Sunday, August 10, 2014

Game of the Day (8/9/14)

Angels 5, Red Sox 4 (19). Yeah, if there's a (19) next to the score, it's a pretty good bet you've found the day's best game. This one started with LA's Garrett Richards, whose ERA has improved every year of his career and is down to 2.54 this year, facing Boston's Clay Buchholz, whose ERAs over the last five seasons have started with each number from 1 to 5. Sadly for him, the 5 is this year, and it's 5.99.

Richards was perfect in the first, and the Angels jumped ahead in the bottom of the inning. Kole Calhoun led off with a double, Mike Trout reached on an infield single (with Calhoun staying at second), and Albert Pujols doubled them both home. Neither Richards nor Buchholz allowed a baserunner in the second or third, and both allowed only two-out walks in the fourth (to David Ortiz and Howie Kendrick, respectively). Mike Napoli drew a leadoff walk in the fifth and was removed on a double play, and the same thing happened to Hank Conger in the bottom of the inning. Richards worked a 1-2-3 sixth, and Trout led off the bottom of the inning with a single before being stranded.

Richards entered the seventh without having allowed a hit. That changed immediately, as Dustin Pedroia led off with a single. Ortiz then doubled Pedroia home for Boston's first run of the day, and Yoenis Cespedes singled Ortiz to third. Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava reached on consecutive errors (by Erick Aybar and Kendrick, respectively), bringing in the tying run and loading the bases, and Xander Bogaerts flied out to score Cespedes and put Boston in front. Richards, having held the Sox hitless through six, was pulled with one out in the seventh after giving up three runs to blow the lead.

Kevin Jepsen ended the seventh without further damage, and Buchholz worked around a Kendrick single in the bottom of the inning. Joe Smith retired the Sox in order in the eighth, while Buchholz allowed only one hit in the bottom of the inning - but the hit was a game-tying homer by Trout. Huston Street walked Napoli in the top of the ninth, but he was doubled off on a Jackie Bradley lineout; Edward Mujica then worked around a two-out David Freese single to send the game to extras.

Fernando Salas was perfect in the top of the tenth. Burke Badenhop allowed a Collin Cowgill single, a sac bunt, and an intentional walk to Trout. Pujols grounded out to advance the runners, and Craig Breslow relieved and retired Josh Hamilton to end the inning. Salas was perfect again in the eleventh, and Breslow allowed only a Kendrick single in the bottom of the inning. Cam Bedrosian relieved in the top of the twelfth and set the Sox down 1-2-3, and Koji Uehara matched the effort in the bottom of the inning. Will Middlebrooks singled in the top of the thirteenth, but was doubled up on a pop to first. Aybar tripled against Tommy Layne with two out in the bottom of the inning, but CJ Cron grounded out to leave him at third.

Cory Rasmus relieved in the top of the fourteenth, and Dustin Pedroia produced a one-man run, reaching on a one-out single, stealing second and third, and coming home on an Ortiz sac fly. Junichi Tazawa took the mound in the bottom of the inning and immediately allowed a Chris Iannetta double. Efren Navarro walked, Calhoun singled to load the bases, and Trout hit into a force at second, bringing in the tying run. The winning run was now at third, but Pujols grounded out and Hamilton struck out to leave it there.

Rasmus worked around a Bogaerts walk in the fifteenth, while Heath Hembree gave up a leadoff hit to Aybar and left him on. Jason Grilli yielded a Brock Holt single and nothing else in the sixteenth, and Hembree allowed nothing at all. Matt Shoemaker retired the Sox in order in the seventeenth, and the Angels threatened Hembree in the bottom of the inning; Hamilton doubled with one out, Aybar was intentionally walked, the runners moved up on a wild pitch, and Kendrick was intentionally walked to load the bases. Cron and Iannetta then went down to leave all three runners on.

Shoemaker and Hembree were both spotless in the eighteenth, and Shoemaker kept the bases clear in the nineteenth as well. In the bottom of the inning, Brandon Workman replaced Hembree, and Pujols hit his sixth pitch over the right-center field fence for a walkoff homer.

This was quite a game. For starters, it was the longest of the year so far; that's pretty much never a bad thing. Throw in a game-tying homer in the eighth and a rally in the bottom of the fourteenth to tie, and you've got the makings of one of the best games of the year - #2 so far, finishing just behind the Cubs-Pirates contest from the second full day of the season.

And the Angels came out on top for exactly one reason: They have Albert Pujols and Mike Trout. The future Hall of Famer and the extremely likely future Hall of Famer combined for all five of the team's RBI in the extremely lengthy game. Throw in 12.2 innings of 3-hit, 2-walk, 13-strikeout relief, and you've got a solid recipe for an extended extra-inning victory.

No comments:

Post a Comment