The Red Sox won their opening series of the season Monday, beating Cleveland 3