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!).


allan said...

And now I will go back to never mentioning pitcher wins/losses on the blog.

allan said...

You likely don't need me to tell you that no one won the W-L contest this year. The lowest guess was 92 wins, which was considerably higher than the Red Sox's actual number of victories (84).

Jim said...

Thanks for keeping the lights on this season, allan. As always, thoughtful and entertaining insight. I'm not one to lose sleep over what the Sox may or may not do during the off-season--I simply watch and listen, but this one seems to have a certain feel. The lizard part of my brain is telling me that John Henry may be selling, but I don't trust it much anymore. Anyway, thanks again, and I'll keep clicking by.

Nick Sincere said...

Well, at least next year we won't have a World Series hangover to contend with. 😏

wallythe24 said...

Thanks once again for a season of keeping me both informed and amused.
I shall probably be spending winter devouring Colson Whitehead and reading tested research.

All The Best


allan said...

I simply watch and listen

Me, too, for the most part. The Obsession Years feel like a long time ago.

I shall probably be spending winter devouring Colson Whitehead ...

A very worthy endeavour. You going in chronological order? (Be sure to let Laura know what you think. I'm curious, too - though I've read only The Intuitionist, Apex Hides the Hurt, Zone One, and half of John Henry Days for the novels - have not cracked the recent two - and The Colossus of New York.)

Thanks to everyone for bothering to check in and sticking around. People will apparently still read a blog even when the writer doesn't really watch much of the games (as was the case for the final two months).

wallythe24 said...

Allan ,

Normally when I find a new author it's chronological. As his books aren't difficult to find it's not a problem. I'll let you know what I think.



Straddling the Border said...

Thanks Allan, for the great baseball insights and entertainment all summer long.

Paul Hickman said...


As always Many Thanks & you still have the Passion so don't say otherwise !!!!!

Be GLAD you lived those obsession years, I know I am

I know exactly what you mean & feel somewhat the same

Once upon a time I had half a dozen serious obsessions & now they have dwindled with age & a change in perspective & winning !!!!! As you & many said somewhere back in October 2004. the Sox were now Winners & that changed everything & it did & it had to & you couldn't stop it - not that you wanted to !

In many ways I reflect back on it as like an eternal youth ..... for a while. A few years where anything & everything seemed possible & I certainly hadn't had that feeling since I was a teenager in the early 1980s

Passion & Joy can be cruel mistresses, in the end, maybe you lose something with the former & gain something with the latter ? I always felt it was something of a Don Quixote tradeoff, years of passion gave heartbreak & pain & all sorts ...... But the moments of joy are like a constant replay of wonder in your head .... And maybe, if you are lucky gave you it all back & more ?

So in short, I think of it as being thankful for "living" Sox History when we did - just imagine what it would be like to have died in 2003 !!!!! Or to have been born in 2003 & not know any different than the Red Sox are winners

The "winners" in life are not those with the most money or anything else ..... but those with the best memories - the only things you can truly call your own & hopefully they will last as long as you ...... Maybe ?

Cheers Paul

P.S. now let's hope Minn or Hous ? can beat the MFY & I fancy the Dodgers to win
the Trophy of Sticks ..... Maybe ?

betterthanthealternative said...

Allan, thanks again as usual. A bright spot anytime you do some commentary or research.
I went to the Nats game last night (live in DC) and am reminded of the unique joy of sports fans when a team that habitually loses and/or underperforms in big moments, wins one, and dramatically. The stadium was nuts.