May 23, 2015

G43: Red Sox 8, Angels 3

Angels  - 200 000 010 - 3  6  1
Red Sox - 011 002 22x - 8 12  0
In play, run(s)!

The Red Sox scored eight runs on Saturday night - more runs than they had scored in a game in nearly one month (April 28). It was their largest margin of victory since a 7-1 win over Baltimore on April 20.

Mike Napoli hit two home runs, Brock Holt and Blake Swihart each scored twice, and Mookie Betts (who did not start) drove in two runs, as eight of the nine starters got at least one hit. David Ortiz was the outsider, going 0-for-4, after reaching base in all of the previous 19 home games this year. Steven Wright (6.1-4-2-1-2, 75) pitched extremely well and the bullpen took care of business the rest of the way with little drama.

The start of the game gave little indication of how it would end. By the time Wright had thrown 10 pitches, the Angels had three hits and two runs. Erick Aybar began the game with a single to right and after Mike Trout flied to right, Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun stroked back-to-back doubles.

Wright promptly settled down, though, retiring the next 10 batters and 18 of the next 19. After issuing his first walk of the game with one out in the seventh, he was lifted, having thrown only 75 pitches. It was a curious decision, as Wright had thrown 110 pitches in relief on May 12 and 83 pitches in his previous start. (Perhaps John Farrell was concerned about the 12 flyball outs the knuckle-balling Wright had recorded.)

Napoli nailed a solo home run in the second - nearing hitting a target drawn on a fan's sign in the second row of the Monster Seats - to halve LA's lead and Boston tied the game in the third. Holt walked and took second on a wild pitch. Dustin Pedroia singled to right and Betts (pinch-hitting for Shane Victorino, who left the game with left calf tightness) singled to left. Hanley Ramirez reached on an infield single, as the Angels nearly nipped Betts at second, loading the bases. Ortiz grounded into a 3-6-1 double play.

Ramirez walked to open the sixth. With two outs, Napoli launched a bomb to left-center that sailed out of the park and gave Boston a 4-2 lead. Napoli's batting average is now up to a season-best .193.

The Angels used four pitchers in the seventh and Boston scored twice, Xander Bogaerts driving in both runs with a bases-loaded single. In the eighth, Holt singled with one out and took off on the 0-1 pitch to Swihart. The Boston catcher tapped a slow grounder into right field. As Calhoun ran in and fielded the ball, Holt was at third - and had not slowed down. He scored easily as Calhoun, startled to see him on his way to the plate, made a late throw. Betts knocked in Swihart with the Sox's final run.

The Red Sox came into the game hitting .203 with RATS/RISP. They went 6-for-12 in those situations tonight. ... They also gained a game in the standings and are now 3.5 GB the Rays. ... Adding to the day's fun: the Yankees gave up 10 runs in the third inning and lost to Texas 15-4. New York has lost nine of its last 10 games.
Example
C.J. Wilson / Steven Wright
Pedroia, 2B
Victorino, RF
Ramirez, LF
Ortiz, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Napoli, 1B
Castillo, CF
Holt, 3B
Swihart, C
Dustin Pedroia: "Everybody's pissed."

May 22, 2015

Robots, Please!

G42: Angels 12, Red Sox 5

Angels  - 000 290 010 - 12 12  2
Red Sox - 010 200 200 -  5 11  3

Example
Garrett Richards / Rick Porcello
Betts, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Napoli, 1B
Holt, 3B
Castillo, RF
Swihart, C
Rusney Castillo has been promoted from Pawtucket, with Jackie Bradley being sent down.

The AL East, with games behind and run differentials:
      W   L    GB  DIFF
TBR  23  19   ---   +21
NYY  22  19   0.5   +12
BAL  18  20   3.0   + 5
BOS  19  22   3.5   -35
TOR  19  24   4.5   +16
Boston's expected record based on that negative differential is 16-25.


Andrew McCutchen's Pay Stub

A friend sent this to me at work. I see that it's being discussed at Deadspin.

In May, Crooked Numbers Are Very Rare

How pathetic has the Red Sox's offense been in the month of May?

In 19 games this month, the team is batting .218/.286/.351.

They have scored 17 runs in their last nine games (an average of 1.89 runs/game). By some miracle, they have actually won four of those games.

How about this? In 171 innings, they have scored more than 1 run only seven times.

They have scored more than 2 runs in an innings only twice.
0501 - 001 100 000    - 2
0502 - 000 100 100    - 2
0503 - 000 005 000    - 5
0504 - 010 000 000    - 1
0505 - 000 001 01x    - 2
0506 - 002 000 010    - 3
0508 - 000 000 000    - 0
0509 - 000 010 000    - 1
0510 - 400 020 000    - 6
0511 - 000 110 200 01 - 5
0512 - 000 001 100    - 2
0513 - 010 000 010    - 2
0514 - 000 100 001    - 2
0515 - 001 000 000    - 1
0516 - 011 002 000    - 4
0517 - 000 000 000    - 0
0519 - 100 120 00x    - 4
0520 - 000 010 000    - 1
0521 - 000 100 000    - 1
Overall, the Red Sox are batting .234 with men on base, which is actually better than their .232 mark with the bases empty.

With runners on second and/or third, the team's average drops to .199.

May 21, 2015

G41: Rangers 3, Red Sox 1

Rangers - 200 100 000 - 3  7  0
Red Sox - 000 100 000 - 1  6  2
It was around the end of seventh inning when Maxwell Horse posted to the game thread: "It's absolutely insane that a two run deficit feels insurmountable."

I whole-heartedly agree, and yet ... the Red Sox have scored only 17 runs in their last nine games. When a team averages 1.89 runs per nine innings, a two-run lead is insurmountable.

It turned out that Texas scored all the runs it would need against Clay Buchholz (7.1-5-3-2-4, 106) in the first inning. Shin-Soo Choo lined a single to right and Delino DeShields bunted his way aboard. Both runners advanced on Prince Fielder's fly to deep right and Adrian Beltre walked, loading the bases. Mitch Moreland grounded to Dustin Pedroia, whose throw to Xander Bogaerts at second base was off-target. Bogaerts stretched and kept his foot on the bag to record the out, but dropped the ball - and two runs scored.

Moreland (3-for-4) homered in the fourth, giving the Rangers a 3-0 lead. The Red Sox came back quickly with one run in their half of the inning. Mookie Betts beat out an infield single and raced to third on Pedroia's double to left. David Ortiz swung at the first pitch and grounded out, but Betts scored. Pedroia then took off when Hanley Ramirez squibbed the ball in front of the plate - and was easily tagged out 1-2.

From there, whenever Boston got a man on base, they were unable to do anything further.

5th: Bogaerts walked with one out. Daniel Nava then singled to right-center, but the ball hit Bogaerts's foot on its way through the infield - and he was called out. Sandy Leon fanned, ending the inning.

6th: Betts, Pedroia, and Ortiz all grounded out to shortstop Elvis Andrus.

7th: Brock Holt worked a 10-pitch walk with two outs. Keone Kela then relieved Wandy Rodriguez (6.2-4-1-2-5, 112). Bogaerts lined a hard single to right. Nava - batting .175 and slugging .211 - struck out on three pitches.

8th: Pablo Sandoval pinch-hit for Leon and despite being the team's best hitter against RHP (.365), he struck out. Betts flied to right and Pedroia was called out on strikes.

9th: Facing Shawn Tolleson, Ortiz doubled to left-center. It was a great beginning, but the game ended with him still standing on second. Ramirez popped to short center. Napoli struck out, chasing a slider low and away. Holt also chased two pitches out of the strike zone, missing them both. After two balls, he was called out on a pitch on the outside black.
Example
Wandy Rodriguez / Clay Buchholz
Betts, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, LF
Napoli, 1B
Victorino, RF
Holt, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Leon, C
Runs scored by the Red Sox in their last eight games: 2, 2, 2, 1, 4, 0, 4, 1.

Nevertheless, Alex Speier offers some silver linings about the team's frustrating lack of production.

Also: Marvin Hudson is a colossal asshole.

May 20, 2015

G40: Rangers 2, Red Sox 1

Rangers - 011 000 000 - 2  8  1
Red Sox - 000 010 000 - 1  9  1
Another frustrating game in which the Red Sox fail to hit with men on base.

In the sixth, trailing by one run, Boston loaded the bases with one out. But Brock Holt struck out and Xander Bogaerts, who hit a tremendous home run in the fifth, lined to center.

In the seventh, Mookie Betts was on second with one out. But Dustin Pedroia flied to short right and after David Ortiz was walked intentionally, Hanley Ramirez lined to second.

