Today’s game did not start at 2:10, like it was supposed to. Nor did it start at 2:30, as we were told through the Twitters. It wasn’t delayed because of rain, nor was it delayed because of a player injury, or an umpire getting lost. It was delayed because it was Hawk Harrelson Day and Hawk spoke forever. After an eternity, the game eventually began
in the year 2019 at 2:42. It’s almost too bad the game wasn’t delayed longer.
When the game did finally begin, it pitted the White Sox and James Shields against the Red Sox and Brian Johnson, who has actually been quite decent as a starter for the Red Sox this season, and gone mostly underappreciated. Shields, while not great anymore, is in the midst of his best full season since 2015. He’s done this by not walking four batters per nine innings like he has done in the past two years. This was not a sexy match-up on paper, but it was one that seemingly favored the Red Sox.
Unfortunately, Tim Anderson struck back with a vengeance today. He hit a home run in the first inning off of Johnson, a solo shot. I guess he took exception to striking out four times last night. Woops. The first inning was bad for other reasons too. Matt Davidson singled, Jose Rondon walked, and then Kevan Smith also singled, and a second run scored. Yoan Moncada singled to Nunez, on a liner that deflected off of his glove. Thankfully, a weak fly-out to J.D. Martinez would stop the bleeding, and give the Red Sox a much needed break, one that lasted all of a few minutes, before things went from bad to worse.
Brian Johnson was not good today, and in the second inning, Bobby Poyner was warming up. This happened after both Adam Engel and Ryan LaMarre singled, and Tim Anderson pushed Engel to third. Matt Davidson hit a double to the gap that scored Engel and LaMarre. With the White Sox leading 4-0, and Davidson on second with only one out, Johnson’s night was done. Poyner came in to try to prevent things from getting out of hand. As it turns out, he did just that. Welcome back, Bobby Poyner.
He gave up a run in the 3rd inning, but he wasn’t alone. William Cuevas came out to relieve him in the fourth inning, and gave up a home run to Daniel Palka. Or not, because it was foul, and he was brought back. Then Palka decided to try it again, and this time hit it far, so it actually was a home run. Honestly, I’m inclined to just say Palka homered twice off of Cuevas in the same at bat, because why not?
Outside of the home run, Cuevas probably looked about as good as he’s ever looked in a Red Sox uniform, as he struck out five batters, and only allowed a handful of baserunners, including the home run. Of course, something naturally ended his night too. This time, it was a heat-related illness. Hopefully, he feels better tomorrow, when they aren’t facing a White Sox team that quite literally looked on fire today.
This recap is feeling very negative, so let’s brighten it up. Here’s a cute video of a dog being amazing. Watch it for a bit, then continue the recap, for your health, and for mine.
puppy vs.— Cute Emergency (@CuteEmergency) September 2, 2018
: itsthegustaff pic.twitter.com/xNMNF74kO2
Feeling a little happier? I know I am.
Meanwhile, James Shields pitched like he was the 2014 version of Big Game James. He kept the Red Sox off the board and completely docile. At least, through the first six innings. About the only victory there for the Red Sox would be that they forced Shields to throw 93 pitches in the first six frames, and as a result, Big Game James would not be able to pitch the entire game. He departed the game as the 7th inning was beginning, making way for Caleb Frare. Frare, a former Yankees prospect, has actually looked very intriguing in the minor leagues. He was traded to the White Sox for international signing bonus money. He shut down the Sox. Big Game Caleb, I guess.
Not long after this, the Red Sox waved the white flag. Sam Travis replaced Mookie Betts in right field. Tzu-Wei Lin replaced Xander Bogaerts, the only hitter who could do much of anything. Sandy Leon came in for Eduardo Nunez, and switched positions with Blake Swihart (who if you are keeping score, is now at third base). Steve Pearce also came in as a replacement for Mitch Moreland, but that could be seen as an upgrade. Also, Brock Holt, the DH, came in to play second base, which means Ian Kinsler was going to the bench, and the Red Sox sacrificed their DH.
Finally, at 5:52 PM, nearly four hours after the game was supposed to start, the game did mercifully end, as Hector Santiago forced Blake Swihart to pop out with his magical wizard abilities. The Red Sox never once threatened to do much of anything. They never once scored, and gave up a boatload of runs, primarily thanks to the pitchers for Boston being really bad today.
Look, today sucked. It was a bad game, it was delayed by something that was considered mildly annoying by several fans of both teams, and it was a Sunday day game. Things were not great. What matters is that the Yankees lost, and that they do not gain a game on us despite the Red Sox offense looking entirely listless against a pitcher who hasn’t been good for a prolonged stretch of time since 2014.
Games like this, it’s best to remember, only count for one loss in the standings. No matter how ugly it was, it’s only one loss.