Ortiz Kimbrel

Game 68 Recap: Red Sox 2, Mariners 1

This is what it was like with Pedro, for years. Start after start, he’d pitch incredibly and the team would — reliably — score nothing. With above-average run support he really could have won 30 games. Wins might be worth next-to-nothing, but 30 of them are worth something.

Until he became the victim of terrible run support, 2016 David Price had been the beneficiary of incredible run support. Until recently, Price was winning games, pitching well and getting pounded at the same time, but Deserved Run Average always said he was great. He’s even better now, and he twirled a gem yesterday to lead the Sox to a series win over the Seattle Mariners yesterday afternoon at Fenway.

Top Play (WPA): I had to a do a diaper run (for the kid, not me) when Mookie Betts knocked one over the wall to start the seventh inning, giving the Sox a lead they would never relinquish. I was listening to the game on my phone inside the store and I forgot my headphones, so I tried to keep the volume low, but a good number of people in Walgreens heard the call of Betts’s blast from my pocket. He swears he’s not a power hitter and I swear I’m not nuts, and I encourage you not to believe either of us.

Bottom Play (WPA): For a while, it looked like it was going be another one of those games for Price, who surrendered a dink-dunk home run around the Pesky Pole to Franklin Gutierrez to start the fourth inning. It was a Fenway homer through and through, and yeah, it counted, but it’s just been Price’s luck lately to have to this particular version of the Sword of Damocles hanging over his head: Make the tiniest mistake, and you’re screwed. Fortunately, this was all the offense Mariners could muster for the afternoon.

Key Moment: In retrospect, the pitch before Gutierrez’s home run was a key one, as radio broadcaster Tim Neverett made (repeatedly) clear throughout the game. It looked like a strike and wasn’t called one, which kept the at-bat alive, leading to Seattle’s only run. Get that call and Price’s day is near-perfect. Miss that call and have a couple bounces go against the Sox, and Price is a bum.

Trend to Watch: Dustin Pedroia went 1-4 to break a four game hitless streak, which is the smallest of trends, but I’m choosing this over Christian Vazquez’s continuing inability to get hits in clutch situations, simply  so I don’t have to acknowledge the latter. It’s my Father’s Day prerogative and you can’t stop me.       

Coming Next: The league’s worst announcer, a former Red Sock himself, brings the White Sox to town for a four-game set. Miguel Gonzalez faces off with Steven Wright on Monday, but the big matchup is Tuesday’s Chris Sale/Clay Buchholz tilt. It should be a fun one, depending on your definition of fun.

Photo by Winslow Towson/USA Today Sports Images


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