Rick Rowand recaps Game 1 of the ALDS between the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians in which playoff Tito bested the Red Sox.
Trevor Bauer took the mound as the first ALDS game of the Francona era, and Cleveland’s first since the Red Sox beat them in seven games in the 2007 ALCS, began at Progressive Field.
Dustin Pedroia leads off with a double to right and Brock Holt moves him to third with a single in the hole between first and second. Both hits come with two strikes. Mookie Betts steps to the plate and strikes out for the first time in recorded history.
The Indians employ the Papi Shift as David Ortiz digs into the batter’s box with runners on first and third. He pops up to Napoli in foul territory near the first base line. Hanley Ramirez comes to the plate with two outs and laces a line drive to left-center, driving in Pedroia. Brian Butterfield sends Holt, who is called safe. The Indians ask for a review as it appears that he was tagged out. The review shows that Holt was tagged on the ankle before he reached home. Out.
Rick Porcello takes the mound with a one-run lead. Carlos Santana leads off the inning and Porcello promptly hits him in the foot with the second pitch. Jason Kipnis strikes out on three pitches. Francisco Lindor strikes out. Old friend Mike Napoli ends the inning with the third strikeout.
Xander Bogaerts’ struggles at the plate continue as he grounds out to the pitcher on a dribbler down the first base line. Speaking of struggling at the plate, Jackie Bradley Jr. strikes out looking. They need to slow Bauer down. He’s a catch the ball throw the pitch type of pitcher. And Sandy Leon flies out to left center on the first pitch. This could be a very quick game.
Jose Ramirez takes the fifth pitch of the at-bat to the wall in right for a double. Lonnie Chisenhall hits a single to center and the throw to home by JBJ sails up the first base line, Ramirez scores and Chisenhall takes off for second on the throw. Leon throws to second in an attempt to throw out Chisenhall. The umps call him safe, but on review the call is reversed as his body left the bag and Bogaerts held the tag. Great job by Bogaerts. Bases empty, two outs and a tie game. Coco Crisp lines out to Ramirez at first and Tyler Naquin strikes out to end the inning with the score tied 1-1.
Andrew Benintendi leads off the inning with a home run over the left field wall. Good to see that he didn’t pull a Sampson when he had his hair cut. Pedroia strikes out looking. Holt flies out to left and Betts grounds out to short to end the inning. Sox up 2-1.
Roberto Perez homers to right to tie the game at two. Santana grounds out to second and then Kipnis deposits the ball over the fence in right, giving the Indians a 3-2 lead. Lindor follows up with a homer of his own in the upper deck in right increasing the lead to 4-2. Napoli grounds out to Porcello for out number two. Ramirez comes up with Robbie Ross warming up in the pen and he flies out to JBJ at the wall in center.
Ortiz leads off by grounding out down the right field line into the shift. Ramirez doubles down the line to the wall. Bogaerts and JBJ strike out on check swings to end the inning.
Chisenhall strikes out swinging. Crisp flies out to right for out two. Naquin also strikes out swinging. It looks like Porcello has returned to his “Porcello-ness”.
Leon clears the wall in right center to bring the Sox within one at 4-3. Benintendi flies out to deep left for out number one. Oh wonderful, Andrew Miller is warming up. Pedroia strikes out swinging on a very low ball for out two. And here comes Miller. Holt welcomes him with a double to the wall in right center. Betts works a walk and playoff legend David Ortiz strides to the plate and strikes out.
Perez hits a liner to the wall in left and Benintendi plays it perfectly holding him to a single. Santana flies out to left and Perez takes second on the throw in when Benintendi loses his concentration. That’s it for Porcello as Drew Pomeranz comes on in relief. Kipnis drives in Perez with a single to center. Lindor popped out to Holt on the infield grass. Chisenhall strikes out swinging.
Ramirez strikes out looking and Bogaerts goes down swinging. Then JBJ pops out to shortstop to end the inning.
Crisp sits down after swinging through strike three. Rajai Davis comes in to pinch hit for Naquin. He strikes out swinging while Perez watches strike three.
Davis stays in the game in center field. Leon hits a dribbler to Miller for out one. Benintendi strikes out swinging and Terry Francona takes Miller out. Bryan Shaw comes on in relief. Pedroia grounds the ball to Napoli who relays it to Shaw covering for out three.
Santana grounds out to third and Kipnis follows with a line-drive base hit to left. Lindor strikes out swinging for out 2. Pomeranz is done. Joe Kelly enters the game. Napoli has a swinging K for the final out.
Holt leads off the inning with a shot to right, cutting the Indians’ lead to one, 5-4. Betts pops out to the pitcher. Closer Cody Allen enters the game looking for a five-out save. Ortiz hits a line drive double to the wall in right center. Marco Hernandez pinch runs for Ortiz. Ramirez grounds out to second, moving Hernandez to third with two outs. Bogaerts strikes out looking.
Koji Uehara comes in to pitch and Ramirez hits a single to second base. Chisenhall hits into a 4-6-3 DP. Crisp grounds out to first to end the eighth.
Davis moves to left field and Michael Martinez comes in to play center. JBJ has yet another swinging strikeout and Leon follows suit. Benintendi laces a single to right. Pedroia comes up and is called out on a check swing that he strongly disagrees with, but Pedroia was probably incorrect.
Game over and the Sox lose Game 1, 5-4 as Porcello’s three solo shots in the third, results in him taking the loss.
Three of the Killer B’s, Betts, Bogaerts, and Bradley, were 0-for-11, with Betts drawing a walk. Benintendi was 2-for-4 with a home run. Holt was 3-for-4 with a homer. Leon joined them with a home run. Pedroia was 1-for-5 and Ortiz finished 1-for-4.
Pomeranz pitched very well in 2 1/3 innings of relief giving up three hits, one walk, and striking out five.
In the small victory file, it looks like neither Miller nor Allen will be available (and if they are, chances are high they will be ineffective) for the game today, as both threw season highs in a single outing.