ALDS: Indians vs Red Sox

sodenj5

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I think on paper, entering Game 1, you had to like the chances of the Sox going up 1-0 with a Porcello v. Bauer matchup. The Sox couldn't cash in a few key RISP when they had chances, and Tito pulled Bauer before he ever had a chance to implode and rolled out his best relievers to lock down Game 1. He's now basically counting on Kluber going 7 or else the Indians are in real trouble today. The Sox need to be patient and work the count. If they can knock out Kluber in the 6th or sooner, that's a huge advantage for them.

With the off day tomorrow, Farrell needs to be in Tito mode. Everyone but Pomeranz should be available. If Price is scuffling in the 4th, make the move. They have to have this game.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Surprised not to see BROCKHOLT saluted here as one of the bats not overwhelmed by the moment. Three hits, including a bomb. While a lot of the tide appears to have turned against Holt on this board in recent weeks, I can't picture a better option for the #2 hole, with X and Bradley slumping so badly.

As SJH mentioned above, it really seemed like everyone save Holt and Benintendi had never seen a curveball before. The strike zone judgment was so bad I thought the TBS Pitchtrack box must've been miscalibrated.
 

lexrageorge

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Benintendi made a bad play in the field. It happens; that's baseball. See it all the time among rookies and veterans alike. He also hit a HR; that counts, too.

Last night's flailing at the plate reminded somewhat of the Sox bats flailing away against Jon Bleepin' Lieber in Game 2 of the 2004 ALCS, or against Anibel Sanchez in Game 1 of the 2013 ALCS. Again, that's something that happens from time to time; that's why it's called baseball.

I thought Farrell pulled all the right switches; the game was still within reach in the 8th inning, and might as well keep it that way by using one of their most consistent relievers. Also, Tito was correct to use his bullpen aces. You go for the throat when you get the chance and worry about the next game later. I've seen series where the bullpen blows the first game in the middle-to-late innings, and then Game 2 is a blowout, and the series is essentially lost without ever seeing the relief aces in use.

Pressure is on today, both on Price and the lineup.
 

Madmartigan

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The killer Bs' struggles are concerning me. JBJ hit .233/.315/.412 in the second half, OPSing about 200 pts less than his first half. His swing looks long, and he seems to have abandoned the opposite field hitting approach that I think was key to success earlier this year. Similar story with X; he's had a bad second half and looks completely lost right now. Even Betts, who was excellent overall in the second half, pretty much stopped hitting for power a month ago. Here's his Apr-Sep ISO: .193, .281, .165, .284, .294, .080. If one of these guys doesn't catch fire soon it could be a short series.
 

Saints Rest

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Everyone is pounding Benny for being "caught napping" on an extremely rare situation. How often does anyone tag up from 1B on a fly ball to LF? And a catcher?

Especially considering the way the ball was carrying and the way that AB broke in on the ball off the bat, Perez under almost all circumstances would have been halfway or ever all the way to 2B.

It's not like AB forgot how many outs there were and flipped the ball into the stands or something equally dumb. He got caught by someone doing something extremely unpredictable.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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Everyone is pounding Benny for being "caught napping" on an extremely rare situation. How often does anyone tag up from 1B on a fly ball to LF? And a catcher?

Especially considering the way the ball was carrying and the way that AB broke in on the ball off the bat, Perez under almost all circumstances would have been halfway or ever all the way to 2B.

It's not like AB forgot how many outs there were and flipped the ball into the stands or something equally dumb. He got caught by someone doing something extremely unpredictable.
Exactly. Who the hell expects a catcher to tag from 1st on a play like that. It was an overly aggressive move that paid off because it was completely unexpected. Perez looks like a genius because it worked. He'd look like a dumbass if Beni gunned him down.
 

moondog80

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Benny got caught napping and it led to a run. It shouldn't have happened and hopefully he will learn from it. That's all. I don't think anyone is calling for him to benched.
 

