This cannot be emphasized enough: NL baseball sucks.
Top Play (WPA)
As if there was any doubt: Xander Bogaerts’ go-ahead single in the 10th inning slots in here.
That ducksnort was worth .228 WPA, by far the highest of the game. The Red Sox, thanks to an improbable series of events that started with a Sandy Leon lead-off double (!!!) and then a Marco Hernandez four-pitch walk (!!), ended up with a great opportunity to take the lead late, and Bogaerts made it happen with what might be the softest hit he’s ever gotten. Mookie Betts should also be lauded here, as he was off on contact and saw that it would fall for a hit, giving the team an extra run.
Bottom Play (WPA)
Weirdly enough, this was the play right before Bogaerts’ single. Dustin Pedroia had grounded out to Matt Duffy with the bases loaded, who took the easy out at home, but could not get Pedroia out at first. The fielder’s choice was worth a -.146 WPA, a surprisingly high mark, but when put into the context of extra innings, it starts to make much more sense. It’s not often that Pedroia reduces the team’s chances of winning by nearly 15%, but we all can’t be perfect every day.
Chris Young somehow got himself out of a double play in the 7th inning and was able to keep the play alive so a run would score. Words don’t really do it justice.
That’s an incredible feat by Young to make sure this game ends up tied. Crawford felt rushed and half-heartedly made a tag that Young was able to get away from. Didn’t leave the basepath, just fell under the tag and scrambled to second base. Young played limbo and won.
Not only was Young incredible on the basepaths, he kicked in on defense and offense in this one. Baseball is weird.
Trend to Watch
Robbie Ross deserves some love. He threw a perfect inning today, lowering his ERA and FIP to 3.00 and 2.64 on the year. In comparison, Craig Kimbrel has a 2.70 ERA and a 2.52 FIP, and induces grounders at half the rate that Ross does. He’s also destroying left-handed batters to the tune of a .083/.241/.125 line, which makes you wonder why Tommy Layne comes out of the ‘pen first against LHH when they hit .267/.400/.414 line against him. It’s nice to see Farrell going to him more often now, as he’s starting to show that he demands higher-leverage appearances than what he’s seeing now.
Also, this was a nice bounceback outing for Rick Porcello, who threw six innings of three-run ball.
In the premier matchup this week, David Price will face off against fellow southpaw Madison Bumgarner, who the Red Sox will try to keep from spraying homers all over the park.
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