In a wild night full of drama in Fenway, not even the great Zack Greinke could save the Astros. They failed to sweep the Red Sox in a hitters’ fest that saw Boston come from behind to take the win on a 12-8 score on Thursday.
Even though the offense did its part tonight, I can’t say the same about pitching and defense. The Astros were ahead FOUR times and even were up by three runs at one point, but still managed to lose the game.
Beginning with Greinke, he clearly didn’t have his thing as he blew two leads and was notably crushed by the Red Sox. While Greinke’s exit velocity average in 2021 is 86.8 MPH, Boston’s hitters averaged 96.6 MPH on Thursday. The veteran lasted only three innings in his shortest outing since August 14, 2016, in Fenway Park.
After the Astros were winning 7-4 in the fifth inning —thanks to Yuli Gurriel’s home run, Yordan Álvarez’s two-run double, and Kyle Tucker’s bases-loaded double—, it all took the wrong path for the ‘Stros.
With Brandon Bielak on the mound relieving Greinke, Rafael Devers and Christian Vázquez were on base with two outs, and Christian Arroyo sent it over the green monster to tie the score 7-7.
Right after Arroyo’s three-run bomb, José Altuve did the same thing, getting his second home run of the series. This time, it came against an incredibly low pitch that made look Altuve like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. chasing pitches and hitting rockets. A solo shot for his 11th four-bagger of the year...
BUT another ugly, dramatic inning was in the making...
Blake Taylor was brought in, and he immediately gave up a double to Enrique Hernández, who later advanced to third on an Alex Verdugo’s grounder. Then, Kyle Tucker dropped an easy fly ball from JD Martínez for an error. Although it was likely gonna drive the run in, it would have been the second out of the inning.
Minutes later, with Martínez and Xander Bogaerts (walk) on base, Enoli Paredes comes from the ‘pen and guess what... He couldn’t throw a strike. Walk to Hunter Renfroe, Vázquez was plunked to force in the go-ahead run for the Red Sox, and a bases-loaded walk to Arroyo before coming out of the game with an injury. Uh, I almost forgot, to add a little bit of craziness to the night, a fan jumped into the field and left us this funny picture...
Brooks Raley replaced Enoli just to allow a three-run double to Bobby Dalbec that cleared the bases. And just like that, the Astros were down 12-8.
The game had something else for all of us before coming to an end. In the seventh, with Yordan at first, Yuli Gurriel hit what seemed to be a foul ball, but instead, it was scored as a double-play groundout. Immediately, Dusty Baker came out of the dugout to yell at home plate umpire Sean Barber, who didn’t hesitate to throw him out of the ballgame.
Despite the Astros could and should have won this one to complete the sweep, they’ll get a chance to kick off their next series with a win when they face the Twins on Friday (8:10 pm) with José Urquidy on the mound.