Red Sox 5, Angels 4
Let’s get this out of the way: aggressiveness is not inherently bad. Taking extra bases, especially the one at home plate, creates a risk-reward assessment that either culminates in a great success or a heavy failure. Given this site’s penchant for chanting about “LOBsters,” there is never any guarantee that leaving a runner on third, even with zero or one outs, will result in a later hitter cashing him in.
That being said, one might argue that the Angels should be taking it easy on the basepaths against perhaps the league’s best defensive outfield.
Max Stassi was thrown out trying to extend, well, a double into a double. That looked like a double all the way. I don’t know if Stassi was jogging it or anything, but I would doubt it. This is just a really good play by Kiké Hernández.
José Rojas also fell victim to a throw earlier. It was another aggressive send, but a perfect throw cut him down.
Hernández also robbed a home run.
It was a rough night for the Angels and their attempt to play the fundamentals correctly, as José Suarez walked four batters in three innings en route to getting lifted extremely early due to a rising pitch count. The pitching would go on to walk seven hitters.
Suarez allowed two runs, one on a solo shot, and Dylan Bundy relieved him, allowing a two-run homer in the process.
The frustration seemed to compound due to multiple factors. The Angels couldn’t get anyone out after two Red Sox hitters had been retired, the pitching worked slowly, pushing the run time of the game up, the aforementioned Boston defense was incredibly annoying, and possibly most egregiously of all, the game always seemed within reach. By the time Rojas corked a solo shot into the night sky, it was just a two-run game.
David Fletcher added a defensive gem and stretched his hitting streak to nineteen.
In the ninth, the Angels scored once and brought Ohtani up to the plate with two outs and two on, but Ohtani lined out into the shift on a batted ball with an expected batting average of .910 to end the game.
Title Image from Red Sox Twitter