September 30, 2019

2019 Postseason Schedule

The 2019 postseason begins Tuesday night.

NL Wild Card
1001 - Brewers @ Nationals

AL Wild Card
1002 - Rays @ Athletics

Game 1 - 1003 - Brewers/Nationals @ Dodgers
Game 2 - 1004 - Brewers/Nationals @ Dodgers
Game 3 - 1006 - Dodgers at Brewers/Nationals
Game 4 - 1007 - Dodgers at Brewers/Nationals
Game 5 - 1009 - Brewers/Nationals @ Dodgers
Game 1 - 1003 - Cardinals @ Atlanta
Game 2 - 1004 - Cardinals @ Atlanta
Game 3 - 1006 - Atlanta @ Cardinals
Game 4 - 1007 - Atlanta @ Cardinals
Game 5 - 1009 - Cardinals @ Atlanta
Game 1 - 1004 - Rays/Athletics @ Astros
Game 2 - 1005 - Rays/Athletics @ Astros
Game 3 - 1007 - Astros @ Rays/Athletics
Game 4 - 1008 - Astros @ Rays/Athletics
Game 5 - 1010 - Rays/Athletics @ Astros
Game 1 - 1004 - Twins @ Yankees
Game 2 - 1005 - Twins @ Yankees
Game 3 - 1007 - Yankees @ Twins
Game 4 - 1008 - Yankees @ Twins
Game 5 - 1010 - Twins @ Yankees
Game 1 - 1011 
Game 2 - 1012
Game 3 - 1014
Game 4 - 1015
Game 5 - 1016
Game 6 - 1018
Game 7 - 1019
Game 1 - 1012
Game 2 - 1013
Game 3 - 1015
Game 4 - 1016
Game 5 - 1017
Game 6 - 1019
Game 7 - 1020
World Series
Game 1 - 1022
Game 2 - 1023
Game 3 - 1025
Game 4 - 1026
Game 5 - 1027
Game 6 - 1029
Game 7 - 1030

September 29, 2019

G162: Red Sox 5, Orioles 4

Orioles - 003 000 010 - 4  6  2
Red Sox - 002 001 101 - 5 12  1
The 2019 Red Sox's season ended on a high (and, perhaps, wistful) note. Brandon Workman struck out the side in the top half and Mookie Betts scored on Rafael Devers's single in the bottom half. Betts had begun the inning with a walk. Devers's hit was his third of the day and 201st of the season.

Devers's chopper glanced off the glove of shortstop Richie Martin, who was playing on the right side of the infield. The ball rolled slowly into the outfield and when Betts saw right fielder Steve Wilkerson casually grab the ball and then ponder where to toss it, Mookie dashed for the plate, and scored easily.

The Red Sox finished with a record of 84-78, a drop of 24 wins from last season. They finished in third place in the AL East, 19 games behind the Yankees, and 12 games out of the Wild Card race.

Wilkerson had robbed Jackie Bradley of a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning, with a crazy, half-cartwheeling, catch worthy of JBJ himself, at the point in right where the bullpen wall ends and the short wall begins. Boston had runners on first and third with no outs in the inning, but Marco Hernández lined into a double play before Bradley's deep fly.

Matt Barnes coughed up the Red Sox's 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth, blowing the save of what would have been Eduardo Rodriguez's 20th victory of the season. Xander Bogaerts committed a fielding error and Barnes allowed a one-out single. After getting the second out, Barnes gave up a game-tying single to Jonathan Villar.

The Orioles took a 3-0 lead off Rodriguez (7-4-3-2-8, 115) when EdRo walked the leadoff batter in the third and gave up three consecutive hits with one out. The Red Sox quickly got two runs back, however. Gorkys Hernández tripled with one out and JBJ was HBP. Betts singled in Gorkys and Devers singled in Bradley. A wild pitch put runners at second and third, but Betts was tagged out at the plate on Bogaerts's grounder to short.

Boston tied the game in the sixth as Bogaerts walked, the Orioles made a pitching change, J.D. Martinez singled to right, a passed ball moved the runners up to second and third, Mitch Moreland walked, and Christian Vázquez singled. After another change of pitchers, the chance of additional runs was squandered as JDM was forced at the plate and the next two batters were retired.

The Red Sox had three batters finish with a batting average over .300 and 30+ home runs for the first time in history: Rafael Devers (.311/32), Xander Bogaerts (.309/33), and J.D. Martinez (.304/36).

Chandler Shepherd / Eduardo Rodriguez
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Vázquez, C
Holt, 2B
G. Hernández, LF
Bradley, CF
Pitchers have minimal control over whether they get a "win" - you can get a "win" by allowing eight runs, but not get a win by allowing zero runs in 7+ innings (that's happened 32 times this season) - but Rodriguez could be awarded his 20th win of the season today. If so, he would be the sixth Red Sox lefthander with 20 wins, and the first in 66 years!
Red Sox Lefthanders, 20-Win Seasons
Jesse Tannehill - 1904, 1905
Ray Collins     - 1914
Babe Ruth       - 1916, 1917
Lefty Grove     - 1935
Mel Parnell     - 1949, 1953
A counting stat that cannot be awarded until the game is over is suspect. You hit a double - and a double is immediately added to your stats. Same thing with stolen bases, strikeouts, even errors (though sometimes those are changed after the game is complete). But if you give up six runs in two innings, you have to wait at least seven more innings to learn if you got the loss (or the win!).

September 28, 2019

We Know Both Of Them Support All Forms Of WAR

Jeffrey St. Clair, Counterpunch, September 27, 2019:
Do we need to consult a sabermatrician [sic] to determine whether Trump or Biden makes more errors ... while reading from a prepared text?
I must admit: Reading David Roth on Trump is a singular pleasure. Those first two paragraphs are, in addition to being accurate, pure gold. ... And since I despise both parties equally, I'll add that running Biden in 2020 would make the Democrats' decision to go with Clinton in 2016 look inspired and well-reasoned.

G161: Orioles 9, Red Sox 4

Orioles - 211 004 001 - 9 12  0
Red Sox - 300 001 000 - 4  9  0
The Red Sox rallied in the bottom of the first inning on Jackie Bradley's single and one-out, back-to-back home runs from Xander Bogaerts (#33) and J.D. Martinez (#36), but the Orioles tied the game in the next half-inning and took the lead for good in the third.

Baltimore kicked back and relaxed after battering Andrew Cashner for four runs in the sixth.

By the time Jhoulys Chacín (2.2-5-4-1-3, 60) had thrown four pitches, the Orioles led 2-0. Jonathan Villar doubled on the first pitch of the day and D.J. Stewart homered on a 1-1 fastball. As noted, Boston took a 3-2 lead, but Richie Martin homered in the second and Renato Núñez went deep in the third.

In the bottom of the fifth, trailing by only one run, the Red Sox got two-out singles from Rafael Devers and Bogaerts, but Martinez jumped on the first pitch and flied to right.
John Means / Jhoulys Chacín
Bradley, CF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Travis, LF
Holt, 1B
G. Hernández, RF
Owings, 2B
León, C
Chacín, with Red Sox
First three games:  5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB,  7 K, 0 HR, 22 BF,  0.00 ERA
Last two games:     6.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 3 BB, 11 K, 3 HR, 31 BF, 11.37 ERA

September 27, 2019

G160: Orioles 4, Red Sox 1

Orioles - 003 000 001 - 4  6  0
Red Sox - 000 000 001 - 1  6  1
The Red Sox ended the fourth inning with a runner gunned down at the plate. After that, the Orioles retired 12 consecutive batters until Rafael Devers led off the ninth with a double (#53). Xander Bogaerts knocked him in with a single, but any further thoughts of a last-inning rally fizzled when X was picked off first, and the next two batters were easy outs.

Nathan Eovaldi (5-3-3-4-3, 90) concluded his 2019 season with 16 home runs allowed in only 67.2 innings. With two outs in the third, Renato Núñez blasted a three-run dong. With the Red Sox last year, Eovaldi allowed only three home runs in 54 innings (for the entire year: 14 in 111 innings). Eovaldi also handed out 35 walks in his 67.2 innings, an appallingly high total. He passed only 20 in 111 innings last season.

The Red Sox had something going on in almost every inning against Asher Wojciechowski (6-4-0-1-6, 96). Bogaerts doubled with two outs in the first, but was stranded. Boston put two men on in the second, but Juan Centeno struck out. Mookie Betts singled to start the third, but Devers lined into a double play. In the fourth, Sam Travis was hit by a pitch and later was thrown out at the plate on Jackie Bradley's double off the bullpen wall.

The Red Sox were retired in order in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. Over the seventh and eighth innings, five consecutive Boston batters struck out.
Asher Wojciechowski / Nathan Eovaldi
Betts, DH
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Holt, 2B
Travis, LF
Bradley, CF
G. Hernández, RF
Centeno, C
2019 will be only the second season in franchise history in which the Red Sox finish with a winning record overall, but with a losing record at home. They are 37-41 in home games (37-39 at Fenway and 0-2 in London). It also happened in 1980: 83-77 overall and 36-45 at home.

