The Quick Recap
The Red Sox three game-winning streak came to an end as Boston fell to Houston 3-2 despite stringing together 13 hits. Jake Peavy, whose name has been at the center of some trade rumors, pitched a stellar seven innings, allowing only three runs, while the bullpen failed to bail him out and his record fell to 1-8. Two key double plays squashed offensive threats for the Red Sox, who will get a rubber game with the Astros with a Sunday matinee before the All-Star break.
Peavy’s Swan Song?
If Saturday was Jake Peavy’s final start for the Red Sox, it went just about how many of the 33-year-old veteran right-hander’s appearances have gone this season. Peavy was consistently throwing strikes (67 of them on 103 pitches), and sans a two-run home run surrendered in the third inning went virtually unblemished. He struck out nine Astros and looked in control in his seven innings of work.
But as has been the case all season for Peavy, his teammates failed to pick him up. Receiving the lowest run support of any pitcher in the American League, Peavy was only backed by two Boston runs, and he left the game after surrendering a leadoff double in the eighth. Andrew Miller and Junichi Tazawa were unable to escape the inning unscathed, and Peavy was charged with his third earned run, and subsequently the loss.
If Saturday really was Peavy’s last action for Boston, he went out in true Peavy fashion. He twice got into shouting barbs with home plate umpire Joe West after West mistook Peavy’s self-directed shouting tantrums as disagreements with the umpire, and Peavy ended the seventh by hustling to cover first base on a put-out, taking a throw from Mike Napoli and sliding into the bag for the force.
Mookie the Barber
During Mookie Bett’s first at bat in the third inning, we got to know a little about the Sox rookie outfielder, like his favorite food (steak), and his favorite automobile (Maybach). We also were told his favorite actor is Ludacris, which sent NESN fill-in Jon Rish into a brief tangent about how he considers the rapper more of an actor now. (Ludacris has appeared in such cinema greats as The Fast and Furious series and Hustle & Flow.)
But in a truly bizarre tidbit, Steve Lyons revealed that Betts had been serving as the de facto barber in the minor leagues. Lyons went on to question whether Christian Vazquez’s new do was the work of Betts. The duo of Rish and Lyons continue to fill in for Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo in this final pre-All Star break series in Houston, which concludes tomorrow afternoon.
Ortiz Good for 20
David Ortiz hit his first home run in the month of July, and in doing so, reached the 20 home run plateau for the 13th consecutive season. Ortiz has never hit fewer than 26 long balls during that stretch (and that number came in a season he only played in 90 games), and the streak includes hitting at least 20 dingers in all 12 of his seasons for the Red Sox.
His home run on Saturday was a no-doubter, as he pulled the very first pitch of the fourth inning about 10 rows into the seats beyond the right field fence. Big Papi leads the Red Sox in home runs and RBIs, and is also tied for eighth in all of baseball with his 20 long flies.
The Kid’s are All Right
Despite an overall low scoring day at the plate from Red Sox hitters, youth was again swinging a hot bat. Brock Holt continued to do Brock Holt things, picking up three hits atop the Boston batting order, coupled with some stout defensive play at shortstop. Xander Bogaerts continued to try to climb out of his slump, picking up two hits of his own. Mookie Betts went 2-for-4, and also recorded his first career stolen base. And then there’s Jackie Bradley Jr., who has finally has found his swing in the month of July, as he also had a multi-hit game, and is 11-for-28 since July 1. The foursome of Holt, Bogaerts, Bradley Jr., and Betts went a combined 9-for-17, as the rest of the lineup went 4-for-19.
The Red Sox didn’t have problems reaching base all day, as the lineup was good for 13 hits. Ortiz grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to end a Sox threat in the fifth, and Boston left nine runners on base on the day, and was 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. The Red Sox flirted with a comeback in the ninth, but Dustin Pedroia grounded into a game-ending double play with runners on first and second, a play that was upheld after a John Farrell challenge.