O offense, where art thou?
Top Play (WPA)
Nelson Cruz just keeps on hitting Red Sox pitching, this time with a second-deck blast worth .115 WPA. Cruz got his hands inside a Porcello sinker that didn’t do much sinking and sent it way out to left field. That was the first of three Mariners homers on the night, so Cruz really set the tone here. Rick Porcello wasn’t all that bad, he just made three bad pitches. Home runs are curious things – they’re the most damaging type of hit, but it doesn’t always signal a bad outing.
Bottom Play (WPA)
In a strange, not-totally-unexpected way, the worst play was the one the Red Sox scored their only run on: a Travis Shaw RBI groundout in the 9th inning. That play posted a -.065 WPA, mostly because it made the second out in the ninth with Sandy Leon coming up. Edwin Diaz is a very good reliever, and the bottom part of the order really didn’t stand a chance (again), even with his wildness.
Drew Storen getting out of a jam in the 8th inning. Thanks to back-to-back singles by Benintendi and Betts, the Red Sox were in business with just one out in the inning. But Brock Holt popped out, and while Xander Bogaerts gave it a ride to the wall, it fell just a couple feet short of a game-tying homer. Storen is a decent reliever going through a bad year, and the Red Sox really needed to capitalize there if they ever wanted to have a chance in-game.
Trend to Watch
Andrew Benintendi getting his first and second hits in the majors. He looked composed and unintimidated, looking every bit of the baseball player we’ve heard so much about. His dad had a lot to say about his first start, too:
Also, Rick Porcello pitched well, despite three bad pitches. He’s now gone the distance in his last two starts, and has quickly become the most reliable pitcher on the Red Sox.
The Red Sox finish up their series with the Mariners, as they’ll send out Drew Pomeranz to face rookie Ariel Miranda, who was the return on the Wade Miley trade with the Orioles. You’d think this would be a pitcher the Sox would feast on, but they’ve been incredibly mercurial with the run-scoring during this road trip. Here’s hoping they live up to those 5.5 runs per game!
Photo by Joe Nicholson/USA Today Sports Images