The Red Sox are 30-8 (.789) against the Orioles since September 1, 2017 (11-5 this year, 16-3 in 2018, and 3-0 in the final month of 2017).

The Red Sox have never finished a season with three players batting .300+ with 30+ home runs. Only nine teams have ever done that, with the 2004 Cardinals being the most recent. (The 1996 Rockies are the only team to have four players reach those milestones.)
                   AVG   HR
J.D. Martinez     .305   35
Xander Bogaerts   .305   32
Rafael Devers     .310   32
Mookie Betts      .294   29
Martinez (35), Bogaerts (32), and Devers (32) are only the third Red Sox trio ever with 30+ HR in a season, joining Jim Rice/George Scott/Butch Hobson (1977) and David Ortiz/Betts/Hanley Ramirez (2016).

The Red Sox are one Mookie Dong away from becoming the 15th team in history to have as many as four players hit 30+ home runs. The 2019 Twins are the only team to have five players hit 30+ home runs - and they are also the first team to hit 300 dongs in a season.

The Red Sox are the seventh team ever (and only the third team in AL history) with as many as four players with 70+ extra-base hits in a season: Devers (88), Bogaerts (83), Betts (74), Martinez (70). No major league team has ever had four players with 75+ extra-base hits in a season. (The 1999 Diamondbacks had four players with 74+ extra-base hits.)

Betts needs one home run to have 30+ homers and 40+ doubles for the third time in his career, joining David Ortiz (2004, 2005, 2007, 2016) as the only Red Sox players to do so. (Also, Betts and Nolan Arenado are the only two players with 70+ extra-base hits in each of the last four seasons.)

Christian Vázquez leads all American League catchers in hits (131) and extra-base hits (50), is tied for first in doubles (26), is second in RBI (71) and runs scored (66), and is fourth in home runs (23). He also leads all major league catchers with four pickoffs. And Vázquez is one of only six Red Sox catchers with at least 23 home runs in a season (Carlton Fisk, Jason Varitek, Mike Stanley, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Rich Gedman).

Boston's bullpen lead the majors with 10.49 K/9. (The Yankees are #2 at 10.22, with the Brewers #3 (10.19).) The last time the Red Sox led the majors was in 1974 (6.11 K/9).

Brandon Workman has the lowest opponents slugging percentage of any relief pitcher in the last 50 years (minimum of 50 IP). He's at .168, with Craig Kimbrel (.1721 in 2012) and Aroldis Chapman (.1724 in 2014) behind him.

The Red Sox enjoyed a historic left side of the infield this season.

Bogaerts (32 home runs, 51 doubles) and Devers (32 home runs, 52 doubles) are the first teammates in major league history with 30+ homers and 50+ doubles in a season.

Bogaerts (32 homers, 113 RBI) and Devers (32 homers, 115 RBI) are also only the second SS/3B duo to have 30+ homers and 110+ RBI in a season, joining Miguel Tejada (31/113) and Eric Chavez (32/114) of the 2001 Athletics.

Devers is the first major league player with 88+ extra-base hits in a season before turning 23 since Albert Pujols (88 in 2001). The last player at that age with more extra-base hits was Alex Rodriguez (91 in 1996).

Bogaerts is one of only three Red Sox shortstops with more than 50 doubles in a season (Joe Cronin, 51 in 1938; Nomar Garciaparra, 51 in 2000, 56 in 2002). Bogaerts is only two extra-base hits behind Garciaparra for the most ever by a Red Sox shortstop (X has 83; Nomar had 85 in both 1997 & 2002).

Devers (88) and Bogaerts (83) are 1-2 in the AL in extra-base hits (Marcus Semien #3 with 82).

Devers (52) and Bogaerts (51) are 1-2 in the AL in doubles (Semien #3 with 43 and Betts and Andrew Benintendi are two of four players tied at #5 (40)).

Devers (115) and Bogaerts (113) are 2-3 in the AL in RBI (Jose Abreu #1 (123), Jorge Soler #4 (112), and Alex Bregman #5 (110)).

Betts (134) and Devers (127) are 1-2 in the AL in runs scored (Semien #3 with 122).

September 26, 2019

G159: Rangers 7, Red Sox 5

Red Sox - 000 300 200 - 5 10  1
Rangers - 000 140 20x - 7  7  1
In their last road game of the season, the Red Sox blew a 3-0 lead, battled back to tie the game at 5-5, and then immediately gave away the game for good.

Events in the final two innings led to both managers accusing the other team of not giving 100%, of either speeding up the game (by consistently swinging at first pitches) and denying a pitcher a milestone strikeout or by slowing it down (deliberately letting an easily-caught foul pop-up fall untouched).

Mike Minor retired the first nine Red Sox batters, including striking out the side in the third inning. But Boston collected five hits and three runs in the fourth. Marco Hernández was safe on a bunt single to start the inning. Andrew Benintendi struck out, but J.D. Martinez and Sam Travis both singled (1-0). After Brock Holt hit into a force play, Gorkys Hernández doubled to left (2-0) and Jackie Bradley singled to short right (3-0).

Texas got one run back in the fourth and battered Mike Shawaryn in the fifth. Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to right and stole second. Shin-Soo Choo struck out looking. Elvis Andris also singled to right and also stole second. Willie Calhoun walked and Danny Santana hit a grand slam to right-center. Shawaryn got the second out, but Nick Solak singled to center and (after Colten Brewer came in) stole second.

The Red Sox had a frustrating sixth inning: single, double play, single, groundout. They got two solo home runs in the seventh, by Bradley (#21) and Chris Owings (#3). That tied the game but the Red Sox squandered a chance at more runs. Juan Centeno singled with two outs and Martinez walked. A double steal put runners on second and third, but Sam Travis went down swinging.

Calhoun hit Ryan Weber's 1-1 pitch for a leadoff dong in the bottom of the seventh. One out later, Roughned Odor went deep, making it 7-5.

The Red Sox were retired on three pitches in the eighth. This does not happen very often, since if the first two guys hack away, it is almost a guarantee the third guy will take at least one pitch. Not this time. Holt grounded to first, Gorkys Hernández grounded out to shortstop, and Bradley popped to shortstop.

In the ninth, Minor (8.2-10-5-2-9, 126) struck out Owings for the second out (and his 200th K of the season) only because first baseman Ronald Guzmán deliberately dropped a foul pop (and was charged with an error).

Alex Cora was not amused: "I'm just happy our guys are playing the game the right way. We're playing hard until the end."

Rangers manager Chris Woodward countered by claiming the Red Sox were trying to keep Minor from getting his 200th strikeout by swinging at the first pitch: "It got gut-wrenching as a manager. I didn't love the idea that we dropped a popup at the end. But on the other side of that, they swung at three pitches in a row in the eighth inning down by two. ... They chose to not try to win the game as well, they were trying to keep him from striking a guy out."

Cora noted that both Bradley and Owings hit their home runs on the first pitch.

Woodward, who nearly pulled Minor in the seventh, sent Minor out for the ninth because he was pissed off at the three-pitch eighth: "I said you're going back out. If they want to do that, you're going back out. There was no question. It was only three pitches."

Minor: "I knew what they were doing. They were laughing about it. ... [On the foul pop] I knew it was going to be a two-strike count if he dropped it. So I yelled at Guzie to drop it."

Guzmán: "Honestly, on that play I was going for it. I wasn't exactly sure if it was gonna be fair or foul. And when I got close to it, I heard like the whole stadium telling me to drop it, so I just couldn't do anything else. They were making it really hard on him, swinging at the first pitch every at-bat, even though the game was close."

With one out to go, reliever Jose Leclerc was summoned, and he struck out Marco Hernández.

The Red Sox finish the 2019 season with three games against the Orioles at Fenway Park.
Travis Lakins / Mike Minor
M. Hernández, 2B      61
Benintendi, LF       100
Martinez, DH         138
Travis, 1B            71
Holt, 3B             106
G. Hernández, RF    (-21)
Bradley, CF           88
León, C               45
Owings, SS            18
OPS+: 100 = league-average hitter; 110 = 10% better than league-average hitter; 85 = 15% worse than league-average hitter, etc.

September 25, 2019

G158: Red Sox 10, Rangers 3

Red Sox - 032 002 102 - 10 12  0
Rangers - 300 000 000 -  3  7  1
The Red Sox fell behind by three runs after only six Rangers had batted (and Texas also had a runner thrown out at the plate). However, they immediately tied the game and went on to score ten unanswered runs, as Rick Porcello rebounded strongly from his shaky initial inning, allowing only two hits over the next five innings (6-6-3-0-8, 98). Porcello retired his last 11 batters.

Mitch Moreland went 4-for-5, including his 19th home run of the season. Christian Vázquez (#23) and Rafael Devers (#32) also went deep. Vazquez's shot in the third inning was the Red Sox's 239th home run of the season, setting a new franchise record, breaking the mark set by the 2003 club.

