To come back and win after your ace starter gets knocked out following what, depending on your definition of “worst”, could be called the worst start in Red Sox history:
Yep. Last night’s abysmal start by David Price (12 hits allowed in 2 1/3 innings) is much more rare in baseball than a perfect game, a cycle, or a batter clubbing four home runs in a game.
When the sun rose this morning, there had been 12 starts since 1913 where a pitcher had allowed 12 or more hits while lasting 2.1 innings or fewer. Prior to last night, no Red Sox starter was the victim of such a start.
The kicker? David Price is the owner of TWO of those starts.
Luckily, Price only allowed 6 runs, the fewest of any start on the list, because the Red Sox were still in the game.
With two outs in the 9th inning, Boston had closed to within 7-4 and had Jackie Bradley on base for Sandy Leon. On the 11th pitch, Leon, who is now hitting .545 (12-for-22) after entering the season with a .165 career average, roped a double, bringing up Mookie Betts as the tying run.
Since they began recording pitch counts in 1989, it was just the 2nd hit by a Red Sox player with 2 outs in the 9th or extra innings on 11 pitches or more while trailing. The other was by another Sox legend, Darnell McDonald, in 2010.
Betts then deposited a 1-1 pitch from Matt Bush into the stands to tie the game. It was just the 29th tying or go-ahead HR by a Red Sox player with 2 outs in the 9th or extra innings since 1930:
Only Ted Williams (4), Rico Petrocelli (2), and Butch Hobson (2) have hit more than one such HR as a member of the Red Sox. Williams is tied with Derrek Lee and Miguel Cabrera for the most such homers in MLB since 1930.
16 pitches later, Dustin Pedroia put the Red Sox in front when he scored on a Bush wild pitch.
But Boston still needed to get the Rangers out in the bottom of the 9th and didn’t have closer Craig Kimbrel available after he pitched two innings on Thursday. So the Red Sox turned to Koji Uehara to try to seal the deal.
Uehara fanned the side in order to notch the save. It was the 8th time as a Red Sox that Koji had faced 3+ batters and struck them all out, making him the all-time franchise leader in such games:
He’s now tied for 21st on the all-time MLB list in that category:
What a win for Boston! Will it be a season altering night? Maybe we’ll begin to find out tonight.
Got a comment or suggestion? Hit me up on Twitter @nuggetpalooza.
Thanks to Baseball-Reference for their help in putting all this together,