You know the story. Offense does its part, scores a bunch, and the pitching looks like this:
Top Play (WPA)
In the 7th, Junichi Tazawa decided to challenge Manny Machado, the best player on either team, with a high forkball. Junichi Tazawa failed.
That dinger was worth a massive .359 WPA, and was a pretty loud microcosm of the night. The Orioles would crank out seven home runs this game, and this one might’ve been the shortest. It became a blowout so quickly after this one, that Adam Jones’ second homer was worth just .001 WPA. Baltimore was quickly approaching the smallest possible value for a home run at that point.
Bottom Play (WPA)
Look, Hanley, we know you can run. You’ve just been doing it too much lately. It took a pretty good throw, but Baltimore’s backup catcher Francisco Pena threw out Ramirez trying to steal second base in the 6th inning. That racked up a -.045 WPA, closely trailed by a Travis Shaw flyout in the 5th (-.044 WPA) and a Blake Swihart groundout (-.044 WPA), which in the 5th as well. It’s nice to see Hanley run, but he’s been running into outs quite a bit recently.
Mark Trumbo can go away now.
Staked to a one-run lead, Rick Porcello gave it away just one out into the bottom of the 6th. The wheels well and truly came off at this point, since the Orioles, having scored in both the 4th and 5th innings, proceed to score in the rest of the innings until the game ended. Porcello was forgettable, Robbie Ross wasn’t much better, Tazawa was unbelievably awful, and Noe Ramirez probably shouldn’t be in the majors.
Trend to Watch
The state of the bullpen. What are we to expect from it? It’s been a harrowing week for the reliever corps. The series in Toronto had its fair share of mishaps, from Koji allowing a flukish go-ahead homer to Josh Donaldson late in Friday’s game, to the complete bullpen meltdown in Saturday’s contest. Then, after three relatively good games, the bullpen imploded for consecutive games again, with the whole Layne-Buchholz-Barnes carnival on Wednesday, and then this fiasco. I didn’t expect the bullpen to be amazing all the time, but man, you really couldn’t have picked a worse road trip to self-desctruct on.
The Red Sox mercifully return home to play the Blue Jays once again, and Toronto will start R.A. Dickey to face off against one of the few not-terrible pitchers on the Red Sox staff in David Price.
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