Sunday afternoon’s game gave us an intriguing pitching matchup. The Red Sox starter, Rick Porcello came in retiring 39 of his last 46 and allowing zero runs in his last 12.2 innings. The Blue Jays’ starter, Marcus Stroman, came in with a 3.23 ERA in 94.1 innings this year.
Porcello Runs Into Some Bad Luck, Then Runs Into Some Bad Pitching
With two outs in the top of the second, Rick Porcello ran into some bad luck when Rowdy Tellez hit a perfectly-placed jam shot down the right field line that bounced into the stands. The next batter, Brandon Drury, had a shift on him that had one infielder on the right side of the infield. What he was able to do was take a two-seamer inside out and hit a broken bat grounder to where the second baseman normally would be. Marco Hernandez slid for it, but it got by him. Tellez came around third and scored the first run of the game.
In the next inning, the Blue Jays were able to find more success with two outs; this time without any luck needed. After a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. single, Cavan Biggio smacked a double off the wall to drive him in.
Red Sox Offense Lacks Situational Hitting
The Red Sox were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position today, and on the one hit, the runner at second ended up being thrown out at third. The Red Sox had a great opportunity to score in the third inning when they found themselves with men on first and second with one out, plus Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez coming up to the plate. Unfortunately, Bogaerts was only able to ground out softly to first, but still avoiding a double play. This brought Martinez up with men on second and third. But, like Bogaerts, he grounded out, keeping the score 2-0.
The Blue Jays Open It Up In The 6th
Toronto did not wait until there were two outs to put the pressure on Porcello in the 6th inning. Cavan Biggio was walked to lead off the inning, and the next batter, Freddy Galvis, hit a ground-rule double. Then, Rick Porcello balked in a run to make it 3-0. He was in the windup, and when his catcher, Sandy Leon, signaled for him to step off, he stepped off with his left foot instead of the right, making it a balk. After a Randal Grichuk groundout, Rowdy Tellez was intentionally walked. Porcello then walked Brandon Drury to load the bases with one out. Next, Danny Jansen hit a sharp ground ball out of the reach of Eduardo Nunez. This drove in two runners to make it 5-0. Porcello got out of the inning without allowing more runs, but the crooked number was there.
The game was rather uneventful from the top of the sixth inning on. Eric Sogard hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth to give the Jays a six-run cushion. Then in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox were gifted a run on a fielding error by pitcher, Joe Biagini. Fortunately for him, he got the final two outs without a problem to give the Blue Jays a 6-1 win.
Some notes for why the Red Sox were unable to succeed today include Porcello’s four walks and Bogaerts and Martinez being a combined 0-for-8. Porcello is usually known for his ability to throw strikes, and his walks gave him more trouble. With Bogaerts and Martinez, those are two of the best hitters with runners in scoring position, and to have both of them lay goose eggs in the hit and walk columns is a detriment to the offense.
And one last thing to take into Monday: the Red Sox have been outscored 14-2 since the top of the fourth inning on Saturday.