Red Sox Recap: Xander Bogaerts Puts Marlins To Deep Sea


Boston Red Sox fans, have you punched Xander Bogaerts‘ ticket to Cincinnati yet?

The young starting shortstop still has to wait for Friday to find out of he will be a reserve player for the American League in the 2015 MLB All-Star Game, as soon as they tally the final votes from baseball fans around the world. However, Red Sox Nation should not wait any longer to make their votes count, as Bogaerts continues to make every at-bat help the club inch closer to the A.L. East division lead.

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Last night, the National League’s Miami Marlins played, in front of just under 37 000 screaming Fenway Park faithful, against the Red Sox. Dan Haren took the mound for the Marlins and Wade Miley was his counterpoint for Boston. The Marlins’ righty starting pitcher was 0-1 in his last two starts, hoping to change his luck against the Red Sox lefty who was 1-1 in his last two starts.

Boston drew first blood in the bottom of the second inning, a mild scratch as catcher Ryan Hanigan singled to right field to score Shane Victorino, who returned to the lineup after being away several weeks.

Miami replied immediately in the top of the third inning. After a leadoff double and two strikeouts later, Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich singled to center field to score Cole Gillespie.

Calm waters were present for the middle frames, until the top of the seventh inning. After another leadoff double, Gillespie drove in an RBI of his own, singling to right field to score J.T. Realmuto. Two batters later, Yelich struck again, hitting a ball over Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts but stayed in the park. The result was a double that scored Gillespie, putting the Marlins up 3-1.

That was all for both pitchers. Miley was relieved by Junichi Tazawa, who got out of the inning, and Haren was replaced by Steve Cishek before even pitching the bottom of the seventh. That decision proved costly for the Marlins, not because Haren would have fared better but because of what came next for Cishek.

After Victorino struck out, Red Sox starting first baseman Travis Shaw singled, Hanigan walked, and Betts reached on a fielding error by Marlins third baseman Miguel Rojas trying to make a force attempt. The bases were loaded, which forced Cishek out of the game in favor of reliever Mike Dunn.

After second baseman Brock Holt struck out, another mound change was made. Carter Capps was brought in to face the twice-spurned, possible All-Star Bogaerts.

With a full count and two men out, Bogaerts took the eighth pitch from Capps, a 99-mph fastball, and put a cap on the Red Sox shortstop’s All-Star vote bid. The single went fairly deep to center field, driving in Shaw and Hanigan. Betts would not be denied, either, running like a man possessed from first base to score as well. The Red Sox were up 4-3.

Tazawa and Red Sox closer Koji Uehara took care of the rest, making quick work of the Marlins. Tazawa took the win, Uehara the save, and Bogaerts the glory, once again.

Game Notes:

  • Fenway’s wind was factored at 16 mph out to center field, but nobody from either team hit a home run.
  • Miley went 6.2 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, two walks, and nine strikeouts. Haren went 6.0 innings, allowing one run on six hits, one walk, and five strikeouts.
  • The Red Sox went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving seven men on base. The Marlins had a team RISP of 3-for-11, leaving six men on base.
  • Shaw went 3-for-4 with a run scored.
  • Bogaerts went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, bringing his batting average to .304.
  • Mike Napoli‘s struggles at the plate this season kept him from being in the lineup, hence Shaw’s presence.
  • Designated hitter David Ortiz was kept from making an impact, going 0-for-2 and was walked twice. Outfielder Hanley Ramirez and third baseman Pablo Sandoval also went 0-for-4. Ramirez struck out three times.


. Game Ball. <strong>Wade Miley</strong>. STARTING PITCHING . B-

Miley threw 107 pitches, 71 of them for strikes, almost completing seven innings. That’s a 66% strike ratio, which is pretty good even though he was in line for the loss. His groundouts-to-flyouts ratio was 8-1, showing that he was low in the strikezone for most of the night. The combination of leaving a couple fat pitches with the wind shooting out to center field may have contributed to Betts not able to leap, as he often does, for the catch against Yelich. If he makes the play, Miley gets out of the inning in line for the win, if everything still happened in the bottom of the frame. Red Sox fans should take Miley’s outing as a positive, regardless, as the man was often too high in the strikezone earlier in the season. Give us a low-and-away Miley every time and you will have very happy fans.

A+. . Game Ball. <strong>Junichi Tazawa &amp; Koji Uehara</strong>. RELIEF PITCHING

Not much to say, here. Tazawa went 1.1 innings, blanking the Marlins and got the Red Sox out of a pickle with runners in the seventh inning. Uehara did the same thing in the ninth, blanking the Marlins and earning two strikeouts to Tazawa’s one, for his 20th save of the season. A team effort from the bullpen kept the Marlins at bay, fishing for solutions but going home empty-handed.

B-. . Game Ball. <strong>Xander Bogaerts &amp; Travis Shaw</strong>. OFFENSE

This grade is because they won the game with four runs. However, three of those runs came in one inning. The team got eight hits, but five of them came from two players: three from Shaw and two from Bogaerts. The shortstop got the bulk of the runs for the team, which is why Bogaerts’ name appears first for the game ball.

By the way, if you haven’t voted for Bogaerts yet, what are you waiting for? Does he have to be the hero every night this week for you to vote for him?

Shaw also deserves recognition, partly because of his strong play and partly because of the ineptitude of the veterans at the plate. Here’s two young players who are trying to make names for themselves, Shaw having just come from Triple-A, and the rest of the lineup, apart from Hanigan, did virtually nothing with their bats. Shaw’s three hits put the pressure on the Marlins, which paid off with him crossing the plate for a run. If this display keeps up, Shaw should consider himself a starter at first place. It’s not like any of the big-name talent are giving arguments to the contrary, as of late.

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