This is not the ideal way to end the first half. It is not the ideal way to end any half, ever. At the close of business on Sunday, the last-place Red Sox lost to the first-place New York Yankees in the rubber match of the latest series in the game’s most historic rivalry.
Oh, and the team’s best pitcher went on the DL this weekend. At least the game wasn’t boring, as the Red Sox had a chance to come back late. (They didn’t.)
Top Play (WPA): During the third inning, the Sox racked up a nice run of hits off of Eovaldi, culminating in three runs. The biggest shift in WPA in the Sox’s favor was Xander’s single (.148), the one that drove in the first run and put the Sox down by one. Ryan Hanigan scored on that single, but Bogaerts would score on the Sox’s next-highest WPA play: the fifth single of the inning. Hanley Ramirez, who went 2-4, had the second-place WPA mark (.118) with that single.
The top play of the game was really a Yankee play, Brian McCann’s second-inning, two-run homer off Miley to open the scoring (.187)
Bottom Play (WPA): So many to choose from! Just kidding, there’s one that’s quantifiably worst. Mookie Betts’ fly out at to end the sixth inning (-.082) with runners on second and third. Existentially, this is representative of the death of all human potential. Practically, it was the death of the Red Sox’s chances — despite the robust effort they put up at the close of the ninth inning.
Key Moment: Perhaps the key-est was Wade Miley’s balk in the fifth inning. Yup. That’s it. Miley balked in a run (McCann) to tie the game, because — well, that’s the kind of season both he and the Red Sox are having.
Trend to Watch: Entropy, and the slow heat death of the universe. Seriously, though — the trend I’d want to watch is this: when the Sox come back from the break, how bad do they have to be to firmly fall into the seller category? Will we learn more about the Buchholz injury? How are the Red Sox going to start preparing for whatever the next iteration of the team will be?
Coming Next: Brock Holt leads the American League All-Star team against their arch-rivals: the National League. The next real game for the Sox is on July 17th, in Los Angeles (of Anaheim) against the Angels.
Photo by Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports Images