Jackie Bradley

Game 41 Recap: Red Sox 5, Royals 2

Third time’s the charm, no? The Red Sox finally beat the Royals on Wednesday night, snapping a two-game mini-skid and proving they can hang with the big boys of the sport. How weird is it to read that about the Royals?

Top Play (WPA): The top play of the evening came courtesy of none other than Christian Vazquez. With Travis Shaw on second and Josh Rutledge on first with two outs in the top of the sixth, the Royals elected to intentionally walk Jackie Bradley Jr. to load the bases, preferring to face Vazquez instead. It was a perfectly reasonable decision that backfired, as Vazquez hit a seeing-eye single right back up the middle to drive in two (.182), making it a 4-1 game.

Vazquez didn’t exactly crush the ball, but it was part of a good night for the offensively maligned catcher, who went 2-4 and drove in three RBI, raising his season total to … five.

Other top plays by WPA include Jackie Bradley Jr.’s second-inning bomb (.111), Mookie Betts’ solo shot (.102) and Salvador Perez’s big fly off David Price in the fourth (.117).

Bottom Play (WPA): With runners at first and third and one out in the top of the first, Hanley Ramirez grounded into an inning-ending double play (-.113), ending the rally and giving everyone watching a “here we go again” feeling. The Red Sox have been so good in the first inning this season that I just sort of assumed they’d get at least one run in once Betts reached third. It was jarring to see them fail.

The next-worst play of the evening was the game’s penultimate act, a Sal Perez GIDP in the bottom of the ninth against Craig Kimbrel (-0.81). We appreciate Mr. Perez for putting an end to the drama quickly.

Key Moment: The Vazquez two-RBI single, for sure. Firstly because it appears as though Vazquez is coming around a bit at the plate (up to .254/.303/.366 … sigh), but secondly because of what preceded it; the JBJ intentional walk. Bradley’s hit streak is now up to 24 games, and Bradley’s overall triple-slash is up to .338/.390/.607. He can’t keep this up forever, and we know to be leery of his streakiness, but god damn what a ride.

Trend to Watch: It looks like David Price is good again. The lefty wasn’t dominant on Wednesday evening but he was mighty good, allowing just five hits and one walk over 7.2 innings of five-strikeout ball. That’s two very strong starts for Price in a row now, which is a much-needed revelation given the struggles of Clay Buchholz and Rotating Starter No. 5.

Coming Next: The Red Sox are off Thursday as they travel home to gear up for three-game sets against the Indians and the Rockies. Buchholz will take the mound against Corey Kluber on Friday, so … make other plans.

Photo by Denny Medley/USA Today Sports Images

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1 comment on “Game 41 Recap: Red Sox 5, Royals 2”


I’m happy with only occasional shows of offensive prowess from the catcher position. It’s LF that I’m worried about.

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