In the eighth, with a man on first and one out, Holt grounded into a fielder's choice and Bogaerts struck out.

In the ninth, Betts hustled his way to a one-out double. It was a repeat of the seventh. Pedroia lined to left and after an intentional walk to Ortiz, Ramirez grounded to second.

The Red Sox were 1-for-8 with RATS and left 12 men on base (eight left on in the final four innings).
Example
Phil Klein / Joe Kelly
Betts, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, LF
Napoli, 1B
Nava, RF
Holt, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Swihart, C

May 19, 2015

G39: Red Sox 4, Rangers 3

Rangers - 000 002 001 - 3  9  0
Red Sox - 100 120 00x - 4 13  1
Wade Miley (7-7-2-1-7, 105) tossed seven solid innings and David Ortiz and Mike Napoli each homered and drove in two runs.

The Red Sox hit Gallardo (5-10-4-0-2, 102) hard right away. With one out, Dustin Pedroia doubled off the base of the Wall; after four pitches away resulted in a 2-2 count, Gallardo mistakenly came inside on FY and he nailed the first of two doubles. Ortiz followed with a hard grounder into right for an RBI single. Hanley Ramirez (3-for-5) and Pablo Sandoval each singled and Boston had the bases loaded with one out. Unfortunately, Napoli struck out and Daniel Nava grounded out to short.

Boston increased their lead in the middle inning. Napoli began the fourth with a line drive home run to left. Ortiz cracked a one-out dong to right-center in the sixth before Ramirez doubled and scored on Napoli's single. The Red Sox led 4-0.

Although Miley dealt with runners in five of his seven innings - Texas got a man to second in each of the first four innings - his only real trouble came in the sixth, when Kyle Blanks doubled with one out and scored on Thomas Field's two-out single. Hanley Ramirez fielded the ball in left and seemed surprised to see Blanks rounding third; his throw to the plate was, therefore, too late. Robinson Chirinos then lifted a fly ball out near the short wall in the right field corner. Nava couldn't catch it and Chirinos legged out a run-scoring triple.

The Red Sox tried grabbing some insurance in the seventh and eighth, but did nothing more than leave five men on base. In the seventh, facing lefty Sam Freeman, Ramirez doubled and Sandoval was drilled in the left knee with a pitch (he had to leave the game). Shane Victorino walked against Neftali Feliz to load the bases, but Bogaerts grounded back to the mound. In the eighth, Pedroia doubled high off the Wall and Ortiz was intentionally walked, but Ramirez hit into an inning-ending fielder's choice.

Leonys Martin, pinch-hitting in the top of the ninth, homered off Koji Uehara to cut the lead to 4-3. After Koji got the next two hitters, Shin-Soo Choo reached on an infield single. Elvis Andrus flied to right and the win was secured.

In Washington, Andrew Miller gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Zimmerman in the bottom of the tenth, so the Red Sox gained a game on the Yankees (losers of six of their last seven games and now tied with the Rays for first place). Boston is now 2.5 GB, in third.
Example
Yovani Gallardo / Wade Miller
Betts, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Ramirez, LF
Sandoval, 3B
Napoli, 1B
Nava, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Swihart, C
Nineteen-year-old Yoan Moncada made his professional debut last night, playing for the Greenville Drive. He went 0-for-3: grounding out twice, reaching on an error, walking, and scoring two runs.

May 17, 2015

G38: Mariners 5, Red Sox 0

Red Sox  - 000 000 000 - 0  5  0
Mariners - 020 010 02x - 5  8  0

Looking through the play-by-play for the Red Sox's baserunners,
1st: Dustin Pedroia walks with two outs, but Hanley Ramirez grounds to third.

3rd: Blake Swihart and Shane Victorino both single, but Pedroia strands them on first and third.

5th: Brock Holt singles with one down, but Swihart grounds into a double play.

6th: Victorino walks with one out, and Pedroia and Ramirez come up empty.

7th: With two outs, Xander Bogaerts singles and goes to third on Holt's double. Swihart grounds out to shortstop.
Boston went down in order in the eighth and ninth innings.

The Red Sox (18-20, 3.5 GB) are off tomorrow before beginning a six-game homestand on Tuesday (three games against both the Rangers and Angels).
Example
Steven Wright / James Paxton
Betts, CF
Victorino, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Ramirez, DH
Napoli, 1B
Sandoval, 3B
Bogaerts, SS
Holt, LF
Swihart, C