The following simulation and images are courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21.
Quick programming note here: This game was actually the second of a doubleheader on Wednesday. Unfortunately back here in the real world yours truly came down with a very weird case of strep yesterday and was bedridden basically all day long. So, you’re getting the write-up tonight but in our Fake Sox world this game was actually on Wednesday night.
Anyway, the Red Sox stumbled a bit in the afternoon portion of the doubleheader, losing a frustrating one in extra innings to snap a three-game win streak. They were looking to get back in the win column in the nightcap, and it was a matchup of hot pitchers with Nathan Eovaldi going for the Sox and Justus Sheffield on the mound for Seattle.
Early on, both pitchers were in control of their game. In fact, not a whole lot happened on either side in the first two innings. Both teams did get a double and the Red Sox did have hits in each of those first two frames, but neither side got any runs across or even two runners on base in a single inning. In the third, the offenses got going. In the top half, it was Jonathan Lucroy taking out revenge on his old team. The Red Sox cut the catcher before the season, and he got his payback here. Lucroy worked a full count and then got a mistake on 3-2. It wasn’t a total bomb, but Lucroy went right down the left field line and snuck one up over the Monster for a solo shot to give Seattle the 1-0 lead. Eovaldi did give up a double in the inning, too, but only the one run scored.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Red Sox used some good fortune to get right back in the game. Jackie Bradley Jr. started the inning with what looked like a routine tapper in front of the plate, but Lucroy’s throw was off the mark, allowing Bradley to get to second. The runner then moved to third on a ground ball before Andrew Benintendi tied the game with a base hit.
That tie would last all of two pitches. Lucroy’s home run was more about good placement than absolutely crushing one. Daniel Vogelbach’s was a different story. The first baseman absolutely launched a 420-foot bomb out to right field on an 0-1 pitch and the no-doubter gave Seattle their run right back.
Unfortunately, at this point Sheffield went into cruise control and the Red Sox had zero answers, going down in order in each of the next two innings. That led us to the sixth, where the game totally got away. Eovaldi had been solid to this point, but he lost it in this sixth inning. The inning started with a bunt single, and then Shed Smith ripped a triple to make it 3-1. They’d get another on a sacrifice fly before Jake Fraley continued a big series with a two-run shot out to right field, and just like that Eovaldi’s night was over and it was a 6-1 Mariners lead.
That was pretty much the game as the Red Sox couldn’t really get much of going against Sheffield. They did have a solid chance in the seventh when they got two on with one out, but no runs scored. Seattle added three more in a huge ninth inning, and the one run the Red Sox added in the bottom of the inning was inconsequential.
The 9-2 loss dropped the Red Sox down to 46-40. And after dropping two games in one day, they fall back to 4.5 back of the Yankees in the division. Around the league, the players of the months were as follows:
Batter of the Month: Gleyber Torres (AL), Charlie Blackmon (NL)
Pitcher of the Month: Gerrit Cole (AL), Clayton Kershaw (NL)
Rookie of the Month: Scott Moss (AL), Ke’Bryan Hayes (NL)
Additionally, there was a trade as the Rays sent Charlie Morton to the Reds in exchange for prospects Tyler Callihan and Mariel Bautista.