What is this “hope” you speak of, and why do I have it?
Top Play (WPA): David Ortiz earns this one, and it wasn’t even close, as his opposite-field(!) blast off left-hander(!!!) Matt Boyd logged a .154 WPA. That was Ortiz’s first homer off a LHP this year, as he took a 93 mph fastball down and away and cranked it into the Blue Jays’ bullpen. It’s an encouraging sign from a guy with a .285 OPS against left-handed pitching.
Not to be kept off the recap, Hanley Ramirez followed up this dinger with one of his own, which went far beyond that bullpen. The first inning was one to remember for the Sox.
Bottom Play (WPA): Wade Miley, of all people, got Josh Donaldson to ground into a 6-4-3 double play in the 4th inning, which was good for a -.102 WPA. Miley was irritatingly erratic for all five of his innings, and he needed to get a grounder to escape trouble with runners on first and second. He got one, got two outs, and struck out Colabello three batters later. Somehow, someway, Miley got through all of this while only giving up four runs.
Key Moment: Danny Valencia getting thrown out at home, and the Blue Jays losing the challenge on that play. Miley was exhausted, and after getting into trouble for what seemed like the millionth time, Mookie Betts saved the day with an on-target throw to Ryan Hanigan, who then tagged(?) Valencia. Jays manager John Gibbons then challenged the ruling. While it didn’t seem like Hanigan tagged him on the initial swipe, it didn’t look like Valencia touched the plate either. Umps conferred, reviewed, called Valencia out, and threw out Gibbons after the most subdued, stereotypically Canadian argument ever. It stymied the Blue Jays that inning, and they didn’t score again until the game was truly out of reach.
Trend to Watch: Betts, Brock Holt, and Xander Bogaerts combined to get 11 of Boston’s 19 hits. These guys hit 1-2-3 in the order, respectively, and with how hot each of them are individually, I can’t see a reason for Farrell to change those spots in the lineup. Betts has bounced back from a middling two months, Holt continues to hit and Bogaerts is having that breakout season we’ve all waited to see. The new Killer Bs, everyone. Enjoy the show.
Coming Next: The Red Sox kick off a homestand against the Houston Astros, who are without George Springer. Justin Masterson gets the start tomorrow night, so hold on to your helmets – this one could be rough.
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