Series Recap - Astros @ Red Sox: Uhhhhh What the Fuck Just Happened?
I want you to remember. Remember where you were last night when Nick Pivetta saved the Red Sox season and the Mud Dawgs went on to win the Bourbon Bowl
I'm gonna try something new with these series recaps, I'm gonna go game by game instead of going good bad and ugly. That's the way I keep my notes app while I watch the games so fuck it, lets give it a shot.
Monday's game had a certain feeling to it. It was our first series against a non AL East big opponent and a team that we have a rivalry with dating back to 2017. I really fucking hate the Astros, not as much as I hate the Yankees, but whoever is in third isn't even close. Not even because of the trashcan shit back when they won the World Series - they've proven that they are actually just good at baseball without having to cheat - it is more because they are so annoyingly good. Aside from their last 2 hitters in the lineup, any one of them is capable of changing the game on their own. They seem to have nonstop pitchers ready to give you 6 innings of work. So to say I was nervous for this series is an understatement, which brings me back to Monday. To kick off the game, Whitlock struggled his way through the first couple of innings, yet again throwing way too many pitches. Then, he was able to settle in and go for 5 innings allowing 2 ERs and striking out 3. Cora alluded to him remaining in a starting spot, with Houck staying in the bullpen which is something I don't necessarily agree with, but he's AC and I'm not so I'll trust him. However, if that is the case, he needs to keep his pitch count down to go deeper into games. In the 5th, after allowing a ground rule double and a walk, we had to move on to Diekman. He did just about as well as I expected, walking Alvarez, then allowing a run on a sac fly and getting another fly out. Then we brought in Schreiber. I would fucking die for this man. When I see that sidearm motion warming up, I get a feeling I haven't gotten since Ms Toomey's French class in 7th grade. It really is unbelievable how much I trust a guy that has been up here for such a short period of time.
Moving onto the offense, the best way I can describe Monday's game was straight up pleasant to watch. It started with that weird almost diving catch to center field off the bat of Verdugo. A small base-running mistake by JD Martinez, not being far enough off the base and hesitating to advance got him thrown out at third. Then, Franchy Cordero decided to prove that he is the fastest living being on the planet, doubling to left, then taking third on a groundout to shortstop before stealing home on a passed ball.
We then go into a rain delay knotted at 2. Quick note about rain delays, I love them. I watched a John Mulaney special while waiting for the game to come on, and when it finally does, it is a totally different Fenway. You get shitfaced dudes who moved down from the bleachers right behind home plate basically mic'd up yelling their hearts out. Back to the game, let me tell you this - I had no hope. I thought we were dead in the water. It's just the way this season has gone, I've been trained that if the game is close and there is a reliever on the mound, we are FUCKED. Then Barnes comes trotting out there, promptly lets up a run to Jose Altuve and can do nothing but laugh on the mound. He sucks man. I kind of hate this guy now and I never want to see him take the mound again for the Sox. He's cooked in Boston. We bring in Strahm for one of the highest leverage situations of the season, and shocker, he came through. After plunking Brantley, he struck out Alex fucking Bregman and Yordan fucking Alvarez. That is when it all turned.
We ride that momentum into the bottom half of the 7th and Trevor Story picks probably the best time possible for his first home run at Fenway in a Sox uniform. Tied up. After Strahm comes back out and shoves the ball down the throat of the bottom of the Astros lineup, our offense came back up. With Kiké on second after a double and one out, JD came up. This was my favorite at-bat of the year so far, and that is thanks to Kevin Youkilis. JD got hit with a called strike on a pitch that picked up the outside corner. He made a face at the ump, clearly putting out there that he thought that was a ball. Youk brought up a great point, JD knows the strike zone better than anyone. That was probably a strike and he knew he could get to it. He looks at the ump, and wants the pitcher to see it, baiting him to go back to the same spot. The pitcher does exactly that, and JD cranks a double into the triangle. It was surreal. While I'm still processing what just happened, Xander puts one 400 feet and all of a sudden we have a 6-3 lead. Robles comes in and shuts down the ninth - ballgame. 1-0 on the series. In a game I had already written off as a loss. That was the best I have felt about this team since opening day. One thing of note that I couldn't quite fit anywhere else, seeing Odorizzi go down sucked. He's a competitive guy, and you could see in his face as he was getting carted off he was devastated. Just wanted to toss that out there.
Tuesday was an off day. If you thought differently, fuck off and let me live my life.
Wednesday. Nick Pivetta. I would like to personally thank him for giving my mother the best birthday gift she could receive, and that was season changing Red Sox win and series win over a top 2 AL opponent. He let up a lead off home run to Altuve, but in the words of Michael Jordan "Sometimes you need to get hit in the head to realize that you're in a fight." I have one tweet to sum up the performance of Nick Pivetta:
THAT is what you want from your starter. Fuck you, this is my game and I'm finishing it. You want me to come out? I will remove your skull from your body pal. That is what this team needs. It's what the Celtics found halfway through the season. That fight. That dog in 'em. That Boston mentality. Honestly, it's even better that he let up that home run. A shutty would've been nice, but it takes a seriously fucked up person to let up a leadoff homer and then go CG one hitter for the rest of the 27 outs.
On top of that performance, we had Bogaerts hitting home runs, Devers almost hitting for the cycle, and the bottom of the lineup getting on base and scoring. All things that we have been begging for since the beginning of the season. What a glorious day. What a glorious series that didn't have a middle game where Eovaldi let up a record amount of home runs in a single inning where I almost caught one of them. Again. That didn't happen.
Also one last quick note. Touched on it earlier but Wednesday was my Mom's birthday and she reads all of these so shoutout Mama Mac. It's funny, people assume that my love of the Sox comes from my Dad, and while I do have great memories of going to Fenway Park with him growing up, I text my Mom constantly about the Red Sox. As long as it's before like the 6th inning, because anything after that she's just finished up her second glass of wine and is almost asleep. So again, happy birthday Mom.