Saturday, September 6, 2014

Game of the Day (9/5/14)

Red Sox 9, Blue Jays 8 (10). Drew Hutchison, a 23-year-old who's lasted all of 2014 in the Toronto rotation without embarrassing himself, faced Allen Webster, who's a year older and has been considerably worse than Hutchison in just over a quarter as many appearances.

The Jays seized the initial lead in the top of the first. Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista both singled with one out, then advanced on a passed ball. Adam Lind proceeded to drive them both in with a two-out single. Boston responded in the bottom of the inning when Brock Holt singled, stole second, and scored on Yoenis Cespedes's single. Webster countered a Danny Valencia single with a double play in the second, and the Sox tied it in the bottom of the inning by way of a Mookie Betts walk, a Xander Bogaerts single that moved Betts to third, and a Christian Vazquez sacrifice fly.

Cabrera drew a walk in the top of the third, but Vazquez picked him off to end the inning, and Boston pulled ahead in the bottom half when Dustin Pedroia singled, Cespedes doubled him to third, and Mike Napoli brought him home with an RBI groundout. Dioner Navarro drew a fourth-inning walk, and David Ortiz took a free pass in the bottom of the fifth, but nobody else on either team reached in those two innings, keeping the home team's lead intact.

Anthony Gose hit for Cabrera to lead off the sixth; as it turned out, Cabrera was removed from the game with a season-ending broken finger. Gose made up for his absence, opening the inning with a single, and Bautista followed with a go-ahead two-run homer. Webster was pulled one out later, and Drake Britton finished the inning quietly. Hutchison allowed a leadoff double to Napoli in the bottom of the sixth, but the three ensuing groundouts only moved the tying run as far as third. Burke Badenhop threw a perfect seventh, while Brandon Morrow and Daniel Norris combined to work around a leadoff single by Vazquez in the home half of the inning.

Jose Reyes led off the eighth with a single against Craig Breslow. Gose then popped up a bunt, and Alex Wilson relieved and induced a groundout from Bautista, moving Reyes to second. Edwin Encarnacion followed with a two-run homer to extend Toronto's lead to 6-3. In the bottom of the inning, Kendall Graveman allowed a hit to Cespedes and was pulled for Aaron Loup; Loup was greeted by a Napoli single and a double steal. Allen Craig struck out, but Betts singled in one run, and Bogaerts doubled in two more to tie the game at 6. Bogaerts would advance to third on a wild pitch before being left on.

Ryan Goins doubled with two outs in the top of the ninth, but Edward Mujica stranded him. Dustin McGowan allowed a leadoff double to Pedroia in the bottom of the inning, but matched Mujica's effort in leaving him on. In the top of the tenth, Junichi Tazawa gave up a one-out single to Encarnacion and was pulled for Tommy Layne; Layne promptly served up a double to John Mayberry Jr, a go-ahead RBI single to Navarro, and a sacrifice fly to Valencia, putting Toronto in front 8-6.

The Jays turned that lead over to Casey Janssen, and bad things happened very quickly. Betts led off with a single, and was promptly matched by Bogaerts, and Vazquez, and Will Middlebrooks. The last of those singles brought a run in, pulling Boston within one - and the bases remained loaded with nobody out. Pedroia tied the game with a sac fly. Ortiz then grounded to second, where Shawn Tolleson tried and failed to convert a forceout. With the bases reloaded, Cespedes singled to bring home the winning run.

This contest contains the usual amount of individual hitting excellence you'd expect from a 9-8 game - in particular, Xander Bogaerts's game-tying double in the eighth and mid-rally single in the tenth helped him establish a career high of +.524 WPA. But that's not the most notable thing going on here.

The Blue Jays held a 2-0 lead in the first, a 6-3 lead in the eighth, and an 8-6 lead in the tenth. And they turned around and blew all three of those multi-run advantages. A come-from-ahead collapse of that magnitude is (a) freakishly rare, and (b) a bit of a microcosm of Toronto's season, given that they held first place by as much as 6 games in early June and now trail Baltimore by 10.

But hey, at least it's been interesting to watch - much like this game, as its 5.93 WPL makes it the third best 10-or-fewer-innings outing of the 2014 season.

No comments:

Post a Comment