BRef research, which is below.)

The Orioles took an early 2-0 lead. In the second inning, a single, a hit batter, and Renato Nunez's double gave Baltimore one run. Jace Peterson walked to lead off the third. With two outs and the runner on second, Brandon Workman relieved Velazquez. Trey Mancini singled to center and Peterson scored. Then Workman walked the next two hitters to load the bases, but got a force on a grounder to shortstop to avoid any more harm.

Martinez ended a 10-pitch at-bat in the fourth with his 36th homer. He swung and missed the first two pitches. Then it was foul, ball, ball, ball, foul, foul, foul, home run.

Eduardo Nunez - both teams had a Nunez at third base - tripled to start the fifth. If you think there has been a lot of triples lately, you are correct. That was the Red Sox's 25th triple this season and almost half of them - 12 - have come in the last month, since July 10. Dan Butler's sac fly scored Nunez.

The Red Sox scored the go-ahead run in the sixth without a hit. They saw 27 pitches and put two of them into play (a double play and a fly out). Orioles reliever Cody Carroll walked Steve Pearce. Orioles reliever Cody Carroll walked Martinez. Xander Bogaerts hit into a 6-4-3 DP. Orioles reliever Cody Carroll walked Rafael Devers. Ball four was wild and Pearce scored. Somehow, Nunez fell behind 0-2 before lining to right.

Heath Hembree picked off Cedric Mullins for the second out in the bottom of the sixth, but three pitches later, he gave up a game-tying home run to Joey Rickard.

Pearce singled with one down in the eighth and Martinez hit #37 to left-center. Boston led 5-3. Some horrifically bad calls from plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt saved the Red Sox's bacon in the eighth. William Cuevas had walked two batters and thrown a wild pitch. The potential tying runs were in, to use that inaccurate phrase, "scoring position".

Cuevas had a 2-1 count on Peterson. He threw another pitch outside - and Wendelstedt called it a strike. Instead of 3-1, the count was 2-2. Cuevas threw a pitch outside but closer to the zone. Naturally, Peterson had to swing at it. Wendelstedt's shitty call on the previous pitch left him no choice. He missed it, and the inning was over. (As was the no-K possibility.)

Mookie Betts doubled with two outs in the ninth and scored on Brock Holt's single, giving Kimbrel a two-run lead to save. After two strikeouts, Kimbrel gave up a home run to Trey Mancini, but he rebounded to whiff Chris Davis. It was Kimbrel's 100th save for the Red Sox.

Since the start of the 2001 season, the Red Sox have had only two games in which they did not strike out an opposing hitter:
June 14, 2006 - Twins 8, Red Sox 1
May 1, 2008 - Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 0
Those types of games happened much more frequently in decades past. A quick look shows the 1978 Red Sox had eight games with no strikeouts and the 1942 club had nine such games.

The Red Sox's longest game with no strikeouts? July 23, 1932 (G1). Boston lost to the Yankees 4-3 in 15 innings; Ivy Andrews and Wilcy Moore teamed up to face 61 MFYs and strike out none of them (14.2 innings). More recently, the Red Sox did not strike out any Orioles in 12 innings on September 13, 1983 (G1). Oil Can Boyd went 11 innings and Bob Stanley pitched the twelfth. 51 batters, no Ks.

Here are all 430 Red Sox "Zero K" games since 1908. (There are only six games shorter than eight innings.)
Hector Velazquez / Yefry Ramirez
Betts, RF
Holt, 2B
Pearce, 1B
Martinez, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Nunez, DH
Butler, C
Bradley, CF
Ramirez allowed five walks and five hits and five runs in 1.2 innings in his last start.

The Red Sox have won eight of their last nine games, 12 of their last 14, and 27 of their last 33.

The Red Sox lead all teams in wins (83), runs (649), hits (1,115), doubles (262), batting average (.270), slugging (.465), OPS (.804), total bases (1,915), winning percentage (.703), and run differential (+208). They are second in stolen bases (92, to Cleveland's 93) and on-base percentage (.340, to the Cubs' .344).

The Red Sox lead all teams in Run Scoring Percentage (35%), which is the percentage of times a baserunner eventually scores. The worst teams (Orioles, Royals, Marlins) are at 27%.

The Red Sox lead all teams in Extra-Base Hit Percentage (9.8%) and AB Per RBI (6.6%).

The Red Sox have the second-lowest Strikeout Percentage (the number of plate appearances that end with a K): 19.7%, behind Cleveland's 19.1%. The Yankees are tied at #21 (22.8%) and the White Sox are last (25.9%).

Also: The Marlins have issued 58 intentional walks this year and and the Astros have given only three. The Red Sox have issued four. ... 22 of the 30 teams have either one or zero complete games. ... Most and fewest triples: Diamondbacks (39), Cardinals (6). ... The A's have stolen 27 bases, the fewest of any team; in fact, there are seven teams have been caught 27+ times. ... The Rangers lead all teams with 23 bunt hits; the A's have bunted for no hits.

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