The game started, as it always does, with the first pitch. Doug Fister threw a strike looking to Jose Bautista, and we were away.
Soon, Bautista would ground out to the pitcher, and the Red Sox would have a leg up on the Jays. Happiness was evasive, however, when Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson hit back-to-back doubles to put an early run on the board. The promise of that first pitch, and first out, were lost forever... for about 20 minutes.
In the bottom of the second, though, an eruption! A sea change! Even allowing for Sandy Leon being thrown out at home on an fluke Brock Holt \o/ base hit to left, the team scored three runs against Jays starter Francisco Liriano. Xander Bogaerts doubled with one out to start things up, and when Leon batted him home it evened things up at 1-1. Deven Marrero followed with a single, and after Leon was nabbed on that nifty play by Martin, Betts, too, singled, to make it 3-1. Liriano was for Dominic Leone following a walk to Chris Young, and Leone got Pedey to end it.
Thus the celebrations were in order once more following a satisfactory conclusion to the game, and Fister went about shortening it with his typical competence. Of which there is little. Bautista grounded out to third, but Martin and Donaldson walked to bring up starting American League All-Star first baseman Justin Smoak. He fell behind 2-0, regrouped with the boys, and got the count full before Smoak grounded out to Holt \o/.
This brought up Kendrys Morales. He walked on four pitches. The bases were now loaded for Steve Pearce. He popped up, on the first pitch, to Holt \o/. He dropped it.
Brock Holt com um erro bizarro numa popup e o jogo está empatado. 3-3— Boston Sports Brasil (@BostonSportsBR) July 20, 2017
They called it a base hit due to the sun (it was not), but either way, the game was tied 3-3 as Fister walked Ezequiel Carrera on four pitches. It was his fourth walk of the game. It was starting to become clear why the Angels didn’t keep him in the rotation when Ryan Goins singled to right to give the Jays a 5-3 lead. Darwin Barney grounded out sharply to Marrero at third to mercifully end the inning, but figurative darkness was upon the land.
The next half-inning went by so fast that I got up to get my wife some napkins only to see it end upon my return. Napkins!
Somehow Fister came out to start the fourth to face the top of the order. Somehow, he got them in order, strikeout out Martin and Donaldson.
The next half-inning went pretty fast as the Red Sox went in order, again. The highlight was Leon striking out a ball both six inches high and outside.
Somehow Fister came out to start the fifth. Somehow -- pretty easily, it seemed -- Smoak hit the first pitch he saw approximately a billion feet to right-center, making it 6-3 Jays. Morales then singled down the line to right, a ball that Holt /o\, playing the shift, almost played into an out. He didn’t, though. A fielder’s choice to Bogaerts would get the first out of the inning and Fister’s last of the day and maybe, if everything goes right, his Red Sox career.
One can hope, right?
Fernando Abad came along next because, yes, Abad things were happening today, including him utterly owning Carrera on a swinging strikeout. Then Abad nearly hit Barney — the aristocrats! — only, the ball hit his bat and landed in fair territory and he was thrown out. It was cool, but things still were not good, and I had fear for the outcome.
Betts, who has done nothing but bad things to Toronto this year, walked to open the fifth. That was it for Leone. The reliever-turned-starter-turned-reliever Joe Biagini was up next to face Young, who watched as Betts was thrown out stealing. Young grounded out to third, but Pedroia rapped another single to keep the inning going. Hanley Ramirez walked, which left matters up to Jackie Bradley Jr. He... struck out.
Abad came out for the sixth right about the time I had to start moving around to pick up my daughter. My plan was to take her to the pool, because it’s 94 degrees here, but I promised the editor I’d write the recap. So my hope is that no one reads down this far and notices — Abad walked the first batter in the sixth, by the way — the conspicuous lack of details between whenever I leave, soon, and the end of the game. This gets into the whole deal with recaps and why we do them and what you really expect to learn from them. Do you seriously skip the games and come here to find out what happened? I know it’s basically an SEO play for us. How about for you?
Bautista ran the count full and struck out on a 67 mile-per-hour changeup. 67! That’s about as fast as I’m going to drive to the pool, by the way. Oh hey Donaldson just stole second and the Sox did nothing. Fun times. Martin walked on four pitches, marking the end of Abad’s day and, barring an incredible comeback, the bulk of this recap.
Okay she’s doing sand castles in the sandbox, so I can tell you the Jays made it 7-3 in the sixth. Kyle Martin made his major league debut by striking out the first guy he faced, and that looked to be a nice story the Sox could take from this increasingly desperate game. And then, with two men on in the bottom of the seventh, PEDEY!!!:
Marc called it! With that, it was a game again, and our lives improved. Especially when Brandon Workman showed up in the eighth to shut shit down. The Sox wouldn’t score, and Smoak would homer again to make it 8-6 before it was all said and done and Roberto Osuna cut through us like a hot knife through butter. By this time I was in the pool. The solution is simple: Ban pools