Red Sox third baseman Xander Bogaerts doubled high off the Green Monster in left-center against Max Scherzer with two outs in the fifth inning. It seemed innocent enough, despite an impressive piece of hitting from the 20-year-old. Jacoby Ellsbury, however, quickly followed up with a well-struck line drive to right field. Torii Hunter came up throwing but Bogaerts was able to touch home to make it 1-0.
Ellsbury was thrown out by catcher Alex Avila to end the frame. It has been a pitcher’s duel thus far. Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz has held the Tigers scoreless through five innings on three hits and a walk while striking out four. Scherzer has relented just the one run on three hits and three walks while striking out six.
If the Red Sox can hold on for 12 more outs, they will punch their ticket to the World Series to face the Cardinals, who finished the job against the Dodgers on Friday night.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”