KiltedFool

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Everyone is pounding Benny for being "caught napping" on an extremely rare situation. How often does anyone tag up from 1B on a fly ball to LF? And a catcher?

Especially considering the way the ball was carrying and the way that AB broke in on the ball off the bat, Perez under almost all circumstances would have been halfway or ever all the way to 2B.

It's not like AB forgot how many outs there were and flipped the ball into the stands or something equally dumb. He got caught by someone doing something extremely unpredictable.
Reminds me of Ortiz with his historical success rate stealing because it's so unexpected when he does it.
 

BestGameEvah

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Every pre series report I read raved about the best base running Indians team, and how they take every little opportunity.
The next time Benny takes a fly ball he will beat it to the spot and get planted to throw no matter who is on base. He was caught off guard and I bet Francona's meeting on the OF suggested he could be vulnerable. Just like running on Bradley last night. They were going to do it. And it paid off.

Interesting tidbit on Porcello in the Herald:

It was like the Indians knew what was coming.
Did they?
At some point during the night, the Red Sox switched up their signs, catcher Sandy Leon later told the Herald.
“His signs are unique to begin with, so we talked about mixing it up,” Willis explained. “Just looking for any advantage we can get or to give them something more to think about, if you will.”
Asked if there was any concern that the Indians had figured out Porcello’s signs, Willis smiled and said, “Yeah, you never know.”
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I think the good news is that game was very winnable. For Cleveland, that's a game they HAVE to win. They went all out - good for them - and took a close game for a run. If either X or JBJ comes through even a little bit, the Sox win. If Papi is Papi against Miller, Sox win. If their friggin' .180 hitting catcher doesn't run into one, Sox win.

I'm very bullish on this series.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Every pre series report I read raved about the best base running Indians team, and how they take every little opportunity.
The next time Benny takes a fly ball he will beat it to the spot and get planted to throw no matter who is on base. He was caught off guard and I bet Francona's meeting on the OF suggested he could be vulnerable. Just like running on Bradley last night. They were going to do it. And it paid off.

Interesting tidbit on Porcello in the Herald:

It was like the Indians knew what was coming.
Did they?
At some point during the night, the Red Sox switched up their signs, catcher Sandy Leon later told the Herald.
“His signs are unique to begin with, so we talked about mixing it up,” Willis explained. “Just looking for any advantage we can get or to give them something more to think about, if you will.”
Asked if there was any concern that the Indians had figured out Porcello’s signs, Willis smiled and said, “Yeah, you never know.”
It certainly looked like the Indians were taking very healthy cuts against Porcello, while the Sox had no idea Bauer's curve was coming. It was a thing in the game thread.
 

capecodjr41

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Benny is the least of this team's worries right now. I don't put a huge amount of blame on him for that play, it's rarely seen, and he's not going to be perfect out there at his age. He should be in the 6-hole today then Bogey/Leon/Jackie. This breaks up the two black holes slightly and gets Ice-Tendi another AB possibly. It also gives Farrell a perfect 1-9 balance that he likes to shoot for: R/L/R/L/R/L/R/S/L.

I thought I heard on the broadcast or the radio that Farrell said before the game Koji would NOT be used on back-to-back days. Anyone else hear this?
 

BigPapiMPD34

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Regarding the Benintendi play in LF, this was definitely some advance scouting by the Indians. I don't think it was a situational brain fart, but more of AB not realizing how slow he is throwing the ball back to the infield. I think the Indians players were aware of this, and were ready to capitalize. Kind of reminds me of how Koji picked off Kolten Wong in the World Series because they had timed the "jump" that he makes when he takes a lead.

AB had been doing this same thing during the regular season and it was frustrating to watch. Whenever there was a routine fly ball with a man on 1st or 2nd (a typical non-tag up situation), he would always catch it, casually look around, then lob a lolly pop throw back to the infield.