Devers's home run was his 87th extra-base hit of the year, passing Ted Williams and setting a new Red Sox record for a player 22 years old or younger. Devers's 32 homers ties him with Tony Conigliaro for the most home runs for the Red Sox in a season before turning 23.

It was the bottom of the order that tied the game in the second. J.D. Martinez singled, but was forced at second by Vázquez. Moreland singled and Gorkys Hernández walked. One run scored on Jackie Bradley's groundout to shortstop and Chris Owings single made it 3-0. In the third, Vázquez homered to center, with Xander Bogaerts aboard. Vázquez left the game in the middle of the third after experiencing tightness in his left hamstring.

Three Texas relievers were each rudely welcomed into the game. Brett Martin began the sixth, as Sandy León reached on an error and Moreland donged to right-center. Devers led off the seventh by blasting Jonathan Hernandez's second pitch over the wall in right-center.

Ian Gibaut started his outing in the ninth by walking Andrew Benintendi. Devers doubled and Benny scored on Bogaerts's fly to center. Then JDM singled in Devers. Gibaut also walked León before fanning Moreland. Texas played it safe, bringing in another pitcher, Taylor Guerrieri, to get the third out and hold the score at 10-3. It mattered not, as Andrew Cashner retired them in order in the last of the ninth.

AL East: The Rays beat the Yankees 4-0, holding the MFY to one lonely hit. New York also struck out 16 times, with Stanton/Judge providing some air conditioning at the Trop, going 0-for-7 with seven strikeouts. In two games against the Rays this week, the Yankees have scored one run in 21 innings, while striking out 29 times. Sounds they are just about in playoff shape ...

Rick Porcello / Kolby Allard
Benintendi, LF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Vázquez, C
Moreland, 1B
G. Hernández, RF
Bradley, CF
Owings, 2B
Last night, in Arizona:
Cardinals    - 100 000 000 000 100 000 0 - 2 13  0
Diamondbacks - 000 000 001 000 100 000 1 - 3 13  2
It was the longest game by innings and the second-longest by time (6:53) in Diamondbacks' history (though the longest game by time ever played at Chase Field). The Diamondbacks set franchise records for pitchers used in a game (13) and players used (30).

It was only the second game in major league history that both teams recorded 21+ strikeouts (Cardinals pitchers struck out 23 batters, while Diamondbacks pitchers fanned 25). The 48 combined punchouts tied the major league record, set on May 7, 2017, when seven Yankees struck out 26 batters in a 5-4 win in 18 innings over the Cubs (whose eight pitchers combined for 22 strikeouts).

Ildemaro Vargas became the first player since at least 1920 (when RBIs became official) to drive in a game-tying run in the ninth inning and then record a walk-off RBI in the 19th inning or later. Vargas hit a pinch-hit home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Ten innings later, Arizona got two leadoff singles, followed by two strikeouts. Then the Cardinals made the highly-questionable decision to intentionally walk Christian Walker (he was 0-for-4, with three strikeouts and a BBI in the 17th) and pitch to Vargas (who was 3-for-5). Vargas grounded the first pitch into left for a game-winning single.

September 24, 2019

G157: Red Sox 12, Rangers 10

Red Sox - 411 240 000 - 12 14  0
Rangers - 410 022 100 - 10 15  2
All 10 batters for the Red Sox had at least one hit and scored at least one run. Only six of them drove in runs, however, with J.D. Martinez leading the way with three, and Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley chipping in two apiece.

Eduardo Rodriguez (5-11-7-3-6, 113) was allowed to pitch long enough to qualify for the win, his 19th of the season. Both the 11 hits and seven runs were season-highs (and by "highs", I mean lows). But: W! ... It was also the Red Sox's 82nd victory of the season, assuring them of finishing 2019 with a winning record.

The Rangers were down by seven runs, 12-5, at one point, battled back to within two, and threatened in the eighth inning. Matt Barnes walked the first two batters in that frame, allowing Texas to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. But Barnes was just teasing Texas (I guess), because he struck out Roughned Odor and Scott Heineman and got Jose Trevino to fly out to center. In the ninth, Brandon Workman issued a two-out walk to Elvis Andrus before Willie Calhoun grounded out to first.

Each team batted around in the first inning. Rafael Devers singled with one out, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Bogaerts's single. Another wild pitch put Bogaerts on second and Martinez knocked him in with a single. Mitch Moreland grounded out, but Andrew Benintendi reached on an infield single and Christian Vázquez walked. Jackie Bradley doubled home two runs and Vólquez (0.2-5-4-1-0, 27) was replaced by Ariel Jurado, who got the third out.

Rodriguez had two outs and runners on first and third, but crumbled. He walked Danny Santana to load the bases and he walked Odor to force in a run. Heineman's single made it 4-3 and Trevino's single tied the game.

Mookie Betts hit his 29th home run of the year to dead center in the second inning. Rodriguez gave up a leadoff triple to Delino DeShields and Andrus hit a sac fly. (Betts injured his left foot in the bottom of the second when he crashed into the wall chasing DeShields's triple. He was limping as he chased the carom and was replaced in right field before the bottom of the third.)

The Red Sox kept scoring. They got one run in the third when Mitch Moreland doubled and ended up scoring on an infield error. Marco Hernández and Gorkys Hernández singled to start the fourth and Devers doubled Marco home. Gorkys scored on Bogaerts's sac fly. The Rangers left the bases loaded in the fourth against EdRo.

In the fifth, Gorkys Hernández hit a bases-loaded sac fly, a run scored on a wild pitch, and Martinez hit a two-run single. (The Red Sox also received three walks in the inning, along with a Texas error.)

Rodriguez allowed two more runs in the fifth, Marcus Walden allowed two in the sixth (on three hits and a walk), and Andrew Cashner gave up one in the seventh.

There were six wild pitches in the game, four from the Rangers.
Eduardo Rodriguez / Edinson Vólquez
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Benintendi, LF
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
M. Hernández, 2B

"An Industry Perception Of The Red Sox As A Chaotic, Miserable Place To Work"

Buster Olney (ESPN) reports that there an "industry perception of the Red Sox as a chaotic company, a miserable place to work".
Boston owner John Henry needs to understand this, because it is why some of the people he'd probably love to consider as possible replacements for [Dave] Dombrowski privately dismiss the idea out of hand.

A wide-held view in other front offices is that the highly respected and well-liked Red Sox president Sam Kennedy stands as a thin buffer between the team devolving to the level of the Mets, the team generally regarded by rival executives as baseball's model for dysfunction. "If Sam ever walked away," said one official, "the whole thing would be a complete mess."
Olney claims that some potential candidates have serious doubts whether principal owner John Henry possesses the necessary patience to support the next GM "through the difficult crossroads ahead".

The Mets? This so-called "widely-held view" seems a tad over-blown. There have been several instances of far more chaotic front offices (if the Red Sox can even be termed "chaotic") and those teams never had trouble filling top management spots. These high-profile jobs are few and the available talent pool has exploded in the last decade or two. No disrespect to Sam Kennedy, but is he really the only thing ("a thin buffer") keeping the Red Sox from going 50-112 in 2020 or 2021?

Sean McAdam (Boston Sports Journal) reports that the Red Sox have announced some changes and promotions to their Baseball Operations staff.
Mike Rikard, who has been the team's amateur scouting director, will now serve as vice president of scouting and be responsible for the entire scouting department. Additionally, Paul Toboni was elevated to director of amateur scouting, essentially filling Rikard's former position.

Meanwhile, two others – Devin Pearson was named to assistant director, amateur scouting and Stephen Hargett was promoted to amateur crosschecker.
McAdam finds the timing of these moves odd and says they raise other questions:
By elevating a number of people to oversee an important area like scouting, the Red Sox are already filling out some key spots in the Baseball Operations department before choosing someone to oversee the entire department. ... Ordinarily, an incoming executive would be given the opportunity to put his choices in those roles. The next GM/President of Baseball Operations will not have that luxury.

That suggests one of two scenarios:

1. The Red Sox plan to promote someone from the Gang of Four currently running Baseball Ops on an interim basis – Eddie Romero, Brian O'Halloran, Zack Scott and Raquel Ferreira. That would ensure a smooth transition for the new GM – likely Romero – since there is already a familiarity and comfort level with those promoted Monday.

2. Ownership and upper management is so impressed with the work of the current scouring department that they will insist on the current group being retained by anyone coming in from the outside.
Chad Jennings (The Athletic) reads the tea leaves in these decisions and believes an internal candidate would make sense:
The promotions came after team president Sam Kennedy announced two weeks ago that manager Alex Cora's job is safe, and after last week's news that Tony La Russa ... will also remain with the team in some sort of advisory role. ... [This] suggests the Red Sox are not looking for a wholesale shakeup, but rather a specific change targeted primarily at the very top of the hierarchy. ...

It is notable that many of the Red Sox existing baseball operations executives – including the foursome currently running the show on an interim basis – have been with the organization more than a decade. ... Monday's announcement means that reality will not completely change, no matter who is eventually hired to steer the ship.
John Tomase (NBC Sports) named four players who he believes will not be wearing a Red Sox uniform next season: Rick Porcello, Mitch Moreland, Brock Holt, and Jackie Bradley.

