Wild, ugly, bizarre. Those are some good words you can use to describe last night’s victory over the Indians. In a game where Chris Sale and Carlos Carrasco are pitching, a slugfest should be the last thing you would expect, but that’s what we got on Tuesday. Sale was bad, he’ll be the first to tell you that. The lefty gave up a season high seven earned runs while going five innings deep. Sale is usually caught by Sandy Leon, but a right knee issue kept him out of the lineup. That being said, Christian Vazquez was behind the plate, and I’d be interested to know if there were any chemistry issues, at least in the first few innings. Despite the bad start, he did rack up five strikeouts and I am glad he only pitched five innings, lessening his usual workload. If he got out of the fifth without giving up that home run to Edwin Encarnacion, then he probably would have come out and started the sixth. Looking to rebound on Sunday, Chris Sale will play his former team, the White Sox. I’ll be there, and I’m pretty excited about it. In relief of Sale, Blaine Boyer loaded the bases, but did not allow anything else while pitching a scoreless sixth. Matt Barnes struck out two while pitching a scoreless seventh, then we got to see the new guy, Addison Reed. Just acquired from the Mets, Reed gave up a solo home run to the first batter he faced, after that though, got the Tribe out in order. After all this, the Red Sox had a one-run lead, making way for Craig Kimbrel to try and get his 26th save of the season. Like Reed, Kimbrel gave up a home run to the first person he saw, Francisco Lindor. Kimbrel then proceeded to load the bases, and a wild pitch allowed Jose Ramirez to score from third, giving the Indians the lead. So, in a night Sale and Kimbrel are way off their game, the Red Sox still find a way to win. With just over two months to go in the regular season, resilience can be huge for a team in the middle of a pennant race.
On the other side of things, you could make the case Carlos Carrasco was even worse than Sale last night. After the Indians scored three times in the first and twice in the second, the Red Sox answered with five of their own in their half of the second. Mitch Moreland, who is getting hot again, took Carrasco deep for a three-run home run, scoring Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts in the process. Brock Holt drove in the fourth run, scoring Christian Vazquez from third. With two outs, Eduardo Nunez stayed hot by lacing a RBI double to center field, scoring Mookie Betts and tying the game. Brock Holt was a part of that play, and for the second night in a row, he was called out at home. Hanley Ramirez nearly had himself a home run in the fifth, but Austin Jackson made an outstanding catch to rob him, jumping over the bullpen wall and still securing the catch. Might be better than any catch JBJ has made this year.
In the sixth, Mookie Betts drove in Mitch Moreland on a RBI single and Eduardo Nunez drove in Christian Vazquez, Betts and Chris Young on another double. After heading into their half of the ninth down by one, Rafael Devers singled and Mitch Moreland reached first on a strikeout, setting the table for Christian Vazquez. On a 3-1 fastball, Vazquez homered to center field, walking it off and giving the Red Sox the 12-10 win.
A wild one for sure, and the Red Sox have secured their first series win since they were in Texas. With the Yankees dropping one to the Tigers, the Red Sox find themselves back in first place. Rick Porcello is on the mound later tonight with the chance to sweep.
59 down, ? to go.