Yeah. It was that kind of game.
Top Play (WPA)
Just like it was last night with Travis Shaw’s dinger, Dustin Pedroia’s ringing grand slam off Pesky’s Pole was the big highlight play in this one, and WPA agreed, giving it a game-high .126 mark.
The Red Sox must’ve decided that they didn’t score enough runs in the first inning – they only had two, sad! – so they chased Bud Norris from the game in the second inning. Pedroia wasn’t finished, however, as he blasted a second home run later in the game, just one pitch after third baseman Daniel Castro and AJ Pierzynski came together to not catch a foul ball. Never change, AJ.
Bottom Play (WPA)
The Braves threatened early, and once again, the Braves did nothing with men on base. Erick Aybar won out for this one, as his swinging strikeout in the second inning with one out and runners on second and third was the worst play of the game, posting a -.082 mark. The five worst plays of the game were all by Braves hitters who, again, made harmless outs with men in scoring position, and two of them were infield pop-ups to Pedroia. When people call the Braves’ offense a glorified Triple-A lineup, they aren’t wrong, though Steven Wright deserves some credit for another strong outing.
David Ortiz had three doubles tonight, and the one he hit in the fourth all but ended the game. He absolutely destroyed a first-pitch fastball from John Gant to center, and was about two inches from a home run, give or take an inch.
That made the score 7-2, and that was all she wrote, essentially. Shaw would triple to score him later, and you could’ve turned the game off and not missed a single thing. Except, maybe, Tommy Layne and Matt Barnes pitching, but I can count on one hand the amount of people those two bring joy to by pitching.
Trend to Watch
The team-wide power surge. Coming into the game, the Red Sox lead the majors in doubles, and their .436 SLG ranked seventh overall as well. They hit six XBH tonight, right on the heels of a game where they hit five XBH in a single inning. The strange part is that the team isn’t hitting a ton of home runs, despite Pedroia’s two dingers today. They only had 15 before the game started – good for 26th in the majors – and a couple more won’t change those standings much. Nevertheless, the Red Sox are still getting those extra bases at a great clip, even if they aren’t hitting it out of the park. They’ll just knock them off the walls instead.
The end of the four-game stretch against the Braves is nigh, as Clay Buchholz will take on Jhoulys Chacin in a battle of whose name can be mangled the worst. Come see Jerry Remy try and say Jhoulys!
Photo by Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports Images