The Red Sox and Astros wrapped up their Looney Tunes-inspired four-game series Sunday at Fenway Park with another Sox victory, as Houston’s three field goals weren’t enough to keep up with Boston’s world-destroying offense in a long, wall-pounding afternoon at Fenway Park, Boston’s first day game on the Sabbath in a month.
Top Plays (WPA): May the Mookie Betts/Xander Bogaerts debate never end! In the second inning, Bogaerts clubbed a three-run homer to give the Sox a 6-3 lead, adding a cool 23.6 percentage points to Boston’s win probability. Not to be outdone, Betts struck his own big blow later in the game, tripling in the seventh inning to drive in Ryan “Mike Piazza” Hanigan, pushing the Sox’ lead to what would end up as the final score of 10-9. For this, he also added 23.6 percentage points to Boston’s win probability. That’s ridiculous. These two are good, man.
Bottom Play (WPA): Sean O’Sullivan is, to be fair without being mean, less good. The Sox decided to roll with house money and send him out there a second time after a successful enough first start, and they were lucky not to get burned. To wit, the three-run blast Luis Valbuena clubbed in the second inning, turning a 2-0 Sox advantage into a 3-2 Astros lead, was Houston’s biggest hit of the day. O’Sullivan gave up two more runs before being pulled in the fifth, after which the Sox sent their SO’S to the moon. He was designated for assignment at game’s end.
Key Moment: I’m going to jump straight to the end and say Craig Kimbrel’s shutdown inning was the biggest moment of the day, if only because I don’t think a single Red Sox fan could stomach another inning of this series. I mean, the series was fun and all, but enough was enough: Game 7 of Raptors/Heat was coming to a close at the very same time, and we needed to get prepared for our elaborate home cosplay Game of Thrones rituals (i.e., putting on pajamas). Kimbrel gave us the time we needed in a 1-2-3 ninth. It was sweet.
Also, Joe West tossed Brock Holt for arguing balls and strikes, because Joe West is ridiculous.
Trend to Watch: Let’s continue to roll with Jackie Bradley Jr.’s hitting streak, which reached 21 games when he singled in the bottom of the fifth. It’s (still) the longest active streak in the majors, and the longest by anyone this season. Circle your calendars:
Jackie Bradley, Jr. still on pace to break Joe DiMaggio’s record on June 25 in Texas.
— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) May 15, 2016
Up Next: The Red Sox head to Kansas City, Missouri, to face the defending champs in three-game set. Rick Porcello toes the rubber for Boston, while noted firecracker Yordano Ventura will sling it for the Royals. The last time the Royals won the World Series, the Sox made it the next year, only to fall to the Mets — which is an early possibility for this year’s fall classic. Too soon? Nah. If the Royals can be champs, we can all dare to dream.
Photo by Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports Images