Thursday, August 25, 2011

Red Sox Crush Rangers Behind Crawford's 5 RBI

AP/Tony Gutierrez

Red Sox 13 Rangers 2
Winning Pitcher: Josh Beckett (11-5)
Losing Pitcher: Matt Harrison (10-9)

The Red Sox have now scored 24 runs in their past two contests, the second of which being a 13-2 win over the Rangers, led by Carl Crawford's five RBI. Crawford finished the game going 2-3 with a homer and his most runs batted in a single game since June 2nd, 2010, when he was still a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. Crawford went deep in the 7th with a two run shot. After enduring an 18 game home run drought before his last blast, he's now hit two in the last four games. There is also speculation going around that this is finally when he is ready to break out, as he is on a 7-game hit streak and has a .346/.367/.654 triple-slash line during that time. If you remember correctly, Crawford had an 11-game streak to start off the month of May, and was hitting very well after that until he landed on the DL. Because of that, I see some precedent with him hopefully being able to heat up again, especially if he can continue to hit line drives like he has been. 
While it wasn't his most efficient outing of the season, Josh Beckett pitched well, limiting the powerful Rangers offense to just one run over six innings, while allowing four hits, two walks and striking out four. The four hits allowed was the lowest number he's put up since he went 8 one-hit innings in Tampa on July 17th. In fact, Beckett had a no-hitter going into the 4th, until Mike Napoli hit a solo shot into the left field seats, ridding Beckett of both the no-hitter and shutout. (To be fair, there was really no shot at a no-hitter, as his stuff just wasn't that good last night). Beckett was sitting on some pretty good stuff, though, with a fastball maxing out a little higher than 96 MPH. His command, though, was less than stellar as he threw just 61% strikes, a number typically closer to about 70. However, when he needed a strike, he got it, as he created nine whiffs in the game. His fastball was his best pitch, getting three swings-and-misses, and posting a Linear Weight of -1.8685 with the pitch.

Quick Hits
  • Adrian Gonzalez hit his third homer in the past two days last night, giving him 21 on the year. He has now followed up five of his twelve multi-homer games in his career with a long ball in the next contest, including both times he's done so in 2011.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury also hit a two-run bomb (He, Crawford and Gonzalez all did so in back-to-back-to-back innings.) in the 6th. It was his career-high 23rd. He also stole his 35th base, making it possible for a 30-40 season.
  • In the bullpen, Matt Albers gave up yet another run, continuing his month from hell out of the 'pen. He has now allowed 12 runs in 10 innings, along with 14 hits and a 9/7 K/BB ratio. 

The Red Sox and Rangers finish up their three game series on Thursday night at 8:00 PM ET. Boston will send Andrew Miller (5-1 4.99) to the mound against Alexei Ogando (12-5 3.30). 

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