After a pair of high-scoring games to start the series, the Red Sox and Rays put on a show of offensive ineptitude Sunday night, with Boston winning 1-0 in 16 innings.
It was the longest 1-0 game since the Brewers beat the Angels 1-0 on June 8, 2004, though the Mets and Cardinals played 18 scoreless innings before New York beat St. Louis 2-1 in 20 innings on April 17, 2010. The Red Sox were on the losing end of a similar contest two years ago. They fell 2-0 to the Yankees in 15 innings on Aug. 7, 2009.
The team’s combined to bat .078, which is even lower than Adam Dunn’s average this season. The Red Sox were 5-for-52, while the Rays went 3-for-50. Dustin Pedroia had three of Boston’s hits, including the go-ahead single that plated Josh Reddick in the 16th.
The starting pitchers were stellar, of course. Josh Beckett, who left his last start in the first half with a hyperextended knee, pitched eight innings of one-hit ball. Jeff Niemann allowed two hits while also going eight innings. He fanned 10 tonight after failing to strike out more than six in any of his previous 10 starts this season.
It looked like Boston would go ahead in the 11th, but after three straight walks to start the frame, Reddick and Jason Varitek both struck out and Marco Scutaro popped out foul to the catcher.
The Red Sox walked 12 times in all. They left 17 runners on base to the Rays’ six.
By winning two out of three this weekend, the Red Sox opened a seven-game gap on the Rays in the standings. The Yankees are in second place in the AL East, 1 1/2 games back of Boston.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.