April 15, 2019

G17: Orioles 8, Red Sox 1

Orioles - 010 030 022 - 8 10  0
Red Sox - 000 010 000 - 1  4  1
The Red Sox closed out a disappointing homestand with a lifeless performance against the Orioles, losing to a starting pitcher who began the day with an ERA near 20.00.

Boston managed only a 3-3 record against the Blue Jays and Orioles. The Red Sox are 6-11, 6.5 games behind the Rays in the East (whose 12-4 record is the best in baseball) as they head to New York for two games against the Yankees (6-9), before heading south for three games in Tampa Bay.

The Red Sox hit .230 on the homestand, a little worse than their .236 season average. They scored 4.67 runs per game, higher than their season-to-date 4.35 average.

Hector Velázquez (3-2-1-4-1, 57) laboured through three innings, allowing seven baserunners. He was saved from a far worse outing by two double plays and an outfield assist at second base. The Orioles got a pair of two-run homers from Chris Davis and Dwight Smith (who also had a two-run double). Renato Nunez went 3-for-5, with two singles and double and an RBI.

Dan Straily (5-2-1-1-2, 86) gave the Red Sox nothing but a two-out walk over the first four innings. Xander Bogaerts got Boston's first hit leading off the fifth. he went to third on Rafael Devers's single down the right-field line and scored on Steve Pearce's fielder's choice.

Other than that, there was minimal excitement (if any at all, really) when the Red Sox batted. J.D. Martinez opened the seventh with an opposite-field double, but did not advance. Blake Swihart walked in the eighth and was erased on a double play. Martinez singled with two out in the ninth, but Bogaerts popped to short center to end the game.

Christian Vazquez's first fielding chance at second base came in the top of the first, when he started a 4-6-3 double play. He also took Mookie Betts's throw from center and dove for a tag on Nunez, who was trying to stretch a single into a double. He got a little in the way of Bogaerts in the third, cutting in front of Xander as X recorded the force at second himself and threw to first for a DP. He also made a nice play on a grounder in the fifth.

The bullpen was not sharp, with Marcus Walden allowing three runs in the fifth and Heath Hembree and Tyler Thornburg each giving up two runs late in the game.
Dan Straily / Hector Velázquez
Pedroia, 2B Pedroia, DH
Betts, CF
Moreland, 1B
Martinez, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Pearce, DH Pearce, LF
Swihart, LF Swihart, C
Vázquez, C Vázquez, 2B
Lineup: Vázquez has played third base in the majors four times - June 19, 2017, July 20, 2017, and September 26, 2018 (both games of DH) - each time for the final inning of the game. No fielding chances in any of the games. He was a defensive replacement at second base in one game (4.2 innings) with Greenville (A) in 2010. So ... this should be interesting.

Alex Cora, on making out the lineup:
I had plenty of fun. These are the days that you really enjoy being a manager. It's a challenge ... Where we at roster wise, and Christian has been taking groundballs at second and at short and at third. He's caught three in a row or four in a row, or whatever it is. We're comfortable with him as far as making the routine play. He can turn the double play. He played first base in the World Series. ... He wants to do it, he likes to do it, and we're going with him. ... I mean we have a program [with Pedroia], we have to be disciplined. We were pushing him to play second but it doesn't make sense. Something happens today with him and then it's on us. ... Don't be surprised if we're moving people around the whole game like we did in the World Series from spot to spot. Should be a fun one. Looking forward to it, honestly.
I'm sure the Red Sox hitters are happy this game is starting at 11:00 AM (weather permitting) since they undoubtedly want to dig in against Dan Straily as soon as possible. In one start and one appearance out of the bullpen, he has allowed 13 hits, two walks (with zero strikeouts), and 10 runs in only 4.2 innings. That's a 19.29 ERA and 3.214 WHIP.

1 comment:

laura k said...

I'm so happy I can watch the Patriot's Day game again! It used to be my favourite game of the year... then I started working full-time. :( But now I'm off on Mondays. :)

Super fun to watch a game at 8:00 in the morning! Morning-people baseball!