Tomase notes that Porcello loves pitching in Boston, but "of the 58 pitchers to make at least 75 starts over the last three years, only three posted worse ERAs than Porcello (4.80)"; Holt has "likely been made expendable by the younger and cheaper Marco Hernandez"; and Bradley's offense remains "frustratingly intermittent" and "the team can sacrifice a little defense in center to gain a better bat".

September 23, 2019

G156: Rays 7, Red Sox 4

Red Sox - 011 200 000 - 4 10  0
Rays    - 000 601 00x - 7  8  0
Ji-Man Choi, Brandon Lowe and Willy Adames all homered in the fourth inning as the Rays erupted for six runs, wiping out Boston's 4-0 lead.

With one out, Jhoulys Chacín (3.2-4-4-1-5, 57) gave up two singles and a three-run dong to Choi. After a groundout, Lowe blasted a solo shot. Bobby Poyner took over, hitting Kevin Kiermaier and giving up Adames's two-run homer.

Jackie Bradley went 3-for-4. He singled in the second, stole second, and scored on Marco Hernández's double. In the third, Bradley doubled in Mitch Moreland, who had also doubled.

The Red Sox scored twice after two were out in the fourth. Devers and J.D. Martinez each singled in a run, but Boston left the bases loaded in that inning (Bradley ended things with a strikeout). The Rays set the Red Sox down in order in three of the next four innings.

And: Mookie: "I didn't know I could do that. It's fun to do stuff that you didn't know you could do."

Jhoulys Chacín / Blake Snell
M. Hernández, 2B
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Martinez, DH
Travis, 1B
Bradley, CF
G. Hernández, LF
Owings, SS
León, C
It makes no difference at this point, I know, but seeing a guy with a .279 on-base percentage at the top of the lineup just pisses me off. (It's .302 for his career.) There is absolutely no reason ever to do that.

David Price will have surgery on his left wrist on Thursday. A cyst developed in the wrist in July. Through July 14, Price had a 3.16 ERA in 17 starts. After that, in his final five starts, his ERA ballooned to 9.47 and he pitched only two innings after August 4. Manager Alex Cora said the team wants Price "to get it over with and ... start the offseason, quote unquote, the right way".

At his home in the small town of Demopolis, Alabama, Butch Hobson was thrilled that Rafael Devers had broken his Red Sox record for home runs in a season by a third baseman. Hobson hit 30 in 1977; Devers has 31 with seven games left on the schedule.
That's awesome. I'm excited for him. I haven't seen every game he's played, but that young man has plenty of opposite-field power and I like that. He's a heck of a hitter. ... He always plays with a smile on his face and I like that. Baseball should be fun. ... His ability to take that fastball to left field is what makes him so dangerous.
Hobson notes that he actually should have hit 32 homers in 1977: "Al Bumbry robbed me of a home run in Baltimore and I had another one at Fenway that hit a bar holding up that net over the wall and they called it a double. George Brett told me the next day that it went over. But what can you do?"

Alex Cora mentioned "the struggles of September" (Devers has hit only .213 this month, as opposed to .351 in May and .358 in July) and said:
He'll take [that] home and he'll understand what they're trying to do. He'll be better because of that. [Could Devers hit 40 homers*?] We'll see. I like the fact that he hit 50 doubles, too. Some of those doubles are going to turn into home runs. I don't want to put a number on it but I know that he's a force offensively.
*: In 104 games since May 20, Devers has hit 28 homers, which projects to 43.6 over 162 games.

Back in the spring, Cora assured everyone that Devers had learned a lot and made adjustments after his 2018 season - and that was certainly true. His OPS has increased from .731 to .910 and he leads the majors with 341 total bases. Watching Devers's continued maturation as a hitter will be one of the more exciting aspects of 2020.

September 22, 2019

G155: Red Sox 7, Rays 4

Red Sox - 400 200 100 - 7 11  0
Rays    - 111 000 001 - 4  9  2
Christian Vázquez went 3-for-5, including a long three-run blast in the first inning and J.D. Martinez went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs. ... Nathan Eovaldi: 6-7-3-2-6, 100.

The damage was done by the first five batters in the order: they went 9-for-22, scored all seven runs, and had all five RBI. Batters 6-9 were only 2-for-17 (and both hits came in the first inning).

The Red Sox sent 10 men to the plate in the opening frame. Jackie Bradley struck out, Rafael Devers singled, Xander Bogaerts singled, Martinez singled (1-0), Vázquez homered (4-0), Travis singled, Gorkys Hernández fouled to first, Chris Owings singled, Juan Centeno was HBP, and JBJ was called out on strikes.

Boston scored two runs in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk and a wild pitch. The run in the seventh scored on an error.
Nathan Eovaldi / Ryan Yarbrough
Bradley, CF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Vázquez, 1B
Travis, LF
G. Hernández, RF
Owings, 2B
Centeno, C
The Rays won't need 11 innings to beat this lineup.

September 21, 2019

G154: Rays 5, Red Sox 4 (11)

Red Sox - 000 100 020 01 - 4  7  1
Rays    - 002 000 100 02 - 5  9  0
Nate Lowe hit a two-run, walkoff home run to lift the Rays over the Red Sox by a 5-4 score in 11 innings for the second consecutive day. Boston played extra innings (and lost) for the third time in the last five games.

Mitch Moreland had hit a solo shot in the top of the eleventh, but Josh Smith could not do his job in the home half. Travis d'Arnaud doubled to left and Johnny Davis went in as a pinch-runner. Lowe then homered on a 2-0 fastball (91 mph) that could not have been more down the middle of the plate if Smith had tried.
Singles by d'Arnaud and Joey Wendle gave Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead, but Xander Bogaerts homered (#31) to lead off the fourth and, after Willy Adames hit a solo dong in the seventh, Rafael Devers belted his 31st homer of the year in the eighth.

Devers's 31 home runs is the most ever by a Red Sox third baseman, topping Butch Hobson's 30 in 1977.
This is actually the first time I'm hearing of this, so it's pretty cool ... but there's more records I want to try to continue to break. ... I actually had a conversation with [Hobson] at [Red Sox Winter Weekend in January]. And Bogey was the one that told me he was a really good third baseman.
Bogey said that, did he? ... Hmmm. Did Bogey happen to mention that Hobson committed 43 errors in 1978, that his fielding percentage that season was actually below .900? (That's not easy to do, but I guess if your brain-dead gerbil-manager mindlessly runs you out there day after day, anything is possible.) In six seasons with Boston, ol' Mr. Bone Chips was never even an average third baseman. He was -12 Total Fielding Runs in both 1977 and 1978 and -34 for his Boston career.

Thankfully, Bogaerts is a better hitter than he is a Red Sox historian. X also doubled (#51) in the first inning. ... Matt Barnes struck out the side in the ninth. ... Brandon Workman walked the leadoff man in the tenth, which is fast becoming a pattern. (He has allowed a walk or a hit in each of his last six appearances.) After two strikeouts, the runner was thrown out trying to steal.

The Red Sox struck out 16 times, with J.D. Martinez (0-for-5) and Marco Hernández (0-for-4) each going down by way of the K four times. Moreland fanned three times.

Boston used 11 pitchers, which set a team record for a game of 11 innings or fewer. The Red Sox used 10 pitchers in a 10-8 win in 11 innings over the Orioles on September 18, 2017. (Workman and Barnes pitched in that game, as well.)

In games of any length, the Red Sox used 11 pitchers only four days ago against the Giants (15 innings) and they used 12 pitchers on September 5, 2017 against the Blue Jays (19 innings).
Travis Lakins / Tyler Glasnow
Betts, RF
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, DH
Moreland, 1B
Holt, LF
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
M. Hernández, 2B

Umpires Still Deciding Games With Blown Calls As MLB Steadfastly Ignores Issue

The Yankees lost to the Blue Jays yesterday 4-3. Toronto pitcher Ken Giles retired the MFY in order in the bottom of the ninth, but he got a huge assist from plate umpire Joe West.

Giles fanned Luke Voit, but fell behind 3-1 to Brett Gardner. Giles threw Ball 4, but West ruled that it was a strike. A pissed-off Gardner eventually flied to center and Giles closed the door by striking out Mike Ford.

For a better indication of how wretched West's call was, check out Brooks. It's Pitch #5:

Pace of play needs to be addressed, of course, but I guaranfuckintee that there are a significant number of fans who feel that MLB's continued obstanance and outright refusal to deal with incompetent umpires is as large (or larger) an issue. At least with a slower pace of play, the actual players are determining the outcome of the game.

I cannot deny that seeing the Yankees get screwed by the umps and lose a game gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, but I'm more sick of this shit going on with zero consequences for clowns like West. ... Robots, now!

