Red Sox take it in 11 with Carl Crawford’s game-winning hit

10 Comments

Carl Crawford delivered his second game-ending hit of the month Monday as the Red Sox edged the Twins 2-1 in 11 innings.

Crawford, who had been 0-for-4 in the game, doubled off the Green Monster to score pinch-runner Jose Iglesias from first base.  Iglesias was off with the 3-2 pitch with one out in the inning and just beat the throw home from Ben Revere.

Boston got another outstanding performance from Josh Beckett in the contest.  Beckett pitched seven scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 1.99.  He left with a 1-0 lead, but that was blown in the eighth after Alfredo Aceves balked a runner to second and Jonathan Papelbon, asked to get four outs, allowed a game-tying single.

The Twins ended up with nine hits in the game, every one of them a single.  It kind of summed up the entire season for the team with the fewest homers and extra-base hits in all of baseball.  Even the Padres have outhomered them 21-15.

Minnesota took the loss despite an encouraging showing from Nick Blackburn.  In the sixth inning, Blackburn fanned J.D. Drew, Jed Lowrie and Crawford to strike out the side in order for the first time in his career.  He entered the game with just 15 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings for the season, but he notched five K’s tonight.

By taking three out of four at home, the Red Sox pulled back within a game of .500 at 17-18.  The Twins have the game’s worst record, pending the White Sox’s result tonight.  They’re 12-21.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
2 Comments

Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.

McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).

McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.