I remembered thinking that the coaches or JBJ needed to get on him for this before it costs us. JBJ reportedly spent time working with Mookie on his throwing and he made noticeable improvements by the second half of the season. I'm surprised nobody noticed this with AB until now.
 

dynomite

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I think the good news is that game was very winnable. For Cleveland, that's a game they HAVE to win. They went all out - good for them - and took a close game for a run. If either X or JBJ comes through even a little bit, the Sox win. If Papi is Papi against Miller, Sox win. If their friggin' .180 hitting catcher doesn't run into one, Sox win.

I'm very bullish on this series.
Agreed. I mean, we lost a 1-run game on the road to a good team when we had a guy thrown out at home. That happens.

The Indians go into today featuring a starter with lingering injury concerns and a bullpen likely without its two best arms. Win today, and last night is (edit: quickly forgotten, because in a short series no game is "irrelevant.")
 

BillMuellerFanClub

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Benny is the least of this team's worries right now. I don't put a huge amount of blame on him for that play, it's rarely seen, and he's not going to be perfect out there at his age. He should be in the 6-hole today then Bogey/Leon/Jackie. This breaks up the two black holes slightly and gets Ice-Tendi another AB possibly. It also gives Farrell a perfect 1-9 balance that he likes to shoot for: R/L/R/L/R/L/R/S/L.

I thought I heard on the broadcast or the radio that Farrell said before the game Koji would NOT be used on back-to-back days. Anyone else hear this?
I believe he was quoted as saying he won't use Koji for more than 3 outs per appearance this post season. I could be wrong though.
 

shepard50

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Anybody else see the scuttlebutt this morning on INdians stealing Porcello's pitch signs?
Apparently they changed them up and the damage stemmed a bit:

Herald

It was after the second home run that inning, an 0-1 two-seamer up in the zone that Jason Kipnis hammered over the right field wall, that pitching coach Carl Willis thought about doing something.

He stayed in the dugout.

The next batter, Lindor, hit an 0-1 changeup on the outside part of the plate out of the yard. Porcello loves throwing that pitch.

Concerned, Willis ran to the mound.

“It’s like, ‘OK, go to the mound and make sure we are keeping our composure,’ ” Willis explained. “And there is a lot of game left at that point. Told him to just get back to pitch to pitch, executing each pitch.”

Willis added, “I don’t think it was bad by any means, just the times it happened, they seemed to be ready for it.”

It was like the Indians knew what was coming.

Did they?

At some point during the night, the Red Sox switched up their signs, catcher Sandy Leon later told the Herald.
 

sodenj5

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I thought I heard on the broadcast or the radio that Farrell said before the game Koji would NOT be used on back-to-back days. Anyone else hear this?
It sounds like the plan is to not use him any longer than one inning, but nothing about back to back days.
 

sodenj5

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Anybody else see the scuttlebutt this morning on INdians stealing Porcello's pitch signs?
Apparently they changed them up and the damage stemmed a bit:

Herald
I know there's all sorts of forms of sign stealing, but the homers he gave up were all of the solo variety. I doubt that was the issue unless someone was watching signs relayed from the dugout to Leon.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Everyone is pounding Benny for being "caught napping" on an extremely rare situation. How often does anyone tag up from 1B on a fly ball to LF? And a catcher?

Especially considering the way the ball was carrying and the way that AB broke in on the ball off the bat, Perez under almost all circumstances would have been halfway or ever all the way to 2B.

It's not like AB forgot how many outs there were and flipped the ball into the stands or something equally dumb. He got caught by someone doing something extremely unpredictable.
Well yeah.....he's taking heat because a catcher caught him sleeping and took advantage of an opportunity to take advantage of this. It's clear as day that Perez outplayed Benny on this play......downplaying it or not placing blame on Benny is to ignore the bad play he made. As was said, nobody is calling for him to be benched but he certainly botched the play by treating it as a fly ball in June rather than one in a playoff game in October.
 

JimBoSox9

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Totally agree...Miller was getting calls 6+ inches off the plate and some of the other calls throughout...woof. Also, how many questionable check swing calls from the base umps? Although to be fair, with the way the Sox were flailing away all night, I've never seen so many goddamn strikes called on check swings anyway!

