Kyle Schwarber! Kyle Schwarber! Kyle Schwarber! Since the deadline, Hansel Robles and Austin Davis have been solid bullpen additions, each having their good and bad moments with the former mostly outweighing the latter, and Schwaber has been on a totally different level. The Red Sox were able to snag the best offensive player at the deadline to boost this lineup for the stretch run. Let’s dive into tonight’s game and begin with highlighting the one and only, Schwarber.
The slugger, facing Mets starter Taijuan Walker for his first at bat of the game, demolished a solo shot to deep center field. Coming into the game, Schwarber had three home runs off Walker over his career, and as the Mets righty pitched himself into a loss, Schwarber ended the night with five career home runs off Walker. Following his homer in the first, Schwarber crushed yet another home run off Walker in the second inning, this time a three-run shot to right field.
The Red Sox offense as a whole, really, was having a big night. They had tagged Walker for six earned runs in just the first two innings. After Schwarber’s home run in the first, Xander Bogaerts walked, Devers singled, getting Bogaerts to third, and J.D. Martinez brought him home with a base hit. Verdugo unfortunately grounded into a double play, leaving the Red Sox with a 2-0 lead heading into the second inning.
But the offense never really turned off all game, and they were able to put at least one run on the board in each of the first six innings. Hunter Renfroe hit his 33rd double in the second inning, José Iglesias walked, and Kiké Hernández hit his 35th double to bring home Renfroe. With Schwarber’s second homer mixed in, Boston had six runs through three.
In the third, Martinez hits his 39th double, Verdugo his 31st, and the Red Sox take the commanding 7-1 lead. The scoring in the third did not end there, as Iglesias tripled, scoring Verdugo. Iglesias scored himself on a throwing error by Javier Báez and made it 9-1 Red Sox. The Red Sox then took a 10-1 lead in the fourth on a Kyle Schwarber double, scoring Xander Bogaerts, and added one run in each of the next two innings as well.
Over on the other side, Chris Sale looked somewhat human in this game. It was always a bit optimistic to think he would be vintage Chris Sale coming off Tommy John surgery, but now after bout number two with COVID-19, his last two starts looked like an amalgamation of the effects of everything Sale has been dealing with health-wise. Sale started the second inning off with a walk to Báez, and Báez proceeded to narrowly steal second base before he was doubled home by Jeff McNeil after a lengthy battle with Sale.
Moving along to the fifth inning, Sale walked James McCann. Peter Alonso pushed McCann over to third on a fly ball out, and Francisco Lindor singled in the run. Still, the Red Sox were up 10-2 at that point. Sale would finish his outing with five innings, six hits, two earned runs, two walks, and eight strikeouts.
Matt Barnes entered for the top of the sixth inning hoping to regain his first-half form. Unfortunately for Barnes, his half-inning was not exactly smooth sailing. Barnes walked J.D. Davis, Jonathan Villar singled, andJeff McNeil grounded out, allowing Davis to get to third. Barnes then walked Kevin Pillar to load the bases before being relieved by Ryan Brasier. With the new pitcher in, McCann hit a sac fly to Hernández and Davis scored, but Jonathan Villar was called out trying to get to third base to end the inning.
The Mets score would their fourth run of the game in the seventh inning off Adam Ottavino after Alonso muscled the pitch down the right-field line on a ball that would have been a fly ball in most other parks. The Mets would score again after Pérez entered the game in the ninth inning for his usual bullpen mop-up duty. Nimmo crushed a double on a line drive to left field, Pete Alonso grounds out, Lindor sharply singles, Nimmo to third. Luis Guillorme grounds into a force-out, scoring Nimmo and the final Mets run of the night.
The Red Sox have been playing at an elite level over the last seven games. The offense is clicking on all cylinders, the pitching reminiscent of June, and the crowd absolutely electric. Look for the blue and yellow marathon jerseys to stay as the Yankees arrive at Fenway on Friday for what will prove to be a pivotal September series.