The following simulation and images are courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21
Our Fake Sox just finished up a 4-3 trip out west that did end with their first series loss since the opening four-game set up in Toronto but the last game was a win so there was a little momentum. Unfortunately they were facing one of the best teams in the early season with the 15-5 Indians coming into town for a four-game series at Fenway. Boston was starting things off with an opener in Josh Taylor with Cleveland starting Carlos Carrasco.
I’m honestly not even sure what to say about this one because even as a fake game this was incredibly demoralizing to watch. It was a nice mix of good luck for Cleveland, good hitting and terrible pitching, and it ended up being one of the worst games of all time. As I said, Taylor got the start for Cleveland with the lefty serving as an opener in front of Martín Pérez. Boston was looking for a good solid inning from the lefty. They didn’t get it. Oscar Mercado led things off with a single and then promptly stole both second and third. After a strikeout and two walks, the Indians had the bases full. They’d score two on a base hit to make it 2-0, and then after a fly out moved one runner up and put runners on the corners, Pérez had to come in mid-inning. That’s not what you want, and he served up another single and Cleveland had a 3-0 lead after one.
The good news is that Pérez settled down for a couple innings after that, facing just six batters combined in the second and third. The fourth turned this into a laugher. I’m not going to run through everything because I don’t have all day, but here’s the sequence: walk, fly out, balk, infield single, single, single, single, wild pitch, strikeout, walk, double, fly out. Once the dust settled it was six more runs on the board for Cleveland and suddenly a 9-0 game, which pretty much ended it there. Except, well, this wasn’t even the worst inning for Red Sox pitching!
Pérez allowed a couple more baserunners but stranded them in the fifth before the sixth made a blowout into an absolute embarrassment. Here’s the sequence there: walk, single, flyout. At this point, Pérez was pulled and Heath Hembree was looking to stop the bleeding and save the bullpen as much as possible. It, uh, didn’t work that way. Here was Hembree’s night: single, walk, walk, single, strikeout, walk, single, walk. Eight batters, one out, four walks, three of which were with the bases loaded. Marcus Walden came in after that and immediately issued the fourth bases loaded walk of the inning — I told you it was an embarrassment — and an RBI single before the inning finally ended, but not before Cleveland poured on eight more runs and had 17 to their name through six innings.
Walden would pitch the seventh as well, and as Cleveland started turning to their bench to get some of the starters off their feet, the bench players started pouring it on. Mike Freeman led off the inning as a pinch hitter and drove one the other way into the Monster Seats for a solo home run. Later in the inning, Beau Taylor, another pinch hitter, smacked an RBI triple to give Cleveland 19 runs on the day. Fortunately, Kevin Shackelford and Ryan Brasier combined for two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth and Cleveland wouldn’t get to that magical 20 mark.
Meanwhile, on the other side, the Red Sox offense was not up to the task of even coming close to matching the Indians. In fact, Carrasco retired each of the first 12 Red Sox batters he faced. Boston did start to do a little bit better as the game went along, with the perfect game being broken up in the fifth by Xander Bogaerts smashing his fourth homer of the year, a solo shot. José Peraza would hit a solo homer late in the game as well for Boston’s two runs. In all, they managed five hits and a couple of walks. Cleveland? Well they got 20 hits and an unfathomable 12 walks.
It feels like that game should count as more than one loss in the standings, but fortunately that’s not how things work. The 19-2 loss pushes Boston’s record down to 12-9, but they remain a half-game up in the AL East.
After the game, Walden was sent down for Colten Brewer as those two continue to play musical chairs between Triple-A and the majors. Down on the farm, as if this day could get any worse, Connor Wong got into a collision on the base paths that broke his hamate bone. That’ll keep him out for two months. Elsewhere on the farm, Jeter Downs had three hits including a home run.