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Fake Sox Game 17: Michael Chavis comes through in the 14th

It was a marathon win to finish off the series.

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
Real Michael Chavis has never played in Seattle so I don’t have a picture of him there.
Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

The following simulation and images are courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21.

Our Fake Sox were coming off a win on Saturday and if they could pick up a win on Sunday that would give them three of four in this series in Seattle as well as their fourth straight series victory. They had Nathan Eovaldi on the mound looking to recover from a rough one his last time out while Seattle had Danny Salazar on the bump.

Neither side was able to get much going in the first with both teams going down in order there, and then in the second the Red Sox went down in order as well. However, after their second out Salazar — never known for his durability — went out with a shoulder injury. After the game it was revealed he’d be out for two months. In the meantime, Seattle had to go to their bullpen after just an inning and a third.

Meanwhile, Eovaldi did give up a leadoff double in the second but was able to work his way out of that jam, and he cruised a bit from there. He was perfect in the third and the fourth before evading danger in the fifth, stranding a pair of Mariners after giving up a couple of base hits in the inning.

Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

On the other side, the Red Sox were looking to provide some offense against the Mariners bullpen. The first signs of life were in the top of the third when Mitch Moreland led off with a double which was immediately followed by a José Peraza single to put runners on the corners with nobody out. However, Ryder Jones and Andrew Benintendi both struck out and after Peraza stole second Jackie Bradley Jr. would strike out as well to keep the game scoreless after stranding a pair in scoring position.

Fortunately, J.D. Martinez made up for it in the following inning. He led things off four Boston in the fourth and broke the scoreless tie, going the other way for a 354-foot home run to give Boston a 1-0 lead. That was all they’d get that inning, but then in the fifth Peraza reached on a little infield single before stealing his second base of the day. Jones then came through with a big RBI double to bring the run home and extend Boston’s lead to two. Again, though, they couldn’t put up multiple runs in the inning.

So, it was still 2-0 as we headed into the bottom of the sixth with Eovaldi cruising. That wouldn’t last. Mallex Smith started the inning with a single, and then a couple batters later Shed Smith had a single of his own. After Vogelbach walked to the load the bases, Eovaldi came back with a massive strikeout of Kyle Seager and was one out away from avoiding danger. It didn’t work out. Carlos González came through with a huge base hit, scoring both Smiths and allowing Seattle to tie the game at two. Austin Nola then had a base hit of his own, and just like that it was a 3-2 lead for the Mariners.

In the seventh, the Red Sox did get another double from Jones, but he tweaked his knee on the play and had to leave the game. It wasn’t a serious injury and he’s day-to-day for the next five days, but Michael Chavis was now in, and would be stranded at second. Eovaldi would then give up two two-out singles in the bottom of the inning, and Ryan Brasier came out of the ‘pen with two on and two out against Vogelbach. Fortunately, he got a routine fly ball to keep the deficit at just one.

The Red Sox offense now had six outs to work with to score one run, and Martinez got things started in the eighth with a base hit. After a Bogaerts single moved the tying run into second base, Kevin Pillar would come in to run for Martinez. That decision paid off, as Pillar got to third on a fielder’s choice before coming in to tie the game on a Christian Vázquez sacrifice fly. It wasn’t a particularly deep fly ball, and Martinez likely wouldn’t have scored had he not been run for.

So, we were all tied up at three and then both offenses kind of froze for a few innings. Brasier allowed just a single in the eighth and then was perfect in the ninth while the Red Sox offense went down in order for four innings in a row starting in the ninth, and then in the 13th only managed a two-out walk.

Fortunately, the Red Sox bullpen was good at walking a bit of a tightrope. Matt Barnes was in for the tenth in his first non-save situation of the year, and he wasn’t great. Mixed around two strikeouts the righty gave up a base hit, threw a wild pitch, intentionally walked a batter than issued a regular walk to load the bases with two outs for Nola. Jerry Narron didn’t take a chance with Barnes’s control, going to Kevin Shackelford who got a massive strikeout to keep the game going.

Seattle then managed just a base hit in the eleventh before Colten Brewer tossed a perfect 12th. In the 13th, Brewer hit a batter and the Mariners got a runner into scoring position on a fielder’s choice, but couldn’t get the run home.

That brought us to the 14th in this marathon game, and Boston’s offense finally came alive. Peraza got things going with a one-out single, his third of the game, to put a runner on for Chavis. He didn’t start the game, but he basically ended it by driving a shot out to left field for a huge two-run home run, giving the Red Sox a 5-3 lead. That left it up to Marcus Walden in the bottom of the inning, and he came through with a perfect inning to give the Red Sox a 5-3 lead.

That pushes their record to 11-6, keeping a half-game lead on the Yankees. At the bottom of this page I have the yearly stats for every player, which I will post every Sunday. Down on the farm, both Pawtucket and Portland were off but in Salem, Jonathan Araúz — one flaw with OOTP is that they don’t account for Rule 5 picks in opening seasons of saves, so Araúz is in the minors here — hit a game-winning home run in the eighth and Jorge Rodriguez tossed seven scoreless in his High-A debut.

Also, the Red Sox made another addition to their bullpen, signing former Pirate Parker Markel to a one-year deal worth $680,000. He gets sent right to the majors with Brewer getting optioned to Pawtucket.