Game 146: Toronto Blue Jays at Red Sox (September 12, 2018)

Last time I checked, they didn't award style points for wins and losses in Major League Baseball. It's a good thing because sometimes you win ugly or you lose ugly, but at the end of the day they all look the same in the standings. After taking the series opener with a late rally, Boston had David Price going up against Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez in the second game. With as much use as the bullpen has gotten over the last couple of weeks, the hope was that Price would continue to pitch as strongly as he has over the last several weeks and go deep into the game. As long as the Red Sox could score some runs, it would put them in a great position to win...

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...and apparently, one run is all it took! The single bit of offense came in the fifth inning when Rafael Devers scored on a wild pitch during Jackie Bradley's at bat. That was it as the Sox held on for the 1-0 victory and their 100th win. The team has won 100 games for the first time since 1946 with sixteen more to play, and with the Yankees loss to the Twins the AL East lead is up to ten games. Neither team did much at the plate in this game, each only getting four hits. For the Sox, those came off the bats of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt, and Bradley. On the pitching side of the equation, Price gave the team seven solid innings and allowed three hits and no walks while whiffing seven batters. Steven Wright pitched the eighth and Craig Kimbrel finished it off in the ninth and snagged his 39th save of the season. Getting back to my "style points" quip, while a win is a win and it's great that this team has been able to secure victories in a variety of ways this season, I can't be the only one who is a bit concerned at how anemic the offense has been over the last few weeks. They haven't been scoring many runs (and when they are scoring, it's tended to be late in games) and they've often been getting shut down by a lot of no-name pitchers. I can see them struggling against great pitching like Houston's, but to a terrible Toronto team at home? Even as pleased as I am with the win, consider me concerned as well.

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Now that they've secured the series win, the Sox will go for the sweep on Thursday when Eduardo Rodriguez looks to atone for his horrific previous start as he goes up against Sam Gaviglio. After that, a series with the Mets closes out this home stand before a tough road trip through the Bronx and Cleveland starts next week. Right now, the Sox just need to focus on winning one game at a time, getting tuned up for the postseason, and resting guys. With a ten game lead and sixteen left to play, they're in great shape and will hopefully head into October with some positive momentum unlike the last two seasons.