Stop me if you’ve heard this one: One bad inning costs us a game.
There was lots of stupid in the Red Sox half of the 4th:
After an out and a single, Brock Holt bounced one to Lourdes Gurriel, about 10 feet to the third base side of second. I thought Gurriel should have taken the ball to second himself and then thrown to first, with his momentum going towards first. Instead he flipped it to Devon Travis at second and Devon threw to first late. We thought we had the force for the second out.
But, Devon’s foot came off second before he caught the throw and, after replay review, all were safe.
There was a lot of complaining about the review, but it is the same call as if a throw to first pulls the first baseman off the bag. You want the out, stay on the bag.
Next batter, ‘swinging bunt’ in front of the plate. It looked like there was a moment pause between J.A. Happ and Russell Martin, Happ got to the ball too late, batter safe at first. That was Martin’s play, he wouldn’t have had to turn to make the throw, and he’s gotta know that he should be taking charge out there, Just bat baseball.
Next batter Gurriel makes a very nice force at third. A runs scores, but very nice (somewhat lucky) play.
Next batter, Jackie Bradley...Happ gets up 0-2 and then walks him on 6 pitches, loading the bases. I’d complain about Happ, but the inning wasn’t his fault.
Mookie Betts was back, he popped one up, down the first base line, Justin Smoak got there, got his glove to it, but it popped out of his glove. Tough over the shoulder catch, but we needed it. Betts would go on to homer, at the end of a 13 pitch at bat.
And that was the end of the night for Happ. None of the 5 runs that inning were earned, they charged Travis with an error for taking his foot off second. Before that inning Happ had been terrific. If he had any luck at all, the Red Sox wouldn’t have scored that inning.
Happ went 3.2, allowed 5 hits, 1 walk with 6 strikeouts. Because of that 4th inning he threw 98 pitches.
Joe Biagini came in and kept us in the game. He went 2.1 perfect innings, getting 2 strikeouts.
John Axford gave up a run in his inning.
Seunghwan Oh pitched a nice 8th.
Offensively? Well if we played decent defense, the offense we got would have been enough.
- 2 in the first inning: Lourdes doubled off the center field wall and Toescar Hernandez followed with a home run over that wall.
- 1 in the seventh: Kendrys Morales homered to center.
- 1 in the eighth: Randal Grichuk singled and Smoak hit one to near the top of the center field wall, a fan reached over and interfered with the ball (and almost tumbled over the wall). I thought we would get ripped off, but the umpires got it right and awarded Grichuk home plate.
We had 11 hits on the day. Travis went 4 for 4, but he’s going to be remembered for taking his foot off second instead of his day at the plate. Gurriel was 2 for 4 and looked very good at short.
Everyone else in the starting lineup had a hit, except for Martin (0 for 4, 2 strikeouts), Pillar (0 for 4, 1 k) and Aldemys Diaz (0 for 2, 2 k) before Yangervis Solarte pinch hit for him.
Jays of the Day: Teoscar (.213 WPA) and Travis had the number (.100) but I’m taking the JoD away from him for the error.
Suckage: Happ had the number (-.339) but that wasn’t all his fault. Martin (-.146), Pillar (-.106, but one great catch in center) and Solarte (-.097) all earned he honor.
Also of note:
- Happ hit Steve Pearce in the shin just above the ankle and he came out of the game the next inning.
- Justin Smoak came out of the game after his double in the 8th, with some sort of leg injury. Maybe a cramp, maybe a strain? I’m hoping nothing serious.
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