July 28, 2020

G5: Mets 8, Red Sox 3

Mets    - 030 020 030 - 8 10  0
Red Sox - 001 001 001 - 3 10  1
The Red Sox's dismal start to the abbreviated 2020 season continued on Tuesday, with an 8-3 loss to the Mets. It was Boston's fourth consecutive loss. As gamethreader mjg13x said: "It's going to be a long sprint."

How bad has this first week been? After Opening Day's 13-2 win (which has already become a hazy memory), Boston has lost 2-7, 4-7, 4-7, and 3-8. Only once before have the Red Sox begun a season by giving up 7+ runs in four of their first five games. That was in 1901, when those five games were the only five games the team had ever played. The 1901 Red Sox ended up allowing 7+ runs in six of their first seven games: 6-10, 6-12, 5-8, 8-6 (10), 1-14, 23-12, and 4-9.

The starting pitchers' stats in the four losses: 13.1 innings, 17 hits, 16 runs (15 earned), 8 walks, 6 strikeouts. 10.13 ERA. The Red Sox have been outscored 29-13.

New York posted a palindromic linescore, while the Red Sox repeated "001" three times. After Matt Hall (2.2-3-3-2-3, 51) breezed through a six-pitch first, the Metropolitans made him throw 35 pitches in the second. J.D. Davis singled, Yoenis Céspedes was hit by a pitch, Robinson Canó doubled in one run and after a walk, Amed Rosario singled home two more. Hall was lifted after a walk in the third. He was replaced by Austin Brice, who gave up a two-run homer to Davis in the fifth.

Ryan Brasier surrendered three runs in the eighth, needing half the batters (7) and one-third of the pitches (17) as Hall needed earlier. Canó singled and scored on Brandon Nimmo's double. Pete Alonso walked with two outs and Jeff McNeill cracked a two-run double off the wall in left-center.

The Red Sox's poor performance was telegraphed from the start. José Peraza smacked David Peterson's second major league pitch off the wall in left. For reasns that may never be adequately explained, Peraza tried for second base. Canó took the throw from left and read nearly half of Roberto Bolaño's posthumous novel 2666 before putting the tag on Peraza.

In the third, Peterson (5.2-7-2-2-3, 78) lost his command, giving up a double to Kevin Plawecki on a 4-0 pitch (plate umpire James Hoye blew the ball 4 call) and walking Andrew Benintendi on five pitches. Peraza slammed the ball to deep right-center, where it glanced off the tip of Nimmo's glove. The runners played it safe and Boston had the bases loaded and no one out.

J.D. Martinez struck out. Rafael Devers lined out to Canó, who made the catch at his shoetops. The nearby ump signaled a catch. Plawecki had broken for home when the ball was hit. Canó was standing by the bag with the ball when Benintendi wandered off and started for third. He stayed in a rundown for a little bit, but was easily tagged out.

I refused to unmute NESN (assuming they were butchering an interpretation of the rules anyway*), so it took a while before I learned that even though the umpire had signaled a catch, Devers's line drive had hit the ground (that was what replays showed as well). And that ended up being the official call (without a challenge). Therefore, Canó forced Peraza at second, so Benintendi had to run, but he also needed to be tagged. Which he was (4-6-5-4). Devers did not get an RBI.

(*: I was right. A tweet to Alex Speier shortly after the play: "Can you explain basic baseball rules to @eck43. He keeps saying Benny wandered off the bag but he had to go as bases were loaded and it wasn't a catch.")

Double from Devers and Kevin Pillar resulted in a fifth-inning run and Pillar doubled and scored on a groundout in the ninth.

NESN's poll question was whether you liked the new 3-batter rule for relief pitchers. Only 39% said Yes. ... If NESN hasn't done a poll on the extra-inning runner, I'd be very interested in seeing one soon (before everyone stops watching these games).
David Peterson / Matt Hall
Peraza, 2B
Martinez, DH
Devers, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Pillar, RF
Chavis, 1B
Bradley, CF
Plawecki, C
Benintendi, LF
Andrew Benintendi is hitting ninth for the first time since 2016. ... Michael Chavis is 0-for-his-last-21, going back to August 6, 2019. ... After scoring 13 runs on Opening Day, the Red Sox have scored 10 runs in the three games since.

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