September 20, 2019

G153: Rays 5, Red Sox 4 (11)

Red Sox - 000 000 202 00 - 4  7  0
Rays    - 000 000 310 01 - 5  8  0
Mitch Moreland hit two home runs, knocking in all four Boston runs, and Rick Porcello (6-3-0-0-6, 87) was Vintage Shroom, but Trevor Kelley walked two batters with two outs in the eleventh and then gave up a game-losing single to Willy Adames (3-for-5, 2 RBI).

Charlie Morton matched Porcello for six innings, allowing only three hits and one walk and striking out seven. Morton could not salt the game away, however, In the seventh, Brock Holt doubled with one out and Moreland hit Dong #16 to center.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Red Sox bullpen ran into its own trouble. Darwinzon Hernández's biggest flaw is his control and that inability to throw strikes was on display Friday night. After giving up a one-out single, Hernández walked Jesús Aguilar and Michael Brosseau on nine pitches (though Ball 2 to Agular should have been called a strike by plate umpire Paul Nauert and perhaps Ball 4 to Brosseau should have been, too). With the bases loaded, Marcus Walden got a force at second, but a run scored and Adames tied the game with a ground-rule double to right. Josh Taylor's wild pitch allowed the Rays to take a 3-2 lead.

Andrew Cashner issued a leadoff, four-pitch walk to Austin Meadows, who scored on Ji-Man Choi's one-out double to right field. But the Red Sox were not quite done. Gorkys Hernández began the ninth inning with a triple to right and, after Brock Holt lined to center, Moreland hit Dong #17 to left. Adames singled with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Ryan Brasier retired Joey Wendle to send the game into extras.

Both teams were retired in order in the tenth. Holt walked with two down in the eleventh, but lightning did not strike thrice for Moreland, who fanned. Kelley got two fly outs on six pitches in the bottom half, but never found the third out.

The loss would have officially eliminated the Red Sox from the postseason if they had not already been barred by virtue of Cleveland's win over the Phillies.
Rick Porcello / Charlie Morton
Betts, DH
Vázquez, C
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Benintendi, LF
Holt, RF
Moreland, 1B
Bradley, CF
M. Hernández, 2B
As the always-entertaining Jayson Stark would say ... Baseball!
Have you checked your major-league WHIP leaders lately? We'll save you the trouble. They look like this:
Justin Verlander: 0.789
Gerrit Cole:      0.908
Zack Greinke:     0.998
So … notice anything those three guys have in common? Right you are. They all pitch for the same team – those noted ace collectors, the Houston Astros. And how many teams have ever finished a season with three qualifying starting pitchers with a sub-1.00 WHIP? That would be none – in modern history, anyway. (Quibblers alert: The 1884 St. Louis Maroons, of the old United Association, actually had four with a WHIP under 1.00. But big deal. They got to pitch from 50 feet away from the plate back then!) ...

It's Sept. 20, and the Detroit Tigers have won 21 games at Comerica Park all season. The other four teams in their division have won 20 in Comerica, and they just get to stop by a few times a year! (You know how many times the Tigers have won at home on back-to-back days this season? That would be exactly two! One was April 6 and 7, in the second and third home games of the season. The other was Aug. 8 and 9. You know how many times they've done that against teams not known as "the Royals?" That would be zero!) ...

[I]f the Tigers don't win at least two of their final seven home games (against the White Sox and Twins) they're going to finish with the worst record at home of any team since the 162-game schedule became a thing nearly six decades ago:
TEAM          W-L    PCT
1962 Mets    22-58  .275
2019 Tigers  21-54  .280
2013 Tigers  23-58  .284 ...
It was awesome enough that Cavan (Son of Craig) Biggio went cycling Tuesday – and allowed the Biggios to join the Wards (Gary and Daryle) as the only father-son cyclists in history. ... [Cavan] came to the plate with two outs in the ninth in the same position as about a billion other players in history – a triple away from the cycle. But then … he actually hit that triple! ...

Only one other time in the past 129 cycles (dating back 35 years) has any player finished off his cycle that way – via a triple with two outs in the ninth. The guy who hit the other one: Eric Byrnes, on June 29, 2003. (Quibblers alert! If you're one of those sticklers who thinks we should look at two-out triples in the ninth inning or later, then we could add Rondell White (13th-inning triple, on June 11, 1995) to this little club.) ...

Ever heard of a playoff team that went a month without a save – in August and September? Meet the Nationals, who just found a way to perform that astonishing trick. Didn't have a save between Aug. 16 and Sept. 17 – and were still in position to host the wild-card game when they came out the other end of it. ...

That comes to 28 consecutive games without a save. And how many playoff teams in the division play era have ever done that this late in a season? That would be zero, according to STATS. How many have done it at any point in any season? Just two, if you don't count the 1981 strike-year split season (2000 Cardinals: 28 games (July 13-August 11) and 2015 Blue Jays: 34 games (May 5-June 10)). ...

From Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats): "Yu Darvish has 24 strikeouts over his last 9 innings pitched." So who's the last starting pitcher to strike out 24 hitters in nine innings? That would be nobody, obviously. And STATS combed through 45 years' worth of play-by-play data back to 1974 and found that no relief pitcher had done it, either. Closest call: 23, by Josh Hader (last September) and (Kirby Yates, in April-May of this year). Amazing. ...

[T]ake a look at the Yankees' totals for the season (so far):
Home Runs – 292
Doubles   – 277
Yep, leave it to the Yankees to make doubles obsolete. If they keep this up, they would be only the fourth team since 1900 to have this many more homers than doubles!

TEAM           HR   2B
1961 Yankees  240  194
1956 Reds     221  201
1962 Tigers   209  191 ...
A hat tip to NBC Sports Chicago's Chris Kamka for chronicling this unbelievable feat from Cody Bellinger this year: He has hit 45 home runs… Off 45 different pitchers!

So who else has ever done that? No one has ever done that. Of course! And only Albert Pujols (in 2015) has ever even hit as many as 40, off all different pitchers. ...

[A]ll of this happened, in actual life, over the past eight days:

TWO RUNS ON A STRIKEOUT? It's challenging enough to reach base on a strikeout, let alone score two runs. But the Dodgers pulled that off Sept. 12 in Baltimore, thanks to the largesse of Orioles starter Dylan Bunday, who never did get around to covering home in the midst of a two-run strikeout/passed-ball fiasco. Seeing is believing!

SCORING FROM FIRST BASE ON A WALK? Kids, don't try this at home, either. But it happens. Bryan Reynolds drew a walk at Wrigley last Friday. Then the Cubs took turns throwing the baseball all over Chicago. Willson Contreras started it, by trying to throw out Kevin Newman "stealing" second – on ball four. And the next thing they all knew, Newman had scored from first on a walk. Whaaaaat? Take a look at this Bad News Bears outtake!

HOW NOT TO APPEAL? Maybe the Pirates felt guilty about that Kevin Newman run, because on Sunday, they returned that favor, with a play I’ve never seen – the old wild throw while just trying to appeal a stinking call at third base! ...

SOUTH SIDE STORY – How about this for innovative ways to lose, from your Chicago White Sox over the past week: Get 20 hits Tuesday … four of them leave the park … still lose to the Twins, 9-8. According to Chris Kamka, they were undefeated (14-0) in 20-hit, four-homer games in franchise history before that … because of course they were!

Same game: Homer in the top of the 11th inning … then homer in the top of the 12th inning … and still lose! How hard is that to do? So hard, reports Doug Kern, that no team had hit a home run in the top of two different extra innings and found a way not to win in over 30 years – since the Padres did that in the 11th and 13th innings in Montreal, on May 24, 1988. ...

And before we go, here's one final outrageous tidbit about the Giants' visit to Fenway Park this week. If you had a tough time recalling their last win at Fenway before that 15-inning extravaganza Tuesday, maybe that's because… There's almost nobody in America who was alive to see the last one!

The Elias Sports Bureau told us it was the Giants' first win at Fenway since June 3, 1915, back when the Giants played in New York, the Braves were the team they played in Fenway, Woodrow Wilson was president and Babe Ruth was a rookie pitcher with two career home runs. ...

Is it possible the Giants were the first big-league team ever to go 104 years between wins at any ballpark ever built? And that answer is: Yessir! The previous record was held by the Cubs, which sounds about right. They once went a mere 93 years without winning at Fenway – between Game 5 of the 1918 World Series (Hippo Vaughn shutout) and May 21, 2011 (Sean Marshall win in relief of Carlos Zambrano). Didn't you need to know that? Of course you did!

September 19, 2019

G152: Red Sox 5, Giants 4

Giants  - 100 000 021 - 4  6  2
Red Sox - 230 000 00x - 5 10  2
Eduardo Rodriguez (6-2-1-2-10, 107) was sharp yet again, allowing only an unearned run. Rodriguez has allowed five earned runs in his last seven starts (45 innings, 1.00 ERA).

Xander Bogaerts drove in three runs and Rafael Devers knocked in two as the Red Sox held on by their fingernails to beat the Giants on Thursday afternoon. Brandon Workman loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth, but "saved" the game after walking in a run.

