April 24, 2019

G25: Red Sox 11, Tigers 4

Tigers  - 000 001 003 -  4  6  0
Red Sox - 020 020 07x - 11 12  0
In the middle of an extremely strange eighth inning, seven Red Sox batters saw 30 pitches and put exactly zero of them into play - and still scored three runs during that span. That's because Drew VerHagen walked three consecutive batters with the bases loaded, throwing only one strike in 13 pitches. (Jayson Stark has already set aside a spot for this game in his next Useless Info Dept. column.)

The Red Sox turned a 4-1 game into a head-shaker by scoring seven runs on only three hits. They received gifts of five walks and one hit batter. They had season highs in runs (11) and walks (10), while tying their season high in hits (12). The pitchers struck out 14, a season-high for a nine-inning game. Before today, Boston's largest margin of victory had been four runs (April 14, 4-0 against the Orioles).

It was a team effort, with seven different players getting hits, eight players scoring a run, eight players knocking in a run, and seven players drawing a walk. (Chavis led the way with three walks.)

Eduardo Rodriguez was fantastic (6-2-1-3-7, 90). He did not allow a hit until there was one out in the fifth inning. He followed that single with two strikeouts. ... Rodriguez, after the game:
It's funny, because four days ago, I was talking with Pedey in the dugout and he told me, "Hey, do you want to throw a really good breaking ball?" I was like, "Yeah, bro, I've been battling to throw a breaking ball since I got here in the big leagues, since I was in the minor leagues." He told me throw the ball like this and hold it like that, and two days ago I started throwing it with my knee over there, and it's funny, because the first time I threw that kind of breaking ball was today and it was working. So I've just got to say thanks to him.
Dustin Pedroia, Assistant Pitching Coach.

Boston had four hits off Tyson Ross (5-7-4-3-5, 98) in the second inning, taking a 2-0 lead. J.D. Martinez singled to left. Xander Bogaerts grounded to shortstop, but JDM was running on the pitch and avoided the double play. He scored on Rafael Devers's ground single to right-center. Devers was thrown out trying to steal before Michael Chavis walked. Jackie Bradley singled to right and Christian Vazquez chopped a single through the right side, scoring Chavis.

Andrew Benintendi walked with one out in the fifth and scored on Mookie Betts's double high off the Wall. Mitch Moreland walked and Martinez drove in Betts with a single to left.

The crazy eighth began with Chavis getting drilled with an 0-2 pitch in the back by Jose Manuel Fernandez. Bradley went down swinging, but Chavis stole second and scored on Vazquez's single to left. On a throw to the plate, Vaz took second. He scored two pitches later, when Benintendi doubled to left. Betts took Ball 1 before being intentionally walked. Fernandez got ahead of Moreland 1-2, but Moreland battled for an eight-pitch walk to load the bases.

VerHagen took over and considering what eventually happened, it was bizarre that he struck out his first batter, Martinez, on three pitches, retiring him on a nasty inside curveball for the second out. Then VerHagen not only lost the strike zone, he appeared to not even know what a "strike zone" was. Bogaerts walked (bbbb) on four pitches, bringing Benintendi home and upping the score to 7-1. Devers walked (bbbcb), scoring Betts. VerHagen was visited by his pitching coach, but it had no effect. Chavis walked (bbbb) to score Moreland. (Both Betts and Moreland walked and made their way around to the plate one base at a time via walks.)

Buck Farmer came in and went to a full count on Bradley (likely striking him out on what was called Ball 3) before JBJ singled into right for two more runs. Vazquz ended the circus with a groundout to second.

Tyler Thornburg started the ninth with a 10-run lead. And he walked the leadoff man. Two fly balls put the Red Sox one out from victory, but Thornburg then issued another walk and gave up a single for one run and a double for two more. For fuck's sake ... He finally fanned Nick Goodrum for the final out.
Tyson Ross / Eduardo Rodriguez
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Moreland, 1B
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Chavis, 2B
Bradley, CF
Vázquez, C
The Red Sox hit into five double plays in yesterday's doubleheader; the three in the first game tied a season-high (also on April 19). They have hit into 10 DP in the last five games. ... The Red Sox have hit only one double over their last three games.

Is Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez the laziest player of all-time? In a rehab game with Charleston (Low A) on Monday, Sanchez hit "a check-swing bloop toward shortstop". It "took him a few seconds to get out of the batter's box and a few more seconds of meandering toward first." Sanchez did have a good game behind the plate, though – only two passed balls.

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