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Fake Sox Game 84: Eduardo Rodriguez prevails in pitchers’ duel

The lefty dominates and the Red Sox get their second straight shutout win.

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

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

Our Fake Sox are coming off a solid week against two of the best team in baseball, overall taking four of seven against the Angels and Cardinals. That includes two straight victories to end the weekend’s series against St. Louis. They are looking to continue that success at home against the Mariners, who are one of the worst teams in the American League but do enter this series as winners of eight of their last 10. Boston had Eduardo Rodriguez going for this one while Seattle countered with Danny Salazar.

To be honest, there isn’t a whole hell of a lot to say about this game. Eduardo Rodriguez was simply dominant against the Mariners lineup, and that was the story of the night. It was extremely clear from the start it was going to be that kind of night, too, with the southpaw tossing two perfect innings right off the bat and striking out five of those six batters he faced. He ended up retiring each of the first eight batters he faced before having his perfect game broken up in the third with a two-out walk, but that was all he allowed in the inning.

The first hit of the game for the Mariners came in the fourth when Shed Smith led things off with a base hit, but even then Rodriguez followed that up immediately with a double play and faced only three batters in the inning. All in all, Rodriguez ended up tossing eight extremely dominant innings in which he allowed just two singles and two walks and he struck out ten. By Game Score, it was tied for the best start by a Red Sox pitcher in this simulated season, tying with Nathan Eovaldi’s complete game shutout against the Cubs a couple of weeks ago.

So, the Red Sox offense really didn’t have to do much to support their pitcher in this game, which was good because Salazar was dominant as well. Unfortunately for the Mariners, he wasn’t quite as dominant as Rodriguez. The Red Sox didn’t waste too much time taking a lead, to be fair, getting things going in the second with a leadoff double from Xander Bogaerts. A base hit put runners on the corners and then Jackie Bradley Jr. hit another single and just like that it was a 1-0 Red Sox lead. They still had two men on with nobody out, too. Even better, a wild pitch put both of those runners in scoring position before an out was recorded, but the Red Sox squandered the chance to add more. They would also waste a leadoff double in the next inning, which was frustrating when we didn’t know Rodriguez only needed one run anyway.

After the third, the Red Sox were totally shut down by Salazar until they got into the seventh where they finally added onto their 1-0 lead. Bradley started that inning off with a base hit, and then after a walk and a single the bases were loaded with just one out and the top of the order was coming up. Andrew Benintendi was the one to get the job done, lining a single into center field to bring two home and give Boston the 3-0 lead. Alex Verdugo followed that up with a double play to end the inning, but the insurance was brought in.

All that was left was for the door to be closed in the 3-0 game in the ninth. Surprisingly, though, it was Matt Barnes getting the call instead of Ken Giles. Whatever the reason, it did end up working. Barnes wasn’t perfect as he issued a one-out walk, but there was never a real threat of the game being tied and he didn’t allow more beyond the single free pass.

The 3-0 win was the Red Sox’s third straight win and second straight shutout. It pushed their record to 46-38, and with the Yankees having a day off the deficit in the division is down to two games. Around the league, there were a pair of trades. First, the Indians traded reliever Hunter Wood and prospect Nolan Jones to the Cubs for catcher Victor Caratini. Second, the Rays traded reliever Oliver Drake to the Padres for minor leaguers A.J. Brown and Efrain Contreras.

Down on the farm, Chad De La Guerra homers in a PawSox loss, Domingo Tapia struggled in a Sea Dogs loss, Salem had the day off, Logan Browning led the way in a Greenville win, Lowell lost in a pitchers’ duel, and the three complex teams lost two of their three games.