Each of the top four hitters in the Boston lineup had two hits. Andrew Benintendi and Christian Vázquez each scored twice.

The Red Sox took charge when the first four batters in the first inning reached base against Madison Bumgarner (5-9-5-2-7, 102). Benintendi doubled to right-center, Vázquez walked, and Dvers and Bogaerts each hit a run-scoring single.

(It was Benintendi's 40th double of the season, giving the Red Sox four players with 40+ doubles for the first time in team history (Mookie Betts, Benintendi, Bogaerts, Devers).)

In the second, the Red Sox changed things around, making two outs before hitting four straight singles. Benintendi and Vázquez set the table. Devers knocked in one run and Boagerts brought in two more.

I love those kinds of innings, but not when the opposition does it, as the Giants did in the eighth. Marcus Walden got two outs, then walked Mauricio Dubon, and gave up a single to Mike Yastrzemski and a double (and two runs) to Kevin Pillar. Matt Barnes relieved Walden and walked Evan Longoria. Buster Posey got an infield single, loading the bases, before Barnes struck out Stephen Vogt.

Workman nearly imploded in the ninth. Brandon Belt hit the first pitch and reached on an infield error. Christhian Adames singled to right and Chris Shaw walked. ... Time for a mound visit! ... Brandon Crawford (cbf) struck out looking. Yastrzemski (csfb) struck out swinging. Pillar (bsbb) walked, and Belt scored. Workman then struck out Longoria (cbbcbs).

If you give a shit about pitchers and wins, EdRo has 18.

The Red Sox are 24-8 in Rodriguez's starts this year. Houston's Gerrit Cole is the only other pitcher to start as many as 24 team wins (the Astros are 24-7 in Cole's starts).
Madison Bumgarner / Eduardo Rodriguez
Benintendi, LF
Vázquez, C
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, DH
Holt, 1B
G. Hernández, RF
Bradley, CF
Owings, SS
M. Hernández, 2B
Bats in September: .213/.290/.357.

Record: 6-9. Runs scored: 55. Runs allowed: 72.

Elimination # for Wild Card Race: 1.

September 18, 2019

G151: Giants 11, Red Sox 3

Giants  - 301 000 025 - 11 15  0
Red Sox - 000 001 101 -  3  6  1
Rafael Devers broke up Jeff Samardzija's no-hit bid with two outs in the sixth inning by hitting his 30th home run of the season, a line drive to right. It was the hardest hit ball of the game, by either team, with an exit velocity of 111.1 mph.

(Devers's groundout to third in the fourth inning was the second-hardest hit ball of the night (110.5).)

Devers and Xander Bogaerts are the first teammates in major league history with 30+ homers and 50+ doubles each in the same season (Devers 30/50; Bogaerts 31/50).

Devers is the 11th player in major league history with 30+ home runs, 100+ RBI, and 100+ runs scored in a single season before turning 23. He's one of only three major league players ever with 50+ doubles in a season at age 22 or younger.

Devers leads the American League with 84 extra-base hits; Ted Williams holds the Red Sox record for a player before turning 23 (86 in 1939).

Devers's 30 homers are the most by a Red Sox player at age 22 or younger since Tony Conigliaro hit 32 in 1965. ... He is also one of only four Red Sox players with 100+ RBI before turning 23 (Ted Williams (3 times), Bobby Doerr, Jim Rice).

Among Red Sox third basemen all-time, Devers holds the record for most extra-base hits in a season (83), is tied with Butch Hobson (1977) in home runs, and is one double away from tying Wade Boggs, who had 51 in 1989.

Oh – the game. It was as good as over in the top of the first. Jhoulys Chacín (2.2-5-4-2-6, 72) gave up a walk and a double to begin the night. He got two outs, but then Stephen Vogt hit a three-run dong. ... Samardzija was pulled after giving up a hit to start the seventh (6-2-1-4-2, 99). ... Jackie Bradley hit his 20th home run in the ninth (the original call of a triple was overturned).

Jeff Samardzija / Jhoulys Chacín
Benintendi, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Vázquez, DH
Holt, RF
Moreland, 1B
Bradley, CF
M. Hernández, 2B
León, C
David Price will not pitch again this season.

Alex Cora called Tuesday's 15-inning loss "our season in six hours".
Close games, we didn't hit with men in scoring position, we didn't pitch well in the beginning but then we pitched well. We played good defense but then we didn't. ... [E]xtra-inning games, using the bullpen knowing we have a bullpen day maybe tomorrow, it's been like that the whole season.
Two major league records were tied last night: 13 pitchers used by the Giants and 24 pitchers used by both teams.

David Ortiz Talks About His Recovery From Shooting In June

David Ortiz made his first public appearance since being shot in June about 10 days ago, at Fenway Park, throwing out the first pitch before a Red Sox/Yankees game. He has also spoken about his recovery and his future with Bob Hohler of the Globe and Ian Browne of

Ortiz talked about the day he was shot:
I had a wonderful day that day with my kids. ... [At night] I decided to go with a friend of mine. This one place – it's a very nice place, a lot of big-time people go – I sit down and have a drink ... I was there for an hour and a half, two hours. Hanging out, having conversation with people. This place wasn't a club. This place was like, on a patio, that kind of type of place where you go have lunch, have a drink, go have conversation. That was a little confusing for people here ... thinking that it was a club. It wasn't a club. ... I go there ... when I'm back home, only on Sunday, and never heard of a problem.
Ortiz says when he was shot, everyone around him scattered, and he was alone on the floor. "Then this angel comes out of nowhere" – a man named Eliezer Salvador – and he put Ortiz in the back seat of his car and drove like a maniac to a private clinic Ortiz was familiar with. "He kept talking to me to make sure I stayed awake." Ortiz knew he had been shot, but "I didn't want to look at it, to be honest." In the morning, after the initial surgery, the Red Sox arranged to bring Ortiz to Massachusetts General Hospital. He remembers nothing of the trip.
I was still doped up from the medication. ... I remember telling my Dad, "Dad, cover my feet. I'm feeling a little cold." And then I passed out. The next time I woke up was when I got to Mass General. I don't even know when they took me out of the airplane once I got here. All I know is I opened my eyes once I got out of the ambulance going into Mass General and then, boom, pass out again.
In Boston, Ortiz underwent a second surgery. Three weeks later, he suffered a severe bacterial infection and need additional surgery. "It was very dangerous. I got to the point that I started losing hope." According to the Globe:
In his bleakest days after the surgery, Ortiz fought desperation, even in his sleep. Over seven weeks, he could swallow nothing but melted ice chips – except for a small cup of Jell-O and some fruit that he threw up. ...

"I had nightmares all the time about being in the desert, looking for water," he said. ...

Ortiz drew a measure of hope when the medical team would tell him he would survive. But he began to prepare for the possibility that he would be permanently debilitated ...

"I felt that if I didn't die, then I would never be the same again," he said. "I went through hell with that."
On July 22, almost seven weeks after the shooting, Ortiz was able to keep down food for the first time: a cup of soup. He soon returned to his home outside Boston. Ortiz has hired former Boston Police Department commissioner Ed Davis to work with police in the Dominican Republic to find out why he was targeted.
There were so many rumors out there. But like I told them, the Dominican is a country that social media informs you somehow, some way, because there is no consequence. There are people that ... come out there with some things that aren't true, just because they want to get followed or get some likes. There are a lot of rumors, a lot of bad things came out, but none of them were related to what really happened to me.
Again, from the Globe:
First, the authorities announced that an unspecified person with an undisclosed motive had placed a $7,800 bounty on Ortiz's head. Six suspects were arrested, and Ortiz said he knew none of them or why anyone would want to harm him. ...

Nearly three weeks later came another announcement. Eight more suspects had been arrested – Ortiz said he knew none of those, either – and police concluded that the actual intended target had been his friend, Fernandez, who sat near him that night.

The bounty on Fernandez was closer to $30,000, authorities said, and his cousin, an alleged drug dealer, had wanted him killed because he allegedly had spoken to police about him more than eight years earlier. ...

Now, there are questions about whether Cesar Peralta, a Dominican drug kingpin known as "The Abuser," or his cartel may have been involved in the shooting, which to Ortiz also defies logic.
While little of the conflicting available information makes sense, Ortiz can joke about the incident. Noting the reported $7,800 bounty on his head, Ortiz said: "You gotta pay a lot more than that to get me killed. I ain't that cheap."

Big Papi hopes to be in Los Angeles next month to work as an analyst for Fox Sports during the postseason.
I was always very accessible, but I think I'm going to cut down on that a little now. One lesson I've learned is that you can't be naive. There are a lot of things going on now that you have to be aware of. I need to pay attention and be more careful.

September 17, 2019

G150: Giants 7, Red Sox 6 (15)

Giants  - 103 100 000 000 101 - 7 14  0
Red Sox - 010 013 000 000 100 - 6 14  1
Juan Centeno had drawn a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the thirteenth to tie the game at 6-6. Two innings later, he had a chance to tie things again (at 7-7) or, possibly, win the game. Boston had runners on first and second with one out and Centeno's flair to shallow center was sinking roughly where Rafael Devers's single had fallen a few minutes earlier. But this time, Kevin Pillar was able to dart in and make a diving, rolling catch. Brock Holt hit a line drive, but it was right at second baseman Mauricio Dubon for the third out.

