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Fake Sox Game 79: Two bad innings undoes the pitching

The offense got it done, but the pitching did not.

Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

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

Our Fake Sox had a tough task ahead of them this week with a four-game series out west against the Angels, who have been among the best teams in the league since the very start of this simulated season. Boston managed a split in Monday’s doubleheader and were looking to guarantee at least a split on the west coast with a win on Tuesday. They had a tall task at the plate, though, going up against Julio Teheran, who has been very good this season. Eduardo Rodriguez was going for the Sox.

Boston did get it going early on against Teheran, not wasting too much time to get on the board. Alex Verdugo got the scoring started thanks to a one-out triple out to the right-center field gap. Rafael Devers followed that right up with a base hit, and three batters into the game it was a 1-0 Red Sox lead. Devers then got caught stealing second — he’s been super aggressive and mostly unsuccessful stealing bases over the last week or so — and took the wind of the team’s sails for the inning.

Still, it was a 1-0 lead and Rodriguez had it going on early, setting the side down in order in each of the first two innings. The Red Sox still had a 1-0 lead heading into the third, and they really got to Teheran here. José Peraza started off the inning by successfully bunting for a single, then Kevin Plawecki did the opposite. For just the second time this season the Red Sox backup catcher left the yard with a no-doubt, two-run homer to quickly make it a 3-0 lead for the Sox. Andrew Benintendi then followed that up with a bunt single of his own then stole second before Alex Verdugo drew a walk. With two on, Devers jumped on the first pitch and drove a double to the right field corner to make it 4-0 before J.D. Martinez grounded out to bring another run home. By the time the dust had settled, it was 5-0.

With the way Rodriguez looked in the first couple innings, it seemed like everything was going right for the Red Sox and it would be a good night. That feeling turned extremely quickly. It was Rodriguez shooting himself in the foot to start things off when he bobbled a toss at the first base bag from Michael Chavis, letting the leadoff man on with the error. That was followed up by Tommy La Stella taking him way deep out to right field, breaking up the no-hitter and the shutout and making it 5-2 Red Sox. That was then followed by an infield single, a double, a sacrifice fly, a triple, a single, and another single. That made tied the game all up at five and ended the night for Rodriguez in a start that turned on its head alarmingly fast. Martín Pérez had the pleasure of coming in with runners on the corners and just one out, but he did get out of it without any more runs scoring.

So, now it was a whole new ball game and the offense had to pick things back up. They didn’t get that done right away, and it was still a 5-5 game heading into the sixth. This time, the Red Sox got things started with Xander Bogaerts getting hit by a pitch. He then moved over to third base on a Jackie Bradley Jr. single and the Michael Chavis brought the run home with a base hit to give Boston their lead back. They couldn’t add on from there, but it was 6-5.

After Parkel Markel tossed a perfect sixth, he would come back out for the seventh with 1 23 already under his belt and the score still 6-5. He probably should not have come back out. He gave up a double to Jo Addell to lead things off and then walked Shohei Ohtani before giving way to Brandon Workman. Workman then got a fly out and a strikeout and was an out away from escaping the danger, but the Angels had a Mike Trout up their sleeve. The best player in baseball got the day off but he came in to pinch hit here with runners on the corners and he ripped a double out to center field. Just like that, it was all tied up agian. To make matters worse, Workman hurt his foot on the pitch and had to leave the game, bringing Ryan Brasier in. He was welcomed into the game with a three-run shot from Jared Walsh, and that was that.

It was a 9-6 ballgame, and the Red Sox offense just didn’t have any more fight in them. They went down in order in each of the last two innings and that ended the game. The loss dropped the Red Sox record to 42-37, and with a Yankees win Boston now trails by 3.5 games in the division.

Down on the farm, Pawtucket lost and had Mike Shawaryn leave early with injury, Portland was rained out, Devlin Granberg and Cameron Cannon had three combined hits and Jorge Rodriguez tossed a perfect inning with two strikeouts in the Carolina League All-Star Game, Elih Marrero had a hit and Logan Browning had a scoreless inning in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, Angel Maita had two triples in a Spinners win, and both DSL teams lost.