July 30, 2020

G7: Red Sox 4, Mets 2

Red Sox - 010 200 001 - 4  9  2
Mets    - 002 000 000 - 2  5  1
José Peraza had the At-Bat Of The Game on Thursday night — even though it was not an official at-bat. The Red Sox led 3-2 and had the bases loaded, with one out in the top of the ninth against Edwin Diaz, who already had thrown 25 pitches to the first four batters.

Diaz threw nine pitches to Alex Verdugo (walk), eight to Michael Chavis (single), four to Andrew Benintendi (walk), and four to pinch-hitter Rafael Devers (strikeout). Peraza ended up seeing 10 pitches, with only one of them clocked at under 97 mph.

Peraza (1-for-4 at that point) took an inside fastball (99) for strike one. Diaz threw two more fastballs (97, 100), both outside. His 2-1 pitch was up and in (98). Peraza backed away, but the ball hit both the bat and his right hand. It was ruled a foul ball as the Boston trainer came out to allow Peraza a couple of minutes to let the pain subside.

When play resumed, Diaz came down the middle with another fastball (99) and Peraza fouled it off. Peraza also fouled off a low fastball (99) and a high-outside fastball (99). Diaz's eighth pitch was yet another fastball (98), but it was low for ball 3. Peraza fought off another high, inside fastball (98). On pitch #10, Diaz changed speeds and threw a slider (90), but it was up and in, nowhere close to the zone. Peraza walked, forcing in Alex Verdugo (2-for-3, and a walk to start the inning) with the Red Sox's fourth run.

Brandon Workman got through the ninth with a minimum of fuss, allowing a one-out single before striking out the next two Mets. Boston is now 3-4, having moved tonight from fifth place to a tie for third. The Red Sox's next three games are against the Yankees (4-1) in the Bronx. The Rays (4-3, but with the division's best run differential) are in second place.

Christian Vázquez is showing that last season's power surge was not a fluke. (He hit 23 homers, far surpassing his previous season-high of five.) He already has four dongs this season, as he hit two off Steven Matz (5.1-8-3-2-3, 104) tonight, both to left field. Vázquez is the second Red Sox catcher to hit 4+ home runs in the first seven games of a season, joining Carlton Fisk, who hit five in 1973; after hitting two on Opening Day (against the MFY), Pudge did not connect again until G6 (once) and G7 (twice).

Martín Pérez (5.2-2-2-4-5, 88) turned in a much better start than his previous outing, though the third inning was not smooth. With a 1-0 lead, Pérez walked Wilson Ramos and hit Brandon Nimmo, never a good way to start an inning and certainly not the way to handle the bottom two batters in a lineup. Amed Rosario grounded to third. Peraza backed up and stepped on the bag for the force, but his throw to first was comically high, sailing far over everyone. So there was one out, but runners at first and third. Pérez missed inside four times to Pete Alonso, walking him and loading the bases. Jeff McNeill lined a 2-2 pitch to left, scoring two runs, and giving the Mets the lead. Pérez then gathered his wits, getting a fly to center and a strikeout.

Pérez needed 28 pitches in that inning, after throwing a combined 28 in the first two frames. He breezed through the next two innings, throwing seven and eight pitches, respectively, with 13 strikes in his 15 pitches. PC by inning: 14-14-28 7-8-17.

Immediately after the Mets took that 2-1 lead, Xander Bogaerts singled and Vazquez homered to left, the ball falling just out of JD Davis's leaping reach.

Matt Barnes nearly gave the game away in the eighth. He hit Alonso to start the inning and after a line out to left, Davis dropped a single into short center, with Alonso racing to third. Ryan Cordell ran for Davis. Barnes fell behind Michael Conforto 3-1, but got him to chase an outside curve and foul off a low curve. Barnes fanned him on a 96 mph fastball. Barnes worked Yoenis Céspedes low in the zone (or below the zone), falling behind 2-1 before getting to a full count (Cordell stole second on ball 3). Céspedes fouled off two more low pitches before watching a high fastball for ball 4. Andres Gimenez was an easier project for Barnes. Ball, called strike , ball, and (on his 37th pitch of the inning) a routine groundout to first. 3 LOB.
Martín Pérez / Steven Matz
Peraza, 3B
Pillar, CF
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Vázquez, CC
Verdugo, RF
Chavis, 1B
Benintendi, LF
Araúz, 2B

No comments: