Brad Lidge's rare feat: five baserunners, one inning, one save


Brad Lidge has certainly come up with some, shall we say, creative saves while struggling the last two years, but perhaps nothing tops today’s.
After entering a 5-2 game against the Rockies to start the top of the ninth, he gave a double and a homer to bring the Colorado to within one. He then allowed the Rockies to load up the bases with two outs before finally retiring Ryan Spilborghs on a comebacker to end the game.
In yielding three hits and two walks (one intentional), he became the first pitcher in two years to allow five men to reach and still pick up a one-inning save.
The unusual occurence had happened a total of 12 times since 2000, including once in a Lidge save back in 2005. Lidge, though, was hurt by an error in that one and both runs he allowed were unearned. Here’s the list:
1. Jeff Brantley (Phillies) – May 21, 2000
2. Ricky Bottalico (Royals) – Aug. 7, 2000
3. Trevor Hoffman (Padres) – April 3, 2002
4. Billy Koch (Athletics) – Sept. 27, 2002
5. Jorge Julio (Orioles) – May 9, 2004
6. Keith Foulke (Red Sox) – April 8, 2005
7. Brad Lidge (Astros) – Aug. 10, 2005
8. Bobby Jenks (White Sox) – Sept. 29, 2006
9. Todd Jones (Tigers) – May 19, 2007
10. Joe Borowski (Indians) – July 20, 2007
11. C.J. Wilson (Rangers) – Sept. 2, 2007
12. C.J. Wilson (Rangers) – June 15, 2008
Of course, all of these pitchers allowed exactly two runs. However, for Lidge’s 2005 save and Borowski’s in 2007, both runs were unearned.
That today’s five-baserunner save featured a homer made it even more rare. None of the previous 11 had. Brantley’s did, though.

Red Sox sign Christian Vazquez to three-year, $13.55 million extension

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The Red Sox signed catcher Christian Vazquez to a three-year, $13.55 million extension, per a team announcement on Saturday. The agreement will keep Vazquez under contract through the 2021 season and covers two years of arbitration eligibility and the catcher’s first year of free agency. It comes with a $7 million club option (and $250,000 buyout) for 2022 that could get bumped up to $8 million if he reaches 502 plate appearances in both 2020 and 2021. Vazquez has also volunteered to make an annual donation to the Red Sox Foundation as part of his new arrangement with the club.

The 27-year-old backstop is entering his fourth year with the Red Sox in 2018. He’s been a steady defender behind the dish over the last three years and was ranked fifth-best in defense among all American League catchers at the end of the 2017 season. He also enjoyed a breakout performance at the plate, slashing a career-best .290/.330/.404 with five home runs and a .735 OPS in 345 plate appearances.

Come Opening Day, Vazquez is expected to be the Red Sox’ primary option behind the plate, with veteran Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart poised to start in backup roles. Swihart is out of options, but has been groomed for a utility role this spring and could take a few reps in the left field and the infield corners if need be, as it doesn’t appear the club is prepared to trade him just yet.