An Astros fan may have been tossed from the game for touching a live ball, but his sacrifice will not be forgotten.
One of the game’s more interesting moments came on George Springer‘s second-inning ground ball to the third base side. You can see the video here via ESPN. In a nutshell, the following events transpired between the Astros and Red Sox, in no particular order.
- An Astros fan was removed from the stands for touching a live ball;
- A young Red Sox fan was given the ball by Xander Boegarts following the conclusion of the play;
- The after mentioned Red Sox fan seem all too eager to point out the Astros fan who performed the transgression;
- George Springer was awarded second base as the Astros offense continued to punish Rick Porcello.
The transgression on the Astros fan part was real, however, it is understandable why he would reach for the ball. After all, the play occurred quickly and it was difficult to discern whether the ball stayed fair. It could’ve been a honest mistake. The rule must be enforced, though. The eagerness of the Red Sox fans pointing the fellow out was a bit unsettling. But there are far more important matters in life to worry about.
At the end of the day, though, the Astros fan probably had the last laugh when you consider the game’s final outcome.
63 game score
If there was a player of the game last night for Houston, it has to be starting pitcher David Paulino. The 23-year old pitched a fine game as he allowed only one run, three hits and a walk in six innings. This translated into a game score of 63. Honestly, this is the best pitched game that we have witnessed from Paulino.
Going forward, it is to be determined how much longer Paulino will be in the starting rotation. Lance McCullers could be back relatively soon along with Dallas Keuchel. Even Charlie Morton and Collin McHugh are progressing in their rehabilitation. But Paulino helped his chances tonight and his trade value.
The highest Win Probability Added on either side last night was Jose Altuve‘s impressive .145 WPA. Houston’s second baseman made his mark on the game with his tenth home run of the season.
Unsurprisingly, any ball hit at a 35 degree angle with an exit velocity of 106 MPH is a home run 87% of the time. Of the five balls that have not been recorded as home runs, only one was a hit: a triple. The others were deep fly balls to center field. Oh, the power of Statcast.
2 hours and 34 minutes
It is quite rare to witness a baseball game finish much below two hours and thirty minutes. Nowadays, it feels like most baseball games take anywhere from three-to-four hours to complete. Well, the Astros didn’t have this issue yesterday as the game wrapped up in a mere two hours and thirty-four minutes. Reminds you of the days when Roy Oswalt started, doesn’t it?
Part of this quick pace has to be attributed to the starting pitchers. Paulino was clearly dealing all night long. And Rick Porcello, the Red Sox starter, maintained a fairly quick pace despite surrendering seven runs in six innings. In other words, it was a good night for baseball for Astros fans. As far as Red Sox fans are concerned, I cannot speak for them. But my guess is probably not.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs, Statcast and MLB.com**