On Friday, the Red Sox scored 15 runs in a rout against the Mariners. It was a performance completely out of place in this 2015 season, and one that was certain to set the Sox and their fans up for disappointment when Felix Hernandez took the mound in the next game.
On Saturday, the Red Sox scored 22 runs, including ten in under three innings against Hernandez.
I have no idea.
Simply put, this was unreal. The Sox didn't score in the first, but only thanks to a double play ball erasing one of three singles they managed against Hernandez. Then, in the second, Hernandez' threw a meatball to Pablo Sandoval, who blasted it to dead center for a solo shot to give the Red Sox the lead.
And from there, the rout was on. Another hanger to Jackie Bradley Jr. with a runner on base produced another homer to just about the same spot to make it 3-0 before three quick singles and a sacrifice fly led to another pair of runs. Travis Shaw mercifully ended the inning. It's an inauspicious honor Shaw would hold again in the very next frame as the Sox put up another five spot on Hernandez in the third, with Alejando De Aza homering, Brock Holt doubling, and David Ortiz hitting another sacrifice fly to do the damage.
The Mariners bullpen technically fared better, but only in that the final score was 22 runs for Boston instead of the 27 Hernandez was on pace for (assuming no ninth inning). Danny Farquhar gave up another run on a Blake Swihart double in the fourth before surviving a David Ortiz double in the fifth by getting Shaw to end yet another inning. But Joe Beimel got the Red Sox started again in a hurry in the sixth, with the first four batters reaching and ultimately scoring to make it 15 runs for Boston.
The Sox would match their sixth-inning total in the seventh, with Jackie Bradley Jr. picking up his third hit and second RBI double of the game in the process, all leading up to his grand finale: a second two-run shot in the eighth to cap things off for Boston's offense. 33 baserunners, 26 hits, 22 runs...Three for Mookie Betts, Brock Holt, and David Ortiz (a perfect 3-for-3 before being taken out for a pinch runner), four for Xander Bogaerts and Blake Swihart, and a ridiculous 5-for-6 performance with three doubles and two homers from Jackie Bradley Jr. Unreal.
The 10 spot put up by Seattle might look ominous for Wade Miley, but this game was never really in contention while he was on the mound. He gave up a pair after the Sox had initially broken it open against Felix Hernandez, but recovered quickly and settled in for seven solid innings of two-run ball. Yes, Tommy Layne and Ryan Cook were disasters, but honestly, that's not worth sweating on a day like today.
What is worth sweating: Pablo Sandoval being the injury du jour, missing out on most of the fun aside from his second-inning homer after getting hit in the elbow in the third. He stayed in the game for the inning, but came out in favor of Josh Rutledge before the fourth.
One can only imagine what the series finale has in store tomorrow. Knowing baseball...well, it'll be a 2-1 squeaker.