September 16, 2020

G43-51: Red Sox Go 5-4 On Road Against Phillies, Rays, Marlins

Catching up:
September  8 - G43: Phillies 6, Red Sox 5 (7) (G1) 
September  8 - G44: Red Sox 5, Phillies 2 (7) (G2) 
September 10 - G45: Red Sox 4, Rays 3
September 11 - G46: Rays 11, Red Sox 1
September 12 - G47: Rays 5, Red Sox 4
September 13 - G48: Red Sox 6, Rays 3
September 15 - G49: Red Sox 2, Marlins 0
September 16 - G50: Marlins 8, Red Sox 4
September 17 - G51: Red Sox 5, Marlins 3
The Red Sox hit five home runs against the Blue Jays on Saturday, September 5, four homers against the Jays the next day, and (after a day off) four dongs against the Phillies in Game 1 on Tuesday, September 8.

It was only the second time in history the team hit at least four home runs in three consecutive games. In a three-game Fenway sweep of the MFY on June 17-18-19, 1977, the Red Sox went deep 16 (!) times (6, 5, 5), including four in the first inning of the first game against Catfish Hunter, who lasted 0.2 innings. (I remember that series fondly. In the middle game, on a hot Saturday afternoon, Reggie Jackson loafed after a single to right field by Jim Rice and was immediately pulled from the game by MFY manager Billy Martin. Reggie was dumbfounded when he saw Paul Blair come out to replace him. (Is there video of Reggie pointing to himself, as if to say "Who, me?") When Jackson got to the dugout, he and Martin nearly got into a fight (on national television).)

Bobby Dalbec is the fifth rookie in major league history to hit as many as six home runs in his first 10 games. The other four: Dino Restelli (6, 1949 Pirates), Trevor Story (7, 2016 Rockies), Kyle Lewis (6, 2019 Mariners), and Aristides Aquino (7, 2019 Reds).

Dalbec's home runs in five consecutive games tied the major league rookie record. It's the longest streak by a Red Sox rookie. Eight Boston rookies have homered in three straight games, with Trot Nixon being the most recent, in 1999.

Only five other Red Sox batters have homered in five straight games: Jimmie Foxx (1940), Ted Williams (1957), Dick Stuart (1963), George Scott (1977), and Jose Canseco (1995). 

Dalbec homered in both games of September 8's doubleheader in Philadelphia. The last Red Sox rookie to homer in both games of a DH was Reggie Smith (August 20, 1967); the last Red Sox rookie to do it on the road was Ted Williams (September 10, 1939). 

Dalbec also drove in at least a one run in six consecutive games (September 5-11), becoming the first Boston rookie to do so since Nomar Garciaparra (6 games, July 14-19, 1997). 

On Tuesday night, Tanner Houck (#89) made his major league debut (5-2-0-3-7, 86). The 24-year-old right-hander is the 13th Red Sox pitcher to throw at least five shutout innings in his debut.

Red Sox Pitchers With 7+ Strikeouts & 0 Runs Allowed In MLB Debut
Larry Pape         July 6, 1909 (G2)   vs Washington  9.0 IP,  7 SO
Dave Morehead April 13, 1963 at Washington 9.0 IP, 10 SO
Eduardo Rodriguez May 28, 2015 at Texas 7.2 IP, 7 SO
Tanner Houck September 15, 2020 at Miami 5.0 IP, 7 SO
Houck donated $100 for each of his seven strikeouts to his Pitch for Adoption campaign. Houck's family adopted his sister Reanna when he was a freshman in high school.

The Red Sox have used a major league-leading 15 starting pitchers this season. This is the seventh year in which the team has had at least 15 starters. The team record is 18 (1909 and 1952). Of course, a full schedule was played in both of those seasons.

September 11: Rays manager Kevin Cash had a starting lineup of nine left-handed batters against Boston's Andrew Triggs. It was the first time in major league history (since at least 1901) in which a team's lineup had nine lefties.

And: One of the more remarkable assists by a third baseman you'll ever see:

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