The Red Sox erased three of the Giants' leads (1-0, 5-1, 6-5), but their luck eventually ran out. San Francisco used 13 pitchers, tying a major league record set by the Rockies in a 16-inning win over the Dodgers on September 15, 2015. In the thirteenth, the Giants had four pitchers pitch to four consecutive Red Sox batters.

Mike Yastrzemski homered off Nathan Eovaldi (4-7-5-3-6, 86) in the fourth inning, giving the Giants a 5-1 lead. Jackie Bradley led off the fifth with his 19th homer. In the sixth, Sam Travis pinch-hit for J.D. Martinez (who left with left groin tightness) and tripled to right. Travis was hit in the head by the throw to the bag and was replaced by Gorkys Hernández. Mitch Moreland and Christian Vázquez followed with back-to-back doubles with one out, cutting the Giants' lead to 5-4. Vazquez stole third as Bradley struck out and scored on a passed ball by Stephen Vogt.

The Red Sox wasted an opportunity in the seventh, when Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers both singled and were bunted to second and third, and old friend [sic] Fernando Abad came in from the SF bullpen. Holt was called out on strikes and Moreland grounded to short. Moreland then had a chance to win the game in the ninth, after G. Hernández singled and took second on a wild pitch and Holt was intentionally walked. But all Moreland could manage was a dribber in front of the plate and he was out catcher-to-first.

Matt Barnes walked two in the tenth, but stranded the runners, thanks to Marco Hernández's diving stop on Donovan Solano's grounder. Both teams hit into a double play in the twelfth. Pillar singled to start the thirteenth against Andrew Cashner. Brandon Crawford doubled to left, scoring the run, but he was also thrown out at third, 7-6-2-5. With one out in the bottom of the inning, M. Hernández singled off Sam Selman. Andrew Benintendi fouled off two pitches, then took four balls. Burch Smith came in and got ahead of Bogaerts 0-2, but X singled to right-center. Bases loaded.

Wandy Peralta was the next Giants pitcher and he struck out Devers. Giants (over)manager Bruce Bochy replaced Peralta with Kyle Barraclough (because why have all those pitchers put uniforms on if they aren't going to play?), and Centeno pinch-hit for G. Hernández. The first pitch was close, but a ball. The next two were in the dirt. After a gimme strike, ball four was wide. And the game was tied 6-6. On a 2-2 count, Holt swung at ball 3 and grounded harmlessly to third.

M-Yaz hit a ground-rule double to right to open the fourteenth against Brian Johnson. Brandon Belt flied to left and Even Longoria was walked intentionally. Vogt struck out and Trevor Kelley got Pillar on a ground ball to the mound. Sandy León singled with one out, but nothing happened.

Donovan Solano doubled to right in the fifteenth (also a ground-rule hit). Kelley wild-pitched him to third and he scored on Alex Dickerson's long fly to center. Dubon reached on Bogaerts's throwing error (Moreland could not scoop his low, half-assed throw) but M-Yaz popped out to third.

Dereck Rodríguez was in his second inning of work in the home half of the fifteenth. Benintendi grounded to third, but Bogaerts walked and Devers blooped a single to center. However, as mentioned, Centeno flied/popped to short center (ignore Gameday's misleading "lines out to...") and Holt smacked a 2-0 pitch right at Dubon.
Logan Webb / Nathan Eovaldi
Benintendi, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Martinez, DH
Holt, RF
Moreland, 1B
Vázquez, C
Bradley, CF
M. Hernández, 2B
Mookie Betts says an MRI shows inflammation in his left foot, but he hopes to play again this season. The Red Sox have 13 games remaining on the schedule.

The Giants' lineup features Mike Yastrzemski leading off and playing left field. Yastrzemski has started 40 games each in left and right (and one in center). Mike Yaz is 29, having been born one day after his grandfather Carl turned 51.

Dongtown: Six teams have set new single-season franchise home run records this year: Astros, Dodgers, Twins, Yankees, Padres, Cubs.

Michael Silverman (longtime Red Sox reporter for the Herald and the co-author of Pedro) is now at the Globe, where he will write about "the intersection of sports with business, politics, entertainment, technology and a few other spots".

1980: Umpire Bill Haller Tosses Orioles Manager Earl Weaver ("You Gonna Be In The Hall Of Fame For Fucking Up World Series?")

September 17, 1980. Memorial Stadium, Baltimore. Tigers batting in the top of the first. Rick Peters grounds out pitcher-to-first and Alan Trammell singles to right. With Al Cowens at the plate, first base umpire Bill Haller calls a balk on Orioles starter Mike Flanagan. Orioles manager Earl Weaver does not agree.

Weaver's tirade may or may not be legendary, but Haller wins the argument. (Here's a longer, clearer version, with Eddie Murray talking to Haller before Weaver arrives.)
Weaver: That's bullshit!

Haller: ... behind the rubber.

Weaver: Ah, bullshit!

Haller: Bullshit yourself.

Weaver: ... you're here - you're here, and this crew is here, just to fuck us.

Haller: BOOM! [Haller actually provides a sound effect when he tosses Weaver! Amazing!]

Weaver: Good. That's great!

Haller: Ahhh, you ... shit.

Weaver: And you stink. ... you couldn't wait to get me out of here.

Haller: Ah, Earl. You run yourself, Earl. You run yourself.

Weaver: Get your finger ...

Haller: You hit me?

Weaver: Yeah, cause you put your finger on me.

Haller: I'm glad you did. I'm glad you hit me.

Weaver: That's right. ... You're here for one goddamn specific reason.

Haller: What's that, Earl?

Weaver: To fuck us!

Haller: Ah, you're full of shit. Fuck you.

Weaver: ... this crew for years and goddamn years and years. And don't you ever put your finger on me again.

Haller: You hit me, Earl.

Weaver: You put your finger on me.

Haller: That's okay.

Weaver: You're goddamn right. If you touch me again ...

Haller: Ah, you ain't gonna knock nobody on their ass.

Weaver: You do it again, and I'll knock you right in your nose.

Haller: I didn't touch you.

Weaver: You pushed your finger ...

Haller: I did not! Now you're lying.

Weaver: ... goddamn ...

Haller: You're lying!

Weaver: No, you are.

Haller: You are lying.

Weaver: You're a big liar if you ...

Haller: You are a liar, Earl.

Weaver: You are!

Haller: A liar!

Weaver: You are!
Haller walks away. Weaver follows him.
Weaver: I'll tell you something. You're here for one reason, to fuck us good.

Haller: Wrong.

Weaver: That's the only reason.

Haller: You are wrong, Earl.

Weaver: And you'll have your chance tomorrow. You got it as quick as you could ...

Haller: Awwwww ... what's wrong with you?

Weaver: You ain't no good.

Haller: No, you aren't, either. You aren't, either.

Weaver: You ain't no good.

Haller: You're no fucking good, either.

Weaver: You stink. Your ass'll never have our games again.

Haller: I hope ... what do I care?

Weaver: Yeah!

Haller: What do I care?

Weaver: Yeah! What do ... what are you doing here now?

Haller: Well, why don't you call the league office and ask them?

Weaver: Yeah! I will!

Haller: Good.

Weaver: Don't think I won't.

Haller: Good.

Weaver: And the quicker you get ... don't walk away ...

Haller: And the quicker you get out, it'll be better, too.

Weaver: Yeah! Yeah!

Haller: That's right!

Weaver: You ain't going nowhere.

Haller: You aren't either.
Haller walks away again, and again Weaver follows.
Weaver: You watch, about five, ten fucking years from now, who's in the Hall of Fame.

Haller: Oh, you're gonna be in the Hall of Fame?

Weaver: You know it!

Haller: Why?

Weaver: You know it!

Haller: For fucking up World Series? You gonna be in the Hall of Fame for fucking up World Series?

Weaver: I've won more than I've lost, you know.

Haller: Oh, no, you haven't, Earl.

Weaver: Games*! Count games, fucker! ... You don't even know nothing about baseball!

Haller: You better get going, Earl.

Weaver: Oh, I better get going.

Haller: Better get going.

Weaver: What in the hell are you gonna do about it?
*: Weaver's teams lost three of the four World Series in which they played (including the season before this one), but were 15-13 in games. The Orioles lost in 1969 (1-4), won in 1970 (4-1), and lost in 1971 (3-4) and 1979 (3-4). Weaver's Orioles also lost in the ALCS in 1973 (2-3) and 1974 (1-3).

September 15, 2019

Linescore Fun: Cubs Score 47 Runs In Three-Game Sweep, D-Backs Win With One Baserunner, And The Seven Home Teams That Have Scored Five Runs In An Extra Inning

The Cubs scored 47 runs in a three-game sweep of the Pirates: 17-8, 14-1, 16-6. That set a modern-era franchise record for a three-game series. Back on July 23-25, 1894, the Colts (as they were then called) 48 runs against the Pirates (!): 6-14, 18-11, 24-6. (Yes, they lost the first game.)
Pirates - 400 030 010 -  8 13  0
Cubs    - 505 070 00x - 17 16  3
Pirates - 000 100 000 -  1  8  0
Cubs    - 041 233 10x - 14 14  0
Pirates - 005 100 000 -  6 14  1
Cubs    - 305 221 21x - 16 19  1
The Cubs scored in 13 of their final 15 innings of the series. (Also, the Pirates led in two of the three games, though, admittedly, not for very long in both cases.) The Cubs also set a new team record with 14 home runs in a three-game series (previous mark: 12, in 1998).

The 2019 Cubs became the fifth team since 1900 to score at least 14 runs in three consecutive games:

1901 Pirates
September 5 at Giants (G1): 15-1
September 5 at Giants (G2): 15-7
September 6 at Giants (G1): 15-2
These three games were in the middle of Pittsburgh's six-game sweep of the Giants (three doubleheaders in three days): 12-6, 10-3, 15-1, 15-7, 15-2, 13-4.

1928 Pirates
August 2 at Phillies: 18-4
August 3 at Phillies: 14-6
August 4 at Phillies (G1): 14-8
The Pirates also won Game 2 on August 4: 11-4.

1930 Cubs
June 1 vs Pirates: 16-4
June 3 at Boston: 15-2
June 4 at Boston: 18-10
Before the win on June 1, the Cubs had walked off in their last two games, beating the Cardinals 9-8 in 10 innings and then 6-5. After these three games, they beat Boston again, 10-7 on June 5 and then headed to Brooklyn, winning 13-0 on June 6.

1993 Tigers
August 10 vs Orioles: 15-1
August 11 vs Orioles: 15-5
August 12 vs Orioles: 17-11
In the first month of 1993, the Tigers scored 20 runs twice within four games (April 13 and 17) and scored 12+ runs in three straight games, beating the Twins 12-4, 17-1, and 16-5 (April 23-25).
On September 14, the Diamondbacks beat the Reds 1-0, despite putting only one man on base. Nick Ahmed led off the third with a triple (a chopper over the third baseman that rolled semi-slowly down the left field line) and scored on the next pitch, Jarrod Dyson's sac fly.

According to Elias Sports, it was the first time in the modern era (since 1900) that a team won in nine or more innings despite having only one baserunner. The Reds could not score despite three hits, two walks, and one Arizona error.
Reds         - 000 000 000 - 0  3  0
Diamondbacks - 001 000 00x - 1  1  1
Last week, when the Astros beat the Mariners 21-1 (Sunday the 8th) and Athletics 15-0 (Monday the 9th), it was the first time a major league team had won two consecutive games, each by 15+ runs, since June 17-18, 1953, when the Red Sox routed the Tigers 17-1 and 23-3.

In the later game, the Red Sox set a major league record by scoring 17 runs in one inning. Before these two games, the Red Sox had scored only five runs in their last four games, and had been shutout twice.
Tigers  - 000 000 001 -  1  5  2
Red Sox - 220 710 05x - 17 20  2
Tigers  - 000 201   0 00 -  3  7  5
Red Sox - 030 002 (17)1x - 23 27  0

B7: Red Sox ahead 5-3, Steve Gromek pitching:
Sammy White singles to center.
Gene Stephens singles to right, White to third.
Stephens steals second.
Tom Umphlett singles to left, White scores, Stephens scores (7-3).
Johnny Lipon strikes out.
George Kell doubles to left, Umphlett to third.
Billy Goodman walked intentionally.
Jim Piersall singles to center, Umphlett scores, Kell scores, Goodman to third (9-3).
Dick Gernert homers, Goodman scores, Piersall scores, Gernert scores (12-3).
Ellis Kinder singles to right.
White walks, Kinder to second.
Dick Weik replaces Gromek.
Wild pitch, Kinder to third, White to second.
Stephens doubles to center, Kinder scores, White scores (14-3).
Umphlett walks.
Lipon singles to left, Stephens scores, Umphlett to second (15-3).
Kell flies out to left.
Goodman singles to right-center, Umphlett scores, Lipon to second (16-3).
Earl Harrist replaces Weik.
Ted Lepcio pinch-runs for Goodman.
Al Zarilla pinch-hits for Piersall.

Zarilla walks, Lipon to third, Lepcio to second.
Gernert walks, Lipon scores, Lepcio to third, Zarilla to second (17-3).
Kinder singles to center, Lepcio scores, Zarilla scores, Gernert to third (19-3).
White singles to center, Gernert scores, Kinder to second (20-3).
Stephens singles to right, Kinder scores, White to third (21-3).
Umphlett singles to left, White scores, Stephens to second (22-3).
Lipon walks, Stephens to third, Umphlett to second.
Kell flies out to left.
17 runs, 14 hits, 6 walks, 3 runners left on base.
The Red Sox went 15-for-27 with runners in so-called "scoring position" in that game! Also, in the next inning, the first three Red Sox (Lepico, Zarilla, Gernert) singled. This game also featured a blown save by Boston reliever Ellis Kinder, who allowed the Tigers to tie the game 3-3 in the sixth. Kinder pitched the final four innings and got the 'win'.
Jere brought last night's Tigers/Orioles linescore to my attention: "The rarest of extra innings, that 4-run difference. But even rarer when it's 5-1, not 4-0. Can't remember the last time I saw that."
Orioles - 000 000 030 001 - 4 10  0
Tigers  - 001 010 001 005 - 8 13  1
After checking B-Ref's Play Index, I reported: "A home team has won in extra innings by four runs 87 times since 1908. I'll bet more a few are not simply a '4'."

I looked at those 87 linescores today. Three of the games were by a 4-0 score. Two went 10 innings and one went 12 innings (that was the Red Sox beating Cleveland on April 11, 1962; Yaz led off the B12 with a triple; after two intentional walks, Carroll Hardy belted a grand slam.)

Here are the seven extra-inning games that ended with a 1/5. There has never been an extra inning other than 0/4 or 1/5 (at least as far back as 1908 ... so who knows?).

July 28, 1951
Cleveland    - 000 000 110 000 001 1 - 4 11  0
Red Sox      - 200 000 000 000 001 5 - 8 16  2
June 2, 1952
White Sox    - 000 010 000 1 - 2  8  0
Red Sox      - 000 000 100 5 - 6  9  1
May 4, 1961
Dodgers      - 000 210 101 1 -  6  9  2
Milwaukee    - 010 000 121 5 - 10 13  2
June 15, 1985
Cleveland    - 100 001 000 000 1 - 3 10  2
Angels       - 000 001 001 000 5 - 7 13  2
April 18, 1987
Mets         - 013 100 002 1 -  8 11  1
Cardinals    - 000 501 001 5 - 12 14  0
May 9, 2000
Dodgers      - 302 010 000 001 -  7 15  0
Diamondbacks - 210 000 210 005 - 11 15  0
May 13, 2009
Tigers       - 000 212 400 000 1 - 10 14  1
Twins        - 201 103 020 000 5 - 14 17  0

G149: Red Sox 6, Phillies 3

Red Sox  - 104 001 000 - 6  6  0
Phillies - 010 011 000 - 3  7  1
Christian Vázquez hit two home runs, including the first grand slam of his career, and drove in five runs. It was also the catcher's first multi-home run game.

Rick Porcello (5-5-2-1-6, 76) showed a strong curveball, getting six swings and misses after having no more than one swinging strike in any of his last three starts.

Boston got on the board immediately as Andrew Benintendi began the game with a single off Jason Vargas (3-3-5-1-6, 71). Xander Bogaerts grounded back to the mound and Vargas's throwing error put Red Sox at second and third. Then Vargas hit Rafael Devers. Bases loaded, no one out. Scoring only one run was a squander of sorts, as J.D. Martinez hit a sacrifice fly and the next two batters were quietly retired.

After striking out the side in the second (and watching Rhys Hoskins tie the game with a solo dong off Porcello), Vargas faltered again in the third. Benintendi was hit by a pitch, Bogaerts singled to left, and Martinez walked with one out. Moreland struck out, but Vázquez sent a 2-1 knuckle curve just over the fence in left.

Bryce Harper and Phillies manager Gabe Kapler were both ejected by plate umpire Gabe Morales for pointing out Morales's incompetence in ringing up Harper on a 1-2 pitch well inside and out of the strike zone.

Vázquez homered to left in the sixth, his 21st of the season. SN had the chance to do more damage in the eighth when he batted with JDM on second and Moreland on first, but he lined out to left.

Rick Porcello / Jason Vargas
Benintendi, CF
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Martinez, RF
Moreland, 1B
Vázquez, C
Travis, LF
Owings, 2B
Porcello, P
Chris Owings, 2019:  .095/.174/.143, .317 OPS
R. Porcello, career: .186/.186/.233, .419 OPS