Well, that game was dumb.
Top Play (WPA)
Unsurprisingly, the top play in this one came via the bat of Adam Jones, who very much enjoyed the portion of the game in which Eduardo Rodriguez pitched. In this particular at bat, the Orioles center fielder came to the plate in a scoreless game following a leadoff walk to the incredibly unincredible Paul Janish. After working a 3-0 count, Jones — a tremendous fastball hitter — was sitting waiting for a fastball from Rodriguez. It was a smart move, as he got the green light and crushed a fastball up in the zone over the CITGO sign (+.169), giving Baltimore a lead it would never relinquish.
Bottom Play (WPA)
This game was not close at any point, as even when it was scoreless the Red Sox were never able to get anything resembling a rally going. The closest was in the bottom half of the third when they had two straight baserunners after recording two quick outs. Dustin Pedroia then came to the plate with a chance to at least tie what was then a 2-0 deficit. Instead, he pooped out weakly to Chris Davis in foul territory right in front of the dugout (-.050).
Eduardo Rodriguez Was Bad Again
Rodriguez’s return was supposed to be key to a Red Sox rotation that desperately needed competent arms in the back of the rotation. After his first start against Baltimore, he looked to be at least solid enough to keep the offense in games most night. Since then…well, not so much. Rodriguez now has three straight Bad starts and owns a 6.97 ERA to go with a 7.06 ERA through his first four starts of the season. As many posited last night, it’s probably time to send him back to Pawtucket to figure out what’s ailing him, whether that be pitch tipping, his knee or something else entirely. The only problem, of course, is the utter lack of options in the Red Sox organization.
The Offense Stunk, Too
While it’s not nearly as concerning in the long-term as Rodriguez’s rough night, the offense was just as much to blame for this loss. At the end of the day, five runs really isn’t that much to ask for from Boston’s offense that has seemingly put up double digits in its sleep earlier in the year. This is particularly true when the opposing pitcher is Tyler freaking Wilson. To Wilson’s credit, he pitched well for most of the game. You don’t throw eight scoreless innings without pitching well. However, a ton of credit also goes to Baltimore’s defense and whoever is in charge of positioning them. By my unofficial count, the Orioles defense stole about seven hits from the Red Sox either from great defense or positioning, or both. Like I said, I don’t think this performance has any long-term implications of this lineup*, but it was extremely frustrating to watch while it unfolded.
*Rusney Castillo is excluded from this. He finally got a chance to start and reminded everyone why he never gets chances to start.
David Ortiz is still David Ortiz, though
Even on a night when the lineup had nothing in the tank, Ortiz finds a way to make things fun. He got his Daily Double in the seventh, though it was much closer than it had any business being due to his inability to run. Then, with two outs in the ninth and the game essentially over, he blasted a home run into the bleachers in right field. The man now has a .371 ISO. Twenty six qualified batters have a lower slugging percentage than that.
The Red Sox stay at home this weekend, with the Mariners coming to town. Seattle got off to a hot start, and while they have cooled off recently they are still in second place in the AL West and over .500. Roenis Elias gets the start for Boston tonight, facing off against his old team for his first start in a Red Sox uniform. His counterpart will be Hisashi Iwakuma. First pitch is at 7:10 pm.
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