Sure doesn’t feel like it, but the Red Sox split the series.
Top Play (WPA)
Wasn’t the most dramatic of plays, but Brock Holt’s slow-bouncing RBI single in the 11th inning goes here. That go-ahead hit was worth .291 WPA, and might not have happened the same way had shortstop Shawn O’Malley let it go through. Other than the two games on Sunday and Monday, the Red Sox have been struggling with timely hitting during this road trip, but they did just enough to get out of Seattle with a couple wins.
Bottom Play (WPA)
In the bottom of the 11th, Brad Ziegler was called upon to get a save. With a man on third, he got Seth Smith to swing at a pitch that might’ve not been more than a foot off the ground at its apex. That’s some classic Brad Ziegler stuff right there. Smith’s whiff came with a -.152 WPA, and stranded yet another runner, bringing the final combined tally of runners left on base at 21. That’s an incredibly Sisyphean amount of guys not scoring.
While Fernando Abad did far better in this one than in his first outing, he still couldn’t get the crucial third out, and in failing to do so, brought Robinson Cano to the plate. So Farrell, not interested in watching a repeat of Tuesday’s game, immediately called for Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel got an inning-ending 4-3 groundout to send this game to extras.
Kimbrel stayed in for the 10th, and burned through the heart of the Mariners’ order.
Nelson Cruz? Smoked.
Adam Lind? Embarrassed.
Kyle Seager? More of the same.
For a guy who’s been skewered about not performing well in non-save situations, Kimbrel torched four good hitters on 14 pitches over 1 1/3 innings. Not too shabby.
Trend to Watch
What do the Red Sox have in Drew Pomeranz, exactly? He’s been consistently frustrating during his four-start tenure with the team. He walked six guys in this one, and that might’ve been his second-best start so far. He’s always prone to have one bad inning and four or five good ones, but it’s that bad inning that does him in. Not only that, he’s allowed five homers in his 20 1/3 innings with the Red Sox, while not allowing a single one in the 21 innings prior to getting traded. No one certainly thought he was going to hold up his 2.37 ERA, but he has been less than impressive so far.
The Red Sox return to southern California to face the other Los Angeles team, the Dodgers, now managed by old friend Dave Roberts. It’ll be Steven Wright versus Scott Kazmir in this one, and remember: the last time the Red Sox visited Chavez Ravine, Jake Peavy went the distance and Mike Napoli did this:
So don’t miss out on this.
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