Steven Wright puts up another solid start. The Red Sox lineup puts up another double-digit run total. Ho hum.
Top Play (WPA)
Blake Swihart had been going through a bit of a slump in his return to the majors, tallying just one single in his first three games. That changed on Wednesday night as he came through with the biggest hit of the game that really broke it open for Boston. The catcher-turned-left-fielder came up to the plate in a tied game with runners on first and second and two down. He broke out of his mini slump with a blast to deep center field that turned into a two-run triple (+ .244), giving the Red Sox a lead they would never relinquish.
Bottom Play (WPA)
The Red Sox won this game and clinched the series in the process, and they wouldn’t even let Colorado take the bottom play. This team is a bunch of bullies. Immediately before that Swihart triple, Christian Vazquez came up to pinch hit for Ryan Hanigan (more on that in a second) with runners on the corner and one out. He hit a grounder to Christian Adames, who gunned Jackie Bradley down at the plate (-.087). It didn’t end up mattering, but it shows the stark difference between this year’s team and the last two seasons. There’s no way that inning ends as positively in previous years.
The worst play for the losing Rockies came when Gerrardo Parra struck out swinging with runners on the corners and nobody out in the top half of the fourth (-0.57).
JBJ’s extends hit streak to 29
Bradley poked a liner through the left side in the second at bat of the game, limiting the drama surrounding whether or not his streak would continue. Just 27 more games to go.
Dustin Pedroia and Ryan Hanigan Leave Game for Very Different Reasons
We’ll start with Pedroia, because it’s obviously more concerning. After ripping a double in the fifth inning, and looking completely fine in the process, Boston’s second baseman was immediately pulled from the game. It came out later that it was for right hamstring tightness, though as of this writing we’re still not sure how serious it is. Maybe you know, Reader From The Future. It didn’t look too serious given the way he ran off the field, and the Red Sox better hope it’s not. Pedroia has been quietly vital for this lineup.
Hanigan, meanwhile, was pulled from the game because of illness. At least that was the official reason. It may very well be true, but he also was having an incredibly hard time with Wright’s knuckleball. Through the three innings he played, he allowed four passed balls and was also behind the plate for two wild pitches.
Steven Wright is The Ace
David Price has bounced back and is looking like his old self again, but that doesn’t mean Wright has given up his title as The Ace. He pitched into the eighth last night, striking out seven batters while allowing three runs, two of them earned. The wild pitches were definitely problem, but that will happen with knuckleballers sometimes. Plus, he really buckled down as the game went on. He now has a 2.37 ERA through his first nine starts over 60.2 innings, and this is quickly transforming from a fun start of the year to a legitimate All-Star case.
Xander Bogaerts Is: Good
Bogaerts started the scoring for the Red Sox last night, depositing a pitch at his knees 415 feet away into the Monster Seats. It was his fifth homer of the year, and he’s now hitting .349/.404/.513 on the year. Oh, he also made a really nifty leaping grab in the third.
The Red Sox will go for the sweep tonight in the most unfavorable pitching matchup of the series. We all know how poorly Clay Buchholz has pitched, and with Eduardo Rodriguez looking good in his last rehab start, this is an enormous start for him. Meanwhile, Colorado will toss out Jon Gray. Don’t be fooled by the former third overall pick’s 6.75 ERA. He’s striking out 11 batters per nine innings this season to go along with a 2.62 FIP, 3.21 DRA and 82 cFIP. First pitch will be at 7:10. It will also be preceded by the number retiring ceremony for Wade Boggs, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Photo by Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports Images