June 13, 2017

G64: Red Sox 4, Phillies 3 (12)

Phillies - 002 001 000 000 - 3 12  0
Red Sox  - 111 000 000 001 - 4 14  0
Andrew Benintendi's single to right field scored Xander Bogaerts from third base as the Red Sox celebrated their second walkoff win in two nights. Benintendi also threw a runner out at the plate in the top of the eighth.

Luis Garcia was Philadelphia's fourth pitcher of the night and he retired Dustin Pedroia on a grounder to first. NESN (being NESN) stayed with the center field camera, so all viewers actually saw was Garcia standing near the mound watching the play develop off-screen. Bogaerts believed he had walked on four pitches, but home plate umpire Stu Schuerwater called pitch #4 (which was in the exact same place as pitch #1, a ball), a strike. Garcia was wide with his next offering and Bogaerts took first. Mitch Moreland singled off the wall (but NESN just about missed him hitting the ball because it was busy showing a replay of his third-inning home run). Thankfully, NESN allowed everyone to see Benintendi's drive to deep right. The ball bounced off the warning track into the stands; by then, Bogaerts had crossed the plate with the game-winning run. Benintendi stopped running after passing first base, so he was credited with only a single.

The night began with David Price (6-4-3-4-6, 103) retiring the Phillies in order on only six pitches. The Red Sox took an early lead as they loaded the bases with one out in the first (Pedroia singled, Bogaerts doubled, Moreland was hit by a pitch) and Blake Lively (7-8-3-2-2, 108) walked Benintendi to force in a run. Hanley Ramirez ended the inning with a double play. (NESN got confused on this play also, and we saw the extremely close play at first base only on a replay.)

Price had a much different second inning, throwing 32 pitches and walking two batters, but leaving the bases loaded. His teammates added a run on doubles by Jackie Bradley and Christian Vazquez. The Phillies tied the game on a two-run blast by Aaron Altherr. Moreland gave the Red Sox a 3-2 lead with a 449-foot dong to center.

After the third, Boston did not do much at the plate until extras. Bogaerts hit his second double in the fifth, but was thrown out by the pitcher when he tried to steal third. It was Boston's 30th out on the bases this season, which is the most of any team.

The Phillies tied the game in the sixth. Tommy Joseph doubled to right, went to third on a single by Maikel Franco, and scored on a fielder's choice when Michael Saunders beat the relay from second base, avoiding a double play.

Howie Kendrick singled to begin the eighth, off Blaine Boyer. With one out, Franco hit a high fly to left that struck the very top of the wall. Benintendi was too close to the wall and he chased the carom in the direction of the infield. Kendrick raced around third and Benintendi made what looked like a soft lob to the infield, but his throw sailed to Vazquez on the fly and Kendrick was tagged out. (Why the Phillies did not ask for a review of Franco's hit is a mystery.) Saunders was given an intentional walk and Cameron Rupp reached on a hit that caromed off Boyer to Bogaerts in short center. He could not get a force at second, so the bases were loaded. Boyer then struck out Freddy Galvis on a high 95-mph fastball.

Both teams threatened to score in the tenth. Kendrick began the top half with a grounder to the right of Moreland at first. He ranged far towards second, turned and fired the ball to Heath Hembree, who stutter-stepped and dragged his foot across the bag for the out. Joseph and Franco both singled, putting runners at first and third. Hembree fell behind Saunders 3-1, but struck him out with his next two pitches. Hembree was ahead of Rupp 0-2 and put him away with a low pitch over the plate - BUT Schuerwater called it a ball. That blown call did not cost the Red Sox because Rupp hit a fly down the right field line and Mookie Betts raced over and caught the ball just before banging into the low, padded wall.

With one out in the bottom half, Pedroia and Bogaerts singled. Moreland struck out on a pitch that actually bounced in front of home plate. Benintendi chopped a ball to third. Franco ran in and gloved it, but decided not to risk a throw to first. Pedroia rounded third, fully expecting a throw to first, and when he tried to stop, he fell down. Franco likely heard Galvis, the shortstop, yelling behind him because he whirled and threw the ball to Galvis, who tagged Pedroia while he was still on the ground in foul territory.

Fernando Abad set down the first two Phillies in the eleventh, but he walked Daniel Nava (after Nava would not bite on a high 61-mph changeup). Altherr singled to right and Betts's throw to third was late. Facing Kendrick, Abad nearly threw a wild pitch (which would have scored a run) before Kendrick chopped the ball up the middle. Abad wisely stepped aside, and Bogaerts grabbed the grounder and stepped on second to end the threat.

Hanley Ramirez was hit by Garcia's first pitch in the home half of the eleventh. Bradley singled him to second. Deven Marrero bunted the ball back to the mound and Garcia forced Ramirez at third. Then Garcia got out of trouble as Vazquez popped to second and Betts popped to short.

Abad allowed a leadoff single in the twelfth to Ty Kelly. Franco put on a 12-pitch battle, fouling off seven straight pitches before grounding into a double play. Pedroia made a slide/dive to his right and shovelled the ball out of his glove to Bogaerts who completed the play. Abad then got Saunders on a first-pitch grounder to short.

And the Red Sox won the game a few minutes later. The bullpen threw six shutout innings, although they did allow eight hits and two walks. That's 11 shutout innings in the last two games. For what it's worth, the Boston bullpen has been charged with only five losses this year, tied for the second-fewest in the American League.

I meant to ask last night why Odubel Herrera* is leading off for the Phillies. He started the series with a poor on-base percentage of .295. I thought that perhaps he was super-fast, which is not such a great reason to bat him #1, but, hey, it's the Phillies. Nope. Herrera has stolen four bases in eight attempts, which is bad enough that he really should stop trying.

*: I swear I heard Joe Castiglione refer to Herrera as "Asdrubal Cabrera" during one of his at-bats tonight.

NESN's Worthless Column Of Graphics: I counted 16 appearances tonight, 12 of which were in the first five innings. The last one, when Pedroia was batting in the bottom of the tenth, highlighted the three "next up" hitters (including Pedroia, who was already batting) and their career batting averages in extra innings. So someone at NESN believed that those numbers - achieved against different pitchers, against different teams, in different parks, in different seasons, and at different times of the day/night - were relevant. (In Pedroia's case, it included games from as long ago as September 2006, nearly 11 years ago. Memo to NESN: Those statistics are totally irrelevant.)
Ben Lively / David Price
Betts, RF
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Benintendi, LF
Ramirez, DH
Bradley, CF
Rutledge, 3B
Vazquez, C
Price makes his 2017 Fenway Park debut tonight. He is trying to bounce back from a bad outing against the Yankees last Thursday (six runs in five innings).

Lively, a 25-year-old right-hander, has made two major league starts, both earlier this month. He has allowed four runs in 14 innings.


allan said...

Alex Speier: "Since the start of 2016, [Mookie Betts] has seven games with at least three extra-base hits. No one else in the majors has more than four such performances in that time."

Speier: "In his last 13 outings, Barnes has been a force at the back end of the bullpen, with a 1.93 ERA, 22 strikeouts, and no walks in 14 innings."

There is still something about him I don't like ...

allan said...

... their career batting averages in extra innings. ... Those statistics are totally irrelevant.

Similarly, how often do we hear about Player's X batting average in the 4th inning? Not very often, if at all. Because just about everyone knows that it is silly and not worth even looking up, let alone sharing. Same thing for why we don't know (or care) what Mookie Betts is hitting on Tuesdays this year.

(By the way, Andrew Benintendi is batting .172 in the 6th inning this year and .393 in the 8th inning. Make of that what you will.)