Game 78 Recap: Rays 4, Red Sox 0

Don’t worry, June is almost over.

Top Play (WPA)
This one wasn’t too much of a surprise, as it was the start of what was a very long start to the game for David Price. Brandon Guyer was the first batter of the second inning, and the game was still scoreless despite a terrifying first inning that we’ll get to soon. The score would change shortly, though, as Guyer took an awful pitch — Price left a fastball right over the middle of the plate — and crushed it to left center field (+.115). As you can see from the final score above, that was all the Rays would need in this one.

Bottom Play (WPA)

The thing about the Red Sox lineup on Wednesday afternoon is that they were bad enough to not give themselves many chances to squander high-leverage situations. That’s how the Rays ended up with the bottom play today. That came in the aforementioned first that was plagued by hard contact. Evan Longaria had a chance to do some early damage with a man on third base and just one out. Instead, he popped out to Hanley Ramirez behind the mound (-.060) and Price would eventually escape the inning unscathed.

To be fair, Boston’s worst play rated essentially the same by WPA. The lineup threatened briefly in the sixth, when they loaded the bases on three consecutive singles.* David Ortiz came up with one out and a chance to tie a 4-0 game with one swing. Instead, he popped one up over to the third baseman (-0.59) and the Red Sox would eventually waste the opportunity.

*Those were their first three hits of the game, for what it’s worth

David Price Struggles Again

If you look at his final line, it doesn’t appear that Price was all that bad in Wednesday’s game. Trust me, he was. The game started with a ground rule double on a blast to center field, followed immediately by a deep fly ball to center field that was caught and moved Logan Forsythe to third. Then, of course, there was the home run to Guyer. All in all, this was a start in which Price completely feasted on the bottom of the order, but the top half of the Rays’ lineup feasted on him. Boston’s ace left too many pitches up in the zone, and there was hard contact galore at the Trop. The peripherals didn’t take much of a hit, but it’s fair to question where Price is right now given all of the hittable pitches he is throwing.

The Lineup Wasn’t Better

Remember when the Red Sox had the most fearsome offense since the ’27 Yankees? Oh, the times they are a’changin’. They were completely and utterly shut down by Matt Moore yesterday. The Rays’ starter carried a no-hitter into the sixth, and didn’t have to sweat in any inning besides the sixth, as mentioned above. To be clear, Moore deserves plenty of credit for this. He’s looked much better in 2016 than in year’s past, and that continued against the Red Sox. He kept the hitters guessing mixing up both his pitches and his location, and he hit his spot more often than not, particularly as the game progressed. At the same time, the Red Sox have too many good bats to be shut down like they were in this game. It was a poor performance all around, with Travis Shaw the only guy who stood out even a little bit.

Coming Next

The Red Sox get a much needed day off on Thursday, as they are playing their worst baseball of the year. The team starts a nine-game home stand that will take them right into the All-Star break. They need to play well in this stretch, and that quest will start Friday against the Angels with Steven Wright taking on Jhoulys Chacin.

Photo by Kim Klement/USA Today Sports Images

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