If you’re the type to get frustrated easily, then boy, do we have a game for you!
Top Play (WPA)
Big moment, big hit, Big Papi.
That round-tripper was worth .225 WPA, and brought the Red Sox back into the game early on. Ortiz took a Mike Pelfrey sinker that floated over the outer edge of the plate and deposited it into the visitor’s bullpen. That blast was one of the few bright spots the Red Sox had in this game, and it was probably the loudest play as well. No one excites – especially against Detroit – quite like David Ortiz.
Bottom Play (WPA)
Leading off the 9th inning, Dustin Pedroia grounded out to Miguel Cabrera for the first out of the inning. That play, while seemingly small, was the worst of the game, with a -.092 WPA. Considering that two of the best hitters in the American League were coming up after him, it makes a little more sense in context, and Bogaerts’ subsequent single would’ve had a much bigger impact. Sometimes, it’s the little things that get you.
When Robbie Ross ran out of gas. In the top of the 7th, Ross struck out Victor Martinez and got Nick Castellanos to ground out. With two big bats down, the inning seemed like a cake walk for the southpaw. Then he hit Justin Upton with a pitch. Mike Aviles singled after that. Ross lost all control, walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and then walked Tyler Collins, bringing in the go-ahead run. Joe Kelly had mop-up duty after that and got the final out, but the damage was done.
The Red Sox offense – the very same one that came back from a four-run and a three-run deficit in the same game – couldn’t muster another run. Hell, they couldn’t even get a guy to second base after Ross’ meltdown.
Trend to Watch
I’m not one to harp on Farrell, since managing is a tough job and you seldom get praise when you’re good, but he was terrible at managing pitchers in this one. Steven Wright was being knocked around in the fifth inning and Farrell ended his suffering only after four runs had scored. When Ross lost all control, he waited until a run scored to yank him for Joe Kelly, of all people. I know the bullpen’s taxed, and it’s missing key members, but there’s no excuse to let situations like those unfold. Farrell’s got to be proactive about bringing in relievers.
An afternoon game, featuring the really good Michael Fulmer against the not-as-good Eduardo Rodriguez. The Red Sox need this one, as they go on a dreaded West Coast road trip after that. Here’s hoping they flip the script.
Photo by Tyler Collins/USA Today Sports Images