March 31, 2019

G4: Mariners 10, Red Sox 8

Red Sox  - 300 301 001 -  8  9  1
Mariners - 027 100 00x - 10 12  1
Once again, the Mariners tried to give the game away in the ninth inning. On Sunday afternoon, Cory Gearrin walked the bases loaded, not bothering to confuse matters by throwing more than a couple of strikes along the way. Unfortunately, after the first walk (four pitches to J.D. Martinez, none of which were close), Xander Bogaerts hacked at Gearrin's first offering and flied to right, so there was one out.

Chasen Bradford came in with the potential tying runs on base. Blake Swihart took a strike, then watched three balls out of the zone. Bradford's 3-1 pitch was further outside than ball 3, but plate umpire David Rackley called it a strike (pitch #5 below). Bradford followed up with another wide one - and Rackley made the correct call this time - and a run was forced in.

But Bradford then steadied himself. Christian Vazquez went down swinging on a 1-2 slider low and away, a pitch that was so far beyond his reach, even swinging a boat oar would have been useless. Jackie Bradley also fell behind 1-2 before grounding out to second, ending the game and giving the Red Sox a 1-3 record as they travel to Oakland.

Rick Porcello (2.2-6-9-4-3, 73) pitched a clean first inning, gave up a two-run single to Dee Gordon in the second, and was buried in a third-inning avalanche. The nine runs allowed by Porcello are tied for the second-most he's ever allowed and his four walks are tied for the most in a Boston uniform.

The Red Sox are the fourth team since 1908 to allow six or more runs in each of the first four games of a season. ... The 11 home runs given up by the Red Sox are the most ever allowed by a defending World Series champion in its first four games.

Boston scored three quick runs in the first off Wade LeBlanc (5.1-7-6-3-1, 90). Mookie Betts grounded out, but Rafael Devers doubled to left and score don J,.D. Martinez's single to left-center. Xander Bogaerts walked and Sam Travis reached on an infield error, loading the bases. Mitch Moreland popped to left, but Eduardo Núñez grounded a single into left for two runs.

Jay Bruce opened the Seattle second with a double to right and Omar Narváez singled to center. With runners at first and third, Porcello bore down and caught Tim Beckham looking at strike three (ending a nine-pitch at-bat) and got Ryon Healy to foul to third. On NESN, Dennis Eckersley was impressed, exclaiming, "He's getting out of this!" Sadly, no. The final out was elusive. Porcello got ahead of Daniel Vogelbach 0-2, but the Mariners DH eventually worked an eight-pitch walk. Gordon ripped the first pitch he saw to left-center, cutting the Red Sox's lead to 3-2.

The Mariners sent 11 men to the plate in the third. (Eck made no pronouncements this time.) Mitch Haniger reached second when Martinez, battling a brutal sun in left, dropped his fly ball. JDM caught Domingo Santana's fly ball, but the next five Mariners reached base. Bruce walked on four pitches and Narváez cracked a three-run homer to right. Beckham walked, Healy singled, and Vogelbach walked. Gordon's sac fly to left scored one run and Mallex Smith's single scored another. Brian Johnson came out of the bullpen and his first pitch was ripped down the left field line by Haniger. Two more runs crossed the plate, making it 9-3.

At this point, I was debating how much more of the game to watch before deciding a comeback was unlikely and heading out to enjoy a sunny afternoon. With two outs in the top of the fourth, Martinez bopped a three-run homer to left. Giving up a seven-spot early sucks, but trailing by only three runs in the fourth inning is no big deal. (My internal debate was postponed.)

Bruce and Mookie Betts traded solo home runs and it was 10-7 until the ninth inning, when it looked like an eleventh-hour comeback might be possible, since both teams were actively working towards making it happen. But the Mariners suddenly withdrew their assistance and things ended quickly after that.
Rick Porcello / Wade LeBlanc
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Martinez, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Travis, DH
Moreland, 1B
Núñez, 2B
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
Andrew Benintendi begins the day on the bench after hitting a foul ball off his right kneecap last night.

Red Sox relief pitchers have allowed zero runs in their last 8.2 innings and have retired 21 of their last 24 batters. In the last two games, the Mariners were 2-for-25 (.080) with 12 strikeouts against the bullpen.


Clem said...

Is it me, or did NESN step up its in-game commercial game this season? A tense moment in a baseball game, pitcher and batter getting into place for an important pitch, and NESN says "anyway, screw this for a moment" and shoves some giant corporation's loud, obnoxious attempt at humor right into the middle of the screen. This is what it looks like when you don't even have to pretend to care.

I wanted to see this was bugging anybody else with a search on Twitter, and it was, but not nearly as much as Cubs fans who had their local broadcast pipe in an in-game ad over a home run. I'm surprised NESN could get beat to doing that.

allan said...

Yes, this is new. They are doing commercials in the middle of at-bats. It is maddening. If they are going to do that, are they going to cut commercials elsewhere? Of course not.

FenFan said...

Four starters shitting the bed in a row is pure coincidence, nothing more. On to Oakland!