Saturday, April 21, 2018

Game 19: Red Sox at Oakland Athletics (April 20, 2018)

I finally managed to stay up for an entire west coast game this season...good thing it was a Friday night! Even so, I coached my son's baseball team for two hours after work before getting home and settling in for the night so I was already pretty tired when it started. I was very interested in seeing how Drew Pomeranz would do in his first start back off the DL. Unfortunately, he gave up three runs in the bottom of the first and the Red Sox were inexplicably in a 3-0 hole. It says something about this season that an early deficit felt strange. Drew really labored to get through only four innings, but after the first he settled in nicely and ended up striking out seven by the time he was lifted. Even during his fantastic 2017 season, he always labored to get through innings and had high pitch counts by the fifth or sixth innings. Last night he was unfortunately hurt by passed ball on a third strike that kept the first inning alive and led to the A's runs. Luckily for Drew and the Sox, the offense was there to bail him out and get them back in the game. A three-run home run by Jackie Bradley tied the game in the second and Mitch Moreland hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw from A's reliever Emilio Pagan in the sixth inning. The team has now hit FIVE grand slams this season so far...after hitting ZERO last season. That was all the Sox would need as the bullpen kept the A's off the board and the Sox cruised to their eighth straight win with a 7-3 victory. That pushes their record on the season to 17-2 which is absolutely remarkable. With Chris Sale and David Price pitching the next two games of the series, the streak should continue as long as the bats remain hot.

I had to be up the next morning to coach my youngest daughter's team at 9am so maybe it wasn't the smartest idea to stay up until almost 1:30am to watch the whole game, but this team is so fun to watch that I couldn't help myself. It seems like whenever one player is slumping or taking a night off, someone else steps up to contribute. The line-up is basically the same as last year apart from the addition of JD Martinez, but somehow it feels like it's a deeper, more dangerous roster both at the plate and on the mound. Every day I look forward to watching the next game and seeing what else they do to make me shake my head in disbelief. I know it won't last all season and that they'll come back down to earth, but I still think this is a really, really good team that can make a run at 100 wins and the World Series.

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