Mookie Betts is unbelieveable. Eduardo Rodriguez is back. May is over. And the Red Sox have the best record in the American League.
Top Play (WPA): Mookie Betts’ middle homer (yes, you read that right) earns top honors here. Betts’ three-run blast in the bottom of the second (.186) made it 5-0 Red Sox, and gave E-Rod plenty of wiggle room in his first start of the season. Betts drove in Chris Young and Christian Vazquez, who both walked.
As for the second-best play of the game per WPA? That’d be Betts’ first homer, which came as he led off the game (.098). Dustin Pedroia ruined the theme by notching the third-highest play on his first-inning bomb (.090), but Betts scored Boston’s fourth-best WPA play with his third homer in the seventh (.051). It was a fun game.
Bottom Play (WPA): Chris Davis flied out to left with no outs and a runner on second in the bottom of the sixth (-.050). The Orioles were never really close in this one.
Key Moment: That Betts three-run bomb, for sure. The Orioles are a scary, scary offensive club, and with Rodriguez not quite fully up to speed, the Sox needed insurance runs to take some pressure off their starter. Betts delivered with this third impressive swing of the bat.
Another key moment? Chris Davis hit the longest fly ball I’ve ever seen with a man on in the bottom of the eighth off Koji Uehara. It was called foul. It was probably foul. But honestly, it was too damn high to tell. Had it been perceivable and fair, Davis’ crush job would’ve made it a two-run game, and we’d probably be asking ourselves some tough questions about Koji, who looks downright mortal at many points this year. Crisis averted for now, but it might be a convo we need to have anyway.
Trend to Watch: Xander Bogaerts hit a bloop single to shallow left-center field in the seventh. The hit streak is alive at 24.
Coming Next: Joe Kelly will take the mound opposite Mike Wright as the Red Sox look to clinch a series win in Baltimore. Given these two pitchers you should expect a high scoring game, and given what we know about baseball predictions you should expect a pitchers’ duel. As shaky as Kelly has looked most of the time, remember that he has one thing Wright doesn’t: Joe Kelly has great stuff.
Photo by Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports Images