Jackie is in a slump and Mookie looked overwhelmed by the moment. Benintendi did not...very mature for his age (but we've seen that since August). Xander, though...his body language is poor, he's flailing half-assed at everything, his weight is off-balance, he's on his front foot...he just looks terrible in every way. The polar opposite of how he looked in the 1st half of the season. I don't know if he's exhausted or if it's mental (probably a combination of both) but he either needs to sit a game or be moved even further down than 6th because he is KILLING the team.
Pro tip: Don't try to pile every single hot take you have in your head inside one post. Space it out a little next time.
 

Byrdbrain

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I know there's all sorts of forms of sign stealing, but the homers he gave up were all of the solo variety. I doubt that was the issue unless someone was watching signs relayed from the dugout to Leon.
There have been rumors for years that the Indians have someone in CF relaying signs this goes back to the 90's.
I doubt there is anything to it but if it makes them more comfortable then sure give signs like there is someone in base.
 

ricopetro6

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very disappointed with plate discipline last night. Looked like the pressure of playing in the play-offs got to some of them.
Anyway else surprised Benintendi wasn't running in the 9th with a guy bouncing a curve ball every other pitch on top of a slow delivery?
 

Al Zarilla

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There have been rumors for years that the Indians have someone in CF relaying signs this goes back to the 90's.
I doubt there is anything to it but if it makes them more comfortable then sure give signs like there is someone in base.
Maybe I'm naive but would Tito use this against his friend Farrell? I would bet he wouldn't.
 

capecodjr41

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very disappointed with plate discipline last night. Looked like the pressure of playing in the play-offs got to some of them.
Anyway else surprised Benintendi wasn't running in the 9th with a guy bouncing a curve ball every other pitch on top of a slow delivery?
Benny 12 CS in 38 attempts in his Minor League career. He's fast but not an elite base stealer at this point. Holding him is the right move there.
 

dynomite

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Anyway else surprised Benintendi wasn't running in the 9th with a guy bouncing a curve ball every other pitch on top of a slow delivery?
I wondered about it, but didn't think it was a great idea with a .320 hitter in Pedroia at the plate and Benny -- who is probably still recovering from a knee injury and was only 8-for-15 in steals at AA -- on the bases.
 

ricopetro6

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I see some are suggesting Perez's tag up was totally unpredictable..I disagree. The way the ball was hit, meaning the height and depth..and the way AB was going back on the ball...it was an obvious tag up situation, no matter who was running.

AB has to get back faster on the ball and be ready to come up firing, not timing his catch with momentum going back, making the catch, then looking to see what the runner is doing.
 

Max Power

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Anybody else see the scuttlebutt this morning on INdians stealing Porcello's pitch signs?
Apparently they changed them up and the damage stemmed a bit:

Herald
I did notice during the game that Leon was mixing up the signs even with nobody on base. Even if they didn't expect sign stealing from the outfield, they were protecting against it from the very start of the game. I just don't know how you could possibly relay things that quickly. And Bobby Thompson died 6 years ago, so we can't ask him about it.
 

Al Zarilla

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Anyway else surprised Benintendi wasn't running in the 9th with a guy bouncing a curve ball every other pitch on top of a slow delivery?
I wasn't surprised. If he gets thrown out, it's game over. I realize we didn't have what you'd call a home run hitter at the plate, so you probably need 2 hits to tie, but still it's game over if you get caught and Perez has a pretty good caught stealing % of 43%. He's supposed to be a defense first catcher, so he goes 2 for 3 with a HR. FOL (fuck our lives).
 
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Byrdbrain

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He would use some mechanism from CF (sounds like what the 1951 Giants were accused of, like a camera)? Sure, if a coach sees something from the dugout like what happened with Eddie R., but not some camera setup.
To be clear I don't think there was anything going on but if there was I don't think Tito would stop doing it because he likes Farrell.
 

Max Venerable

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Anyway else surprised Benintendi wasn't running in the 9th with a guy bouncing a curve ball every other pitch on top of a slow delivery?
I don't run him there. I do wonder if Hernandez could have run in from 3B on the bounced curve in the 8th. Obviously not the type of decision you can make based on percentages, but I wonder if he would have made it... looked like it bounced 10 feet away, given a good lead could he have beat the turn around time by the catcher?
 

lexrageorge

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I don't run him there. I do wonder if Hernandez could have run in from 3B on the bounced curve in the 8th. Obviously not the type of decision you can make based on percentages, but I wonder if he would have made it... looked like it bounced 10 feet away, given a good lead could he have beat the turn around time by the catcher?
I doubt it, just because Perez seemed to be in pretty good position once he caught the ball. And the lead he would have had to take would like have resulted in Hernandez getting picked off at some point.
 

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I doubt it, just because Perez seemed to be in pretty good position once he caught the ball. And the lead he would have had to take would like have resulted in Hernandez getting picked off at some point.
Maybe, but Holt is terrific at this. He takes his secondary lead and generally takes off whenever the ball is in the dirt.
 

j44thor

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Anybody else see the scuttlebutt this morning on INdians stealing Porcello's pitch signs?
Apparently they changed them up and the damage stemmed a bit:

Herald
We probably would have been better off if they were trying to steal signs. I don't think there is a sign for belt high middle plate sinker. He was simply missing location badly, it was a visit from 2015 Porcello.
 

BestGameEvah

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Francona just said, after hearing some sign-stealing comments,
"We don't even know our own signs!"
 

HriniakPosterChild

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To be clear I don't think there was anything going on but if there was I don't think Tito would stop doing it because he likes Farrell.
Hell, back in 2004, when the media was marveling over the Sox' patience at the plate in the first two World Series games, Ray King was quoted as saying something like, Let's see how patient they are when we get to St. Louis.
 

Saints Rest

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I don't run him there. I do wonder if Hernandez could have run in from 3B on the bounced curve in the 8th. Obviously not the type of decision you can make based on percentages, but I wonder if he would have made it... looked like it bounced 10 feet away, given a good lead could he have beat the turn around time by the catcher?
Has there been any speculation about what Papi might have been telling Hernandez after that PR? I can't imagine Papi would be giving base running advice but it was a long talk, a lot longer than "keep your chin up." MH looked really down, like somehow he had made a mistake.
 

shepard50

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Has there been any speculation about what Papi might have been telling Hernandez after that PR? I can't imagine Papi would be giving base running advice but it was a long talk, a lot longer than "keep your chin up." MH looked really down, like somehow he had made a mistake.
He didn't take third on the passed ball when Hanley was waving him on. That's what I thought.
 

shepard50

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Here we go, from WEEI

It was the eighth inning of a one-run game, and after the Red Sox failed to score, Hernandez found himself in the dugout alongside David Ortiz, who draped an arm over the youngster and spoke to him at length as the TV cameras rolled.

So what exactly did Ortiz say?

“He said to me, ‘You only have one decision. If you go, you go. But if you stay, make sure you do it the right way,’ ” Hernandez told WEEI.com. “I’m confident that was the right read. That run is the most important run of the game. If I get out on that play, the next hitter would have to hit a bomb to tie the game.”

There were no bombs. The Red Sox instead failed to score en route to a 5-4 loss to the Indians in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.

Ortiz was a bit more pointed in his rendering of the conversation.

“We were just talking about baserunning situations, just give him some ideas,” he said. “He’s got to be a little more aggressive and be aware of things a little better next time.”

Hernandez pinch ran for Ortiz after the slugger doubled with one out in the eighth and the Red Sox trailing 5-4. Cody Allen bounced a curveball that kicked a few feet in front of the plate. Ramirez waved Hernandez, but the rookie stayed put. Those extra 90 feet loomed large when Ramirez grounded out. Xander Bogaerts then struck out to end the inning.

“Marco, his read at second base, we’ve got a chance to advance 90 feet,” manager John Farrell noted.