Tonight’s game was a game of “unbelievables.” There’s no other way to say it. There was stunning baseball all around. It wasn’t one of those nail biter games. It was that nice, steady pace that had you hanging on each inning wondering what other micro-story would emerge in this game. It’s that type of game that has you feeling confident all the way into the 10th inning.
So, let’s eat dessert first. Here are some of the “unbelievables”:
Unbelievable #1: Trevor Plouffe made a stunning defensive play that saved Kendall Graveman’s bacon. With bases loaded and Graveman sporting 92 pitches, the bullpen was up and getting warm. Graveman had just thrown 8 pitches, all out of the strike zone, which led to Boegarts and Benintendi earning free 90 foot passes that moved Pedroia over to third. 1 out. Hanley Ramirez hit a ground ball that Plouffe had to range into foul territory to get to, and while moving in the direction of the tarp, he turned and wielded a one-hopper to Healy at first for the final out to end what could have been a deadly inning for both Graveman and the Athletics.
Unbelievable #2: “On the road to Pedro” —Tonight was Chris Sale’s 8th consecutive start with 10 or more strikeouts per game. He tied his own record of 8 straight games with double-digit strikeouts, a record he shares with Pedro Martinez. There’s something pretty special that Sale is now with the same Red Sox and climbing Pedro’s old mound as part of this strikeout streak. And his pitches were nasty and he could very well follow in Pedro’s footsteps with a Cy Young! While his first strikeout came in inning 1, #’s 2 ,3, and 4 came in the third inning that ended with a pitch count of 58. Sale followed with a 1-2-3 4th inning and strikeout #5. Sale fought back after Athletic hits and a tied game in the 6th to strikeout #6 and 7. And then, in the 7th, on pitch #108 he struck out Pinder with a 95 mph heater. Phegley was his…