Coming into Tuesday’s game, the Red Sox’ team TAv was .279. The White Sox have one player with a TAv above that. It’s Matt Albers. Essentially the best hitter on the White Sox would be a negative addition to the Red Sox lineup. This is a roundabout way of saying the Red Sox offense is better than the White Sox. Fortunately, the Sox have Chris Sale, who became baseball’s first 12-game winner as the Pale Hose finished another game on top 3-1.
1. In 2041, after his unanimous induction to the Hall of Fame, one piece of hardware will be conspicuously absent from Tim Anderson’s trophy case, his first Major League home run ball. Anderson took the first pitch of the game deep over the Green Monster, out onto Lansdowne Street, and into the grubby paws of some Red Sox fan with no appreciation for historic moments. With a 2-for-4 day including the home run, Anderson is now out-slugging Todd Frazier and out-hitting Melky Cabrera. Do not believe the writings of this illustrious website. Tim Anderson is clearly the savior.
2. The Sox looked like they might pile it on early, as Adam Eaton followed the Messiah’s moonshot with a double off the monster. He would come around to score on a Cabrera sac fly. After the first, the bats would fall dead silent aside from a Frazier solo shot. In fact, the only White Sox player to advance beyond first base after that was Jose Abreu on a cue shot bloop that squirreled away for extra bases. With Sale on the mound, three runs was enough.
3. Chris Sale put up a brilliant final line, but the stats do betray a less-than-controlled performance. Sale was wild, especially arm-side, firing multiple pitches to the backstop and plunking the left handed hitting Jackie Bradley Jr. Fortunately, Sale’s slider proved devastating, drawing swinging strikes all night and finishing off five of his nine strikeouts. He hit one dangerous patch in the third which saw the Red Sox piece together a walk and three hits for a run before Sale struck out Hanley Ramirez with the bases loaded. At the end of the day, this was a welcome – if admittedly not perfect – performance for Sale after an ugly five start stretch saw his ERA jump from 1.58 to 2.94.
4. Home plate umpire Greg Gibson did not have a good game. As mentioned, Sale was not hitting his spots. Couple that with Dioner Navarro‘s poor framing, and one can understand the difficulties. Regardless, one has to wonder if Sale’s slider is so vicious that it’s hard even for umpires to understand. There were a number of low sliders which PITCHf/x placed in the strike zone that were called balls.
5. Brett Lawrie is not very good at many aspects of the game of baseball. The stats bear this out. However, the man has some serious hops. The vampire channeled his inner bat in the bottom of the first to rob Dustin Pedroia. While he may not make the All-Star game, there’s always hope for the dunk contest.
Team record: 35-36
Lead Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports