May 3, 2019

G33: Red Sox 6, White Sox 1

Red Sox   - 300 003 000 - 6 11  1
White Sox - 000 000 010 - 1  5  0
Welcome back, Chris Sale! We've really missed you.

The slim lefty (6-3-0-1-10, 104) averaged 93-94 with his fastballs on Friday night, hitting a high of 97 with his four-seamer. He was not quite the Super Ace; he hit two batters and topped 100 pitches in six innings (23-11-10 23-17-20). But he had a nice fastball-slider combo going and that was great to see.

It was also great to see Rafael Devers crushing his first home run of the year, a 436-foot shot to dead center for three runs in the first inning. The rally grew out of nothing, with two outs and no one on. J.D. Martinez hit a ground-rule double down the right field line and Xander Bogaerts reached on an infield single to the right side. Devers struck gold on Reynaldo Lopez's first pitch.

Sale allowed his first hit with two outs in the fourth. Yoan Moncada lined a single to center, but Sandy Leon gunned him down trying to steal.

Jose Rondon doubled to open the fifth and Sale plunked Welington Castillo. Potential tying run at the plate? Not a problem. Sale struck out Ryan Cordell looking (bcsc), Adam Engel swinging (cfs), and Leury Garcia swinging (bbccs). Sale also gave up a two-out double to James McCann in the sixth, but got Moncada on strikes to end the inning, and his night.

Tzu-Wei Lin was also thrown out on an attempted steal. He twisted his left knee on an awkward slide in the second inning and limped off the field. Andrew Benintendi moved from left to center and Steve Pearce went to play left. The post-game word is that Lin will go on the IL and Eduardo Nunez (.159/.178/.182 - gak!) will be activated tomorrow.

Devers grounded a single to right to start the sixth and Michael Chavis launched Lopez's next pitch high and very deep down the left field line. The ball stayed fair for his fourth home run of the season. The dong's distance was estimated at 459 feet, the longest homer by a Red Sox batter this season. In fact, Chavis's last three home runs are the Red Sox's three longest taters of 2019.

Lopez then walked Mitch Moreland and departed. Jose Ruiz came in and walked Pearce. Leon lined to right, but Benintendi singled on a hard grounder to right to load the bases. Mookie Betts drew a walk to force in a run before J.D. Martinez grounded into a double play.

Heath Hembree had a lively fastball in the seventh and struck out two of his three batters. Colten Brewer walked two and surrendered a shut-out ruining single to McCann.

The fans in Chicago had some fun in the ninth as second baseman Rondon took the mound for the first time in his professional career. Throwing something between a knuckleball and an eephus pitch, Rondon's junk was so slow, Gameday could not tell what was going on and the "Pitch Speed" display on the park's scoreboard was blank. The crowd roared its approval on each of the three called strikes in the inning. Rondon got Betts to fly to center before giving up singles to Martinez and Bogaerts. His inning ended on a high note when Devers popped to second and Chavis lined to third.

The Red Sox are 9-5 since April 19 (second-best record in the AL East, behind the MFY's 10-4) and have won four of their last five and six of their last nine.
Chris Sale / Reynaldo Lopez
Benintendi, LF
Betts, RF
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Chavis, 2B
Moreland, 1B
Lin, CF
Leon, C
In his last 13 games, Mookie Betts has batted .449/.533/.735, improving from .200/.305/.371 to .303/.401/.521.

Babe Ruth had three seasons in which he had at least a .375 batting average, .500 on-base percentage, and .750 slugging percentage. No other player in history has had even one season with those numbers*. But three players have had some combination of two of those three benchmarks.

.375 batting average, .500 on-base percentage
Babe Ruth, 1920:      .376  .532  .847
Babe Ruth, 1921:      .378  .512  .846
Babe Ruth, 1923:      .393  .545  .764
Babe Ruth, 1924:      .378  .513  .739
Rogers Hornsby, 1924: .424  .507  .696
Ted Williams, 1941:   .406  .553  .735
Ted Williams, 1957:   .388  .526  .731
.375 batting average, .750 slugging percentage
Babe Ruth, 1920:      .376  .532  .847
Babe Ruth, 1921:      .378  .512  .846
Babe Ruth, 1923:      .393  .545  .764
Rogers Hornsby, 1925: .403  .489  .756
.500 on-base percentage, .750 slugging percentage
Babe Ruth, 1920:      .376  .532  .847
Babe Ruth, 1921:      .378  .512  .846
Babe Ruth, 1923:      .393  .545  .764
Barry Bonds, 2001:    .328  .515  .863
Barry Bonds, 2002:    .370  .582  .799
Barry Bonds, 2004:    .362  .609  .812
* Except for Cody Bellinger, 2019. ... So far, that is! Bellinger won't keep up this pace, but one-fifth of the regular season has been played and he's hitting .425/.500/.867. Bellinger has:
driven in more runs (38) than Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts (35)

scored more runs (32) than J.D. Martinez and Andrew Benintendi (30)

hit more home runs (14) than Mookie Betts, Bogaerts, and Benintendi (13)

more hits (48) than Christian Vazquez, Jackie Bradley, and Michael Chavis (42)

as many total bases as Bogaerts and Benintendi (98)

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