A TEAM THAT COULDN'T
GET THE JOB DONE ...
Chris Young's big day leads the Sox
to their 6th straight win
This will be remembered as the Chris Young game, as the outfielder
did it all for the Red Sox and virtually single-handedly gave the Red
Sox the win while taking Mookie Bettsí spot in the lineup. Young
knocked in five of Bostonís six runs on two dingers and a double and
came through with the big swing whenever it was needed. Eduardo NuŮez
knocked in the other run with a home run of his own.
While Young was the story of the game, Doug Fister put
together yet another solid start and is making the rotation look a lot more
formidable. Two good starts isnít enough to completely hang your hat on Fister
being a legitimate asset down the stretch, but things look undeniably better
right now than they did a couple weeks ago.
This one was a little
back-and-forth over the first few innings, but the offense eventually came
around and did the damn thing. They actually got started early against Mike
Pelfrey, and who else but NuŮez would be the guy to get things going. Batting
second in todayís game, the lineupís newest spark plug came up with one down and
took the second pitch way out to center field for his fourth home run since
coming to the Red Sox, tying the total he put up in his much longer time in San
Francisco. Clearly, the difference in parks plays a big role in this, but itís
undeniable that heís on an absurd hot streak right now. Two batters later, now
with two outs, Young started off his monster day with a home run of his own.
This one was launched out to left field and went over everything. Itís been a
somewhat disappointing year for Bostonís fourth outfielder, but he came through
in a big way this season.
So, with the 2-0 lead,
Fister came out to the mound looking for one of those shutdown innings. He
didnít get it, though itís hard to blame him too much for what unfolded in this
frame. The inning started with a bunt single against the shift, and after a
double put two runners in scoring position Yolmer Sanchez came through with a
ground ball single to cut Bostonís lead to one. Tim Anderson followed
that up with a ground ball single of his own and just like that things were
tied. After Fister finally got his first out of the inning, Alen Hanson hit a
go-ahead sacrifice fly. That was all the scoring of the inning, and while a
three-run frame is never a good thing it came on a whole lot of weak contact.
Sometimes, the baseball gods just arenít smiling down on you. That seemed to be
the case for Fister in that inning.
Fortunately, it was pretty much all Red Sox from here.
After Boston stranded a runner on third and failed to tie the game in the bottom
half of the second, they came through in the third. This time, it was a nice
little two-out rally started by an Andrew Benintendi single and ended on an RBI
double from Young, making him responsible for two of the first three runs of the
game. Young would get thrown out at third on another questionable baserunning
decision by the Red Sox, but the damage had been done.
From here, we fast-forward to the bottom half of
the fifth with the score still tied at three. Sandy Leon started that inning
with a double, but Boston followed that up with two quick outs and it appeared
they might squander another chance. Then, Chicago gifted them a baserunner by
intentionally walking Benintendi to get to Young, the man who had already been
killing them on the day. He didnít miss the chance for another big swing and
made the White Sox immediately regret their decision by smashing a hanging
breaking ball right off the foul pole in left field. Just like that, it was a
6-3 lead for the Red Sox.
Meanwhile, Fister was
putting through his second consecutive very solid start in David Priceís
absence. Fister did allow eight hits in his 6 1/3 innings of work, but he didnít walk anyone and struck out
seven batters. John Farrell mentioned some mechanical tweaks before his previous
outing, and itís looking more and more like that has led to a legitimate,
tangible change in his performance.
After Fister, it was up to
the bullpen to hold on to the lead and they were up to the task. Addison
Reed was called upon first with a runner on first and one down. He had no
trouble escaping that mini jam, inducing a groundout and a strikeout to end the
frame. The eighth inning belonged to Matt Barnes, and he had no trouble at all
setting Chicago down 1-2-3 with a couple of Ks. Farrell called upon Craig
Kimbrel in the ninth despite the closer having thrown each of the last two days.
He allowed a leadoff baserunner but got three outs after that to finish off the