Please don’t panic, but the Red Sox lost again Sunday, bringing their record over the last month to a certifiably busted 12-17. The game against the Rangers — whose starting pitcher, Martin Perez, barely threw more balls than strikes — was never really close, with Clay Buchholz allowing the first seven batters of the game to reach base before recording an out. The three runs the Rangers scored during this outburst alone were enough to outscore the Sox for the afternoon, as Boston fell 6-2.
Top Play (WPA): Don’t be fooled — the Red Sox did almost nothing right, and yesterday’s top play was little more than a novelty. To that end, at least it was interesting. With two outs in the sixth inning, Bryce Brentz hit his first career home run over the left field wall. You might say the ball #Brexited the stadium for Brentz, if you’re into topical jokes and still have a sense of humor about either the Sox or the collapse of the British Empire and/or the global economy. I do not.
Bottom Play (WPA): Let the record show that the WPA graph shows a death by a dozen paper cuts. While Nomar Mazara’s first-inning single that drove in the Rangers’ first run was the biggest play of the game, it wasn’t materially worse than any of the other damage-inducing plays from the opening frame. The spiritual backbreaker was a Rougned Odor popup behind third base that no Red Sox could get to, scoring Mazara and hinting that it was going to be, in fact, one of those games.
Key Moment: Buchholz, like so many Red Sox pitchers recently, was unable to escape the first inning unscathed. This could have easily gone on in the ‘Trend to Watch’ section to follow, but it effectively ended the proceedings before they started. On the bright side, it happened early enough that maybe you were inspired to do something other than watch a washed-up Buchholz try to make chicken salad out of another wasted opportunity.
Trend to Watch: Start up the Trademaster 3000. Let’s look at starting pitchers great and small. Julio Teheran? He’d be fantastic. Sonny Gray? He’d be okay. With Dave Dombrowski braying about his own behind-the-scenes work in the trade market, let me suggest another name: Clayton Kershaw. He gave up four runs to the Pirates last night. His value will never be lower. Makes sense imho.
Coming next: Again, the Red Sox will face a team that’s mightily struggling. Last time it was the White Sox, who nearly swept the Sox in a four-game series at Fenway for the first time in a century. This time it’s the Rays, losers of 11 straight games. It will start with Ed Rodriguez versus Blake Snell, and, if form holds, it will probably start poorly.
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