May 1, 2019

G31: Red Sox 7, Athletics 3

Athletics - 010 000 002 - 3  7  0
Red Sox   - 010 113 01x - 7  9  0
Home runs from Mitch Moreland and Christian Vazquez and a two-run single from Andrew Benintendi paved the way for the Red Sox's fifth win in their last seven games.

Boston is 8-4 since April 19. In their last seven games, they have five wins, all by a margin of four or more runs. In the season's first 24 games, Boston won only one game by that margin.

Six pitchers worked today, with Hector Velazquez taking the the first two, throwing 43 pitches. Marcus Walden went three innings, giving up only one hit. He was credited with the win, which gives him four in 2019, more than twice as many as any other pitcher on the team. (Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez have two and David Price has one. Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi have zero. That is crazy. ... Matt Barnes also had more wins than any starter (3).)

After Mike Fiers (5-5-3-1-3, 64) zipped through the first inning on seven pitches, he got bogged down in the second, allowing singles to Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis an a sac fly to Moreland. Then he walked Vazquez and Jackie Bradley singled, and the bases were loaded. Fiers's 0-2 pitch to Tzu-Wei Lin was high. It glanced off catcher Josh Phegley's glove and sailed to the backstop on the fly. It struck something hard and caromed right back to Phegley, who was only a few feet behind the plate. Chavis tried scoring with a head-first dive, but he was tagged out. Lin struck out.

Moreland hit his ninth dong of the year in the fourth. Lin doubled in the fifth and scored on Mookie Betts's sac fly.

J.B. Wendelken could not escape the sixth inning. He gave up a single to Devers and walked Chavis. Moreland flied to left and Vazquez flied to center -- two outs on four pitches -- but the third out proved elusive. Bradley worked a seven-pitch walk and Lin beat out a slow roller to second. A run scored on that hit and two more scored when no fielder could reach Benintendi's pop fly to short left-center. Lou Trivino came in and walked Betts, but got J.D. Martinez to pop up.

Vazquez tied his career-high in home runs when he led off the eighth with his fifth home run of the year. He also had five dongs in 2017.

Once again, the bullpen was fantastic. From the third through the eighth (six innings), Walden, Brandon Workman, Colten Brewer, and Heath Hembree threw a mere 67 pitches (49 strikes) and allowed only two baserunners, both two-out singles, in the third and seventh. They struck out seven.

Tyler Thornburg pitched the ninth and saw his ERA rise from 7.71 to 8.53. In 12.2 innings this season, he's allowed 14 hits, 6 walks and 12 runs. The 14 hits: two singles, nine doubles (three of which were given up today), and three home runs. (Seriously.) To paraphrase myself from yesterday, a 7-3 win counts as much as a 7-1 win, I suppose.
Mike Fiers / Hector Velazquez
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Martinez, DH
Devers, 3B
Chavis, 2B
Moreland, 1B
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
Lin, SS
The calendar has turned to May and the Red Sox continue to get closer to respectability. A win today would put them at 14-17, three games under .500 for the first time in almost a month (2-5 on April 3).

After today's game, the Red Sox head to Chicago for four games against the White Sox and then to Baltimore for three against the Orioles.

Today is also the 99th anniversary of the longest game (by innings) in major league history:
Brooklyn - 000 010 000 000 000 000 000 000 00 - 1  9  2
Boston   - 000 001 000 000 000 000 000 000 00 - 1 15  2
Each team's starting pitcher lasted the complete game, undoubtedly tossing over 300 pitches. Poor Charlie Pick, the only man to go 0-for-11 in a single game. Two other players went hitless in 11 plate appearances, but were officially 0-for-10.

1 comment:

allan said...

The HR rate (0.81 per 9) of the starters in the past 21 games is the best in the majors. Cherry-picking the time period aside, that is great to see, considering the Opposition Dongfest the beginning of the year was.