Oh, hey there Red Sox offense. Good to see you again.
Top Play (WPA)
This game turned into a blowout very early, so it seemed like the Rangers never really had a chance. When that happens, there aren’t many high-leverage situations available for any side. However, did you know that every game starts with a 0-0 tie? It’s true! Every single one! It would be pretty wild if that wasn’t the case, to be honest. Anyway, this one was tied at zero at one point, until it wasn’t. The tie was broken very early — in the first inning, to be exact — when David Ortiz demolished a pitch into the right field bleachers (+.180) to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. At that point, the game was no longer tied.
Bottom Play (WPA)
Have I mentioned that this game was a blowout? I’m definitely not overcompensating for the fact that I literally wrote this in the third inning because there was almost no chance the important things would change. So, this game was a blowout, and that meant the Rangers had almost no chances to do any damage. They did have one chance though, and that was in the top of the second when they only trailed by two. They managed to cut the lead to one, and had two runners in scoring position. It was at this point when Steven Wright remembered that he is now officially All-Star Steven Wright and struck out Elvis Andrus (-.082) and Bobby Wilson (-.064) to end the inning.
Remember This Red Sox Offense?
It’s not like this offense ever really left, but it’s been easy to forget about while we’ve all been wallowing in the horror that is Boston’s pitching staff. This is precisely why the front office needs to fix said pitching, because wasting this kind of offense would be unforgivable. Sure, Texas’ defense played a big hand here, as they essentially gave Boston another inning by committing three errors in a five-run second. Still, Ortiz hit that home run, lifting his ISO to .342. Mookie Betts hit two doubles, and even Bryce Brentz chipped in with a couple of hits and three RBI. In conclusion, this offense is fun so don’t waste it, you guys.
Steven Wright Is Okay, Too
All-Star Steven Wright’s final line didn’t look great by the end of his outing, but he looked like his AllStar self for most of the night. Sure, there was some anxiety-inducing action behind the plate as Hanigan had some trouble handling the knuckleball, but that comes with the territory. He had the pitch working all night, as evidenced by his seven strikeouts. A really solid performance for All-Star Steven Wright.
Let’s Hear it for Tommy Layne
Tommy Layne doesn’t really get any headlines, and that’s mostly fair. He’s a junk-throwing lefty who should really just be used as a LOOGY. Of course, John Farrell uses him in other situations, and oftentimes that doesn’t end well. Yesterday was not one of those times. Despite the huge lead (did I mention that this game was a blowout?), things started taking a downward turn in the seventh. Layne came in for Wright, and while he did allow an inherited runner to score, he also struck out three batters in the middle of Texas’ lineup. Layne doesn’t get many chances to be celebrated, so let’s give him this one.
Kimbrel Recovers…Sort of
After blowing up on Tuesday in a vaunted non-save situation, Farrell made sure to get him right back out there on Wednesday to get back on track. It looked like he would when he started the inning with two quick, easy outs. Then, he walked the next two and it appeared to be deja vu all over again. Of course, that was worrying about nothing and Kimbrel finished the inning without allowing a run. It wasn’t the totally dominant Kimbrel we all know and love, but it was acceptable.
The Red Sox have an off-day on Thursday as they wait for Tampa Bay to come to town for the final series before the All-Star Break. That series will kick off on Friday with Sean O’Sullivan taking the mound once again for the Red Sox. Did I mention this team needs pitching help? Chris Archer will start for the Rays. First pitch comes at 7:10 on Friday.
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