Red Sox Take Two Of Three From The Best Team In Baseball, Move Into First Place Tie With The Yankees

MLB: JUN 18 Red Sox at Astros

How’d you spend your Sunday night? I spent mine arguing percentage points with an anonymous Blue Jays fan on Twitter.

Last night, the Red Sox defeated the Houston Astros, who have the best record in baseball, to take two out of three in the series and move into a virtual tie for first place for the first time since April 18, which was 14 games into the season. Take your percentage points and shove them up your dick. I don’t have time for the whole “Well, if the season ended today then technically the Yankees would win the division because of percentage points” debate. Cool fuckin’ story, bro. The season doesn’t end today. How many games back of first place are the Boston Red Sox right now? Zero. Tied for first place, bitch. Deal with it.

Anyway, if you could bare to sit through all four hours and eight minutes of this game, you got to see a good one. Two of the best shortstops in baseball went head-to-head, and it was quite the show that they put on. Xander Bogaerts went 3-for-4 with two bombs, doubling his home run total on the year, and Carlos Correa hit an absolute piss missile off of David Price that gave the Astros a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth.

Last year, we had plenty of reason to shit on John Farrell’s in-game managing skills. We could rattle off several examples of times when the general consensus reaction to a Farrell decision was, “What the fuck is this guy doing?” Up until recently, I haven’t had a whole lot to complain about in regards to Farrell’s decision-making. But then last night happened. Price finished the bottom of the fifth inning by striking out Derek Fisher swinging. It was his 104th pitch of the night, and his 29th pitch of the inning, an inning in which he had allowed the homer to Correa and a double to Yuli Gurriel.

His night’s gotta be over at that point, right? Nope! The guy’s in his fifth start after coming back from an elbow injury that nearly required Tommy John surgery, it’s just his third time eclipsing the 100-pitch mark, and Farrell sends him back out there for the sixth inning after laboring in the fifth with a pitch count that’s over 100 pitches. Not so shockingly, Price served up a BOMB to Jake Marisnick on his third pitch of the inning. He’s allowed at least one home run in all five of his starts since returning from the disabled list, seven in total.

But why was he even out there in the sixth inning in the first place? WHY? I didn’t see any quotes from Farrell after the game from reporters, but I could’ve missed them. I’d love to hear a logical explanation as to why Price was out there given the circumstances. Just like Thursday night when Farrell let Pablo Sandoval hit with two outs in the ninth inning of a one-run game with the tying run at first base. The Yankees lost that night, too, and a win would’ve put the Red Sox in first place then, but apparently getting Sandoval an at-bat in that situation was more important than winning the fucking game.

Heath Hembree replaced Price and promptly gave up a six thousand foot home run to George Springer, so now it’s a one-run game. Atta boy, Johnny Steelcock. In the seventh inning, you had Joe Kelly notch his 18th consecutive scoreless appearance, yet Farrell won’t let him even sniff the mound in the eighth inning of a close game, and he’s only been used on back-to-back days twice over that 18-game scoreless streak. Meanwhile, Matt Barnes, who’s technically the team’s eighth inning guy, came out for the eighth inning, walked the first two batters he faced and then recorded just one out before getting the hook. Barnes was later charged with a run when Carlos Beltran dumped a single into right field off of Robby Scott. Springer scored, but Jose Altuve got hosed at the plate by a great throw from Andrew Benintendi and an even better tag by Christian Vazquez.

That was the play of the night. If Altuve scores to tie it up right there, I’m not sure the Red Sox go on to win that game. The odds would’ve been heavily against that happening, so that was EASILY the play of the night for Boston. Also, this is why I believe in the “bullpen ace” more so than the “closer”. The game was won by the Red Sox and lost by the Astros in the eighth inning, not the ninth. I would’ve had no problem with Farrell bringing in Craig Kimbrel immediately after Barnes walked the first two batters, and had Kimbrel throw just one inning in the eighth and had Scott take the ninth. Regardless, a big tip of the cap to Robby “Big Balls” Scott for getting two huge outs to save the game in the eighth.

And after a high-intensity battle between these two teams in the series finale, it was capped off with Christian Vazquez gunning down Fisher trying to swipe second and get into scoring position. Not in Mini Yadi’s watch. No, sir.

Final score: Red Sox 6, Astros 5

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