August 15, 2018

G122: Phillies 7, Red Sox 4

Red Sox  - 003 000 010 - 4 10  1
Phillies - 000 301 30x - 7 12  2
The Red Sox trailed by four runs when they loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth inning. J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts had both singled off Pat Neshek and Jackie Bradley was safe when Phillies first baseman Justin Bour fielded his ground ball and, trying for a force at second, threw it into the middle of Bogaerts's back.

Rafael Devers lined out to right and Martinez did not risk trying to score. Sandy Leon fouled out to third on the first pitch, with Maikel Franco making the catch near the dugout. Pinch-hitter Mookie Betts knocked an 0-1 pitch back to the mound. Neshek reached to his right with his bare hand and slowed the ball down, so no one else had a play. Martinez scored. Phillies closer Seranthony was called on to face Andrew Benintendi, who hacked at the first pitch - which was nothing he could drive by any means - and grounded out meekly first-to-pitcher. Dominguez retired the Red Sox in order in the ninth.

Boston took a 3-0 lead with one out in the third. Vince Velasquez (2.1-4-3-4-2, 63) walked Nathan Eovaldi and drilled Benintendi. Velasquez tried fielding Brock Holt's slow grounder to the right side, but he failed to grab it. The bases were loaded and Mitch Moreland cleared them with a double to the wall in right-center. Velasquez then walked Martinez and Bogaerts to re-load the bases and remove himself from the game. Hector Neris took over, falling behind Bradley 3-0. He recovered to get a fly to short right and a three-pitch strikeout of Devers. The "3" on the scoreboard was nice, but this was also a squander.

That fact was brought into sharper focus when Eovaldi (5-7-3-0-5, 86) was tagged for three runs in the fourth. Devers committed a throwing error on Rhys Hoskins's grounder and Nick Williams singled to right-center. Wilson Ramos doubled off the top of the wall in right for one run and Odubel Herrera's grounder to first scored another run. With two outs, Carlos Santana singled to right, tying the game.

In the sixth, Devers and Leon singled with two outs. Steve Pearce grounded a ball towards right field. Second baseman Carlos Hernandez ranged far to his left and his soft throw appeared to pull Bour off the bag. Devers raced for the plate and scored. 4-3? Not quite. The Phillies challenged the call at first and it was overturned after replays showed Bour had somehow kept a finger-nail-sized area of his right shoe on the base.

The Phillies took the lead against Joe Kelly in the next half-inning when Ramos led off the sixth with a triple and scored on Scott "0-for-his-last-21" Kingery's sac fly to right. Drew Pomeranz gave up a hit and a walk to begin the seventh before getting two outs. The third out was elusive, however, as Ramos doubled in two runs, Herrera singled, and Franco's single brought in Philadelphia's seventh run.

Ramos's two doubles and a triple made him the first player to have three extra-base hits in his Phillies debut since Ed Freed went 4-for-5 in his first major league game on September 11, 1942. Freed's career in the bigs lasted only 17 days.

(Out of curiosity, I used BRef's Play Index to see how many players had three extra-base hits in their major league debut. Since 1908, there have been seven, with Freed being the first. No one has ever had four extra-base hits in his first game. Freed also walked, so he was on base five times. That is also a record for a player's debut, which has been done eight times. That list includes Casey Stengel (September 17, 1912) and Ted Cox (September 18, 1977).)
Nathan Eovaldi / Vince Velasquez
Benintendi, LF
Holt, 2B
Moreland, 1B
Martinez, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Bradley, CF
Devers, 3B
Leon, C
Eovaldi, P
Last night in Atlanta, in the bottom of the first inning:
Ronald Acuna hit Trevor Richards's first pitch of the game for a home run to left-center
Charlie Culberson hit Richards's second pitch of the game for a home run to left-center
Elias reported it was the first time two batters hit home runs on the opposing team's first two pitches since Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco of the Phillies abused Atlanta's Russ Ortiz on September 9, 2004. Acuna (20 years, 239 days old) is now the youngest player in major league history to homer in five consecutive games.

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