April 1, 2019

G5: Athletics 7, Red Sox 0

Red Sox   - 000 000 000 - 0  4  1
Athletics - 011 002 03x - 7  9  0
There was hardly anything worth remembering about this one, which was completed in a relatively speedy 2:42. David Price (6-5-4-2-9, 93) pitched well for 5.2 innings, Xander Bogaerts had two hits and scored a run (which was wiped away by a blown call), and Tyler Thornburg looked sharp in a perfect seventh inning. That's it.

The Red Sox (now 1-4) were unable to do anything against Aaron Brooks (6-2-0-1-6, 86) and four relievers. Oakland hit four home runs, upping the total dongs allowed by the Red Sox pitching staff in five games to 15.

Boston has scored 24 runs this season and given up 41. Its Run Differential of -17 is easily the worst in the American league, with the Tigers second-worst at -8. In the NL, Arizona (the Red Sox's next opponent) is -13.

The Red Sox's only hits through the first six innings came in the top of the second. Bogaerts doubled to right-center, sliding in safely on a close play. Oakland center fielder Ramón Laureano ran to his left and went into a slide to cut the ball off, before smoothly popping up and firing the ball into second base. Mitch Moreland followed with a single to center. Laureano charged the ball and unleashed a strong throw to the plate on the fly. Nick Hundley made the tag on Bogaerts and plate umpire Kerwin Danley called him out. The Red Sox challenged the call. That was a smart decision, because a replay from the Oakland feed showed that Bogaerts' foot touched the plate before he was tagged. Despite that obvious evidence, whoever was reviewing the play upheld Danley's incorrect call.

In the following inning, once Oakland had taken a 1-0 on Khris Davis's fifth home run of the young season, WEEI's Joe Castiglione and Josh Lewin mentioned the play, with Lewin referring to the "blown replay call" and adding that he did not want to come across as "whining" about the final determination. Lewin was not whining. He was stating a fact. Bogaerts was clearly safe and the umpiring crews in two cities blew the call, despite having super-slow-motion replays from multiple angles.

The play was brought up again in the top of the eighth, and the words "blown call" were used twice. I approve of this. Obvious bad calls that are upheld should be mentioned often, with the responsible umpire named. I would also like it stated as fact that the umpire's incompetence has changed the score from what it should be, but that is probably asking for too much.) Fans need to be reminded over and over (and over) that the blown calls of umpires are affecting the results of numerous games. And that includes inconsistent and incorrect calls by the plate umpire, which affect the outcome of games far more often than calls on the bases that are challenged. That's likely the only way MLB will be forced to address the dismal state of umpiring.

If the Red Sox had held a 1-0 lead, as they should have, who knows how the rest of the game would have unfolded?

Laureano hit Price's first pitch of the third to dead center for another home run. In the sixth, Price walked Mark Canta with two outs (all six pitches were down and in) and Chad Pinder (0-for-his-last-12) homered to left.

The first five batters against Heath Hembree in the eighth reached base (HR, 1B, E5, 1B, 1B) and three of them scored. That E5 was Rafael Devers's third error of the year. He also struck out three times.

Mookie Betts fanned twice on off-speed pitches. Oakland pitchers racked up 11 strikeouts.

There are still reasons to smile.

Brian Costello, Post:
The Yankees are doing their best imitation of the Mets early this season.

The Bombers lost two key players Monday when they placed outfielder Giancarlo Stanton and third baseman Miguel Andujar on the 10-day injured list, which is getting longer than a six-hour car ride with a toddler in the backseat. ...

Stanton and Andujar are the latest Yankees to be sidelined, joining Aaron Hicks (back), Luis Severino (shoulder) and Dellin Betances (shoulder) as key Yankees to suffer early injuries. The Yankees are also missing Didi Gregorius, who is rehabbing from offseason Tommy John surgery, and CC Sabathia, who is rehabbing from knee surgery.

Brian Costello, Post:
Miguel Andujar's season may be over before it even really started.

The Yankees third baseman has a small tear of the labrum in his right shoulder and was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday night. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the team is hopeful he can return, but season-ending surgery has not been ruled out. ...

The injury was the second blow the Yankees suffered Monday, losing outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to the IL earlier in the day with a Grade 1 strain in his left biceps. With Stanton, the Yankees are optimistic the slugger can return this month.
David Price / Aaron Brooks
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Devers, 3B
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Núñez, 2B
Bradley, CF
Vázquez, C
Hangovers: A couple of writers, in their pre-season previews, mentioned the possibility of the 2019 Red Sox suffering from a "World Series hangover". One writer stated that this phenomenon "is real" (although no proof was provided) and insisted this was why the Red Sox would not win the AL East.

But the Dodgers played just as deep into October. Their off-season was exactly the same length as Boston's. Both teams played their last game on October 28. Yet there has been zero talk of any "hangover" for the Dodgers. In fact ...

Most Runs Scored, First Four Games Of Season
Brewers    1978   49
Yankees    1950   48
Tigers     1901   45
Cubs       1954   45
Dodgers    2019   42

1 comment:

laura k said...

Whether it means anything in the long term or not, this sucks.