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Can’t Buy A Run

Thursday, April 27, 2017 – Fenway Park, Section 43

Yankees 3, Red Sox 0

A rainout on Tuesday night pushed all the pitchers back a day, meaning that instead of seeing Drew Pomeranz pitch against the Yankees, I was going to get to witness the artistry of Chris Sale, who was off to a ridiculously dominant start.  Coming into tonight’s game, he had made four starts, going at least seven innings in each, with an ERA of 0.91 and a league-leading 42 strikeouts.  The problem had been run support.  His teammates had provided only four total runs of support while he was on the mound over those four starts, and as a result he had a very unfairly pedestrian-looking 1-1 record.

I always did enjoy a good sale.

I always did enjoy a good sale.

Sale continued his string of dominant performances. At the end of the third, he had six strikeouts and had thrown only 37 pitches.

Sale continued his string of dominant performances. At the end of the third, he had six strikeouts and had thrown only 37 pitches.

(I swear I took some pictures that weren’t of Chris Sale.  They’re in here somewhere…)

There was a buzz in the ballpark based on the night's starting pitcher.

There was a buzz in the ballpark based on the night's starting pitcher.

(OK, so not that one, but here are a few…)

Dustin Pedroia sprints out of the box after hitting a ground ball in the first inning.

Dustin Pedroia sprints out of the box after hitting a ground ball back to the mound in the first inning.

Andrew Benintendi strikes out in the fourth.  The fourth inning ended at 8:12, just one hour into the game.

Andrew Benintendi strikes out to open the fourth. The fourth inning ended at 8:12, just one hour into the game.

Hanley Ramirez picked up two of the Red Sox' three hits in the game, but neither resulted in a run.

Hanley Ramirez picked up two of the Red Sox' three hits in the game, but neither resulted in a run.

Mookie Betts made the defensive play of the day, with a basket catch of a Chase Headley pop fly over near the rolled-up tarp.

Mookie Betts was responsible for the defensive play of the day, with a basket catch of a Chase Headley pop fly over near the rolled-up tarp.

(And now back to our regularly-scheduled programming…)

The K-Men were kept busy recordinf Sale's 10 strikeouts. And look at those stats on the scoreboard at the end of the eighth: 103 pitches, 77 strikes, and a season ERA of 0.72.

The K-Men were kept busy recording Sale's 10 strikeouts. And look at those stats on the scoreboard at the end of the eighth: 103 pitches, 77 for strikes, and his ERA down to 0.72.

As awesome as Sale’s pitching was – and he really is fun to watch – the offense did nothing to help him out.  He pitched just like his other starts, working very quickly, so that the end of the eighth inning came right at the two-hour mark of the game.  That’s fast by any standard, but especially for a Red Sox-Yankees game.  (I once went to a game between these two teams that lasted 4 hours and 45 minutes – the longest 9-inning game in MLB history!)  It was unfortunate when an unearned run crossed the plate for the Yankees in the fourth (single, groundout, passed ball, sacrifice fly).  Sale gave up one more run in the ninth (and was charged with another after he came out), causing his ERA to “skyrocket” all the way up to 1.19.

It ended up the third shutout for the Red Sox offense in theor last seven games.

View from Section 43. The game was so quick that no one left early, so I didn't get to move around to better seats later in the game.

It ended up the third shutout for the Red Sox offense in their last seven games.  It was frustrating to waste such a good start, as Sale now had a mere four total runs of support over his first five starts.  At least it was so fast that the game was over at 9:30, and I was all the way back home at 10:45.

Ready for the punchline?

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