September 8, 2018

G143: Astros 5, Red Sox 3

Astros  - 021 200 000 - 5 11  0
Red Sox - 100 010 001 - 3 10  1
Eduardo Rodriguez was chased after recording only 10 outs (3.1-6-5-3-4, 78) and the Red Sox hitters failed to deliver twice in the clutch, leaving seven men on base in the first four innings.

Trailing 5-1 in the fourth, the Red Sox loaded the bases after two were out. Christian Vazquez walked, Jackie Bradley singled to center, and Mookie Betts walked. Andrew Benintendi - representing the possible tying run - drove the ball towards the left field wall, but Jake Marisnick ran over from center and made a superb catch along the wall on the run.

Xander Bogaerts (3-for-5) homered in the fifth. He had also knocked in Boston's first run with a single to left that scored Betts. The Red Sox went in order in the sixth and seventh, and Mitch Moreland's double was wasted in the eighth.

Facing Roberto Osuna in the ninth, Blake Swihart singled to left. With one out, Betts walked. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch before Benintendi's groundball single into left scored Swihart and sent Betts to third.

With visions of a walkoff dong dancing in their heads, the Faithful roared for J.D. Martinez. He fouled off two fastballs before swinging at a low changeup. He grounded it to shortstop Carlos Correa, who started a 6-4-3 double play that ended the game, and left JDM with his first 0-for-5 collar of the season.
Charlie Morton / Eduardo Rodriguez
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Kinsler, 2B
Devers, 3B
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
The Red Sox's magic numbers: Clinch a playoff spot: 3. Clinch the AL East: 13.

Matt Barnes has inflammation in his left hip and will not pitch until further notice. He had an MRI on Thursday. Manager Alex Cora:
[W]henever he's ready he'll be ready. ... As far as throwing ... we'll talk about it [on Saturday] and map it out and hopefully it's sooner rather than later, that he'll be back in a few days.
In his last 11 games, Barnes has allowed 10 runs and four homers in 10.1 innings.

David Schoenfield, ESPN:
More than anything, [Friday's] game revealed the importance of [David] Price to the Red Sox winning it all. The Astros exposed the leaky middle relief of the Boston bullpen ...

While the postseason trend is more innings from the bullpen and fewer from the starters, the Red Sox may have to go deeper with their starters than other teams if the bullpen doesn't start locking down more zeroes.

At the start of August, the Red Sox bullpen had a 3.34 ERA, sixth best in the majors. Since the beginning of August, it's 4.11, 18th in the majors. And since Aug. 24, it's 5.22, 24th in the majors.
Attention! This is WEEI's gloom-and-doom train, making daily stops through the first week of October. All aboard!

The Red Sox are 97-45 with 20 games remaining. The 1912 team holds the franchise's win record: 105-47-2.
9-11: Minimum record needed to set a new franchise record for wins
9-3: Minimum record needed in next 12 games to set a new franchise record for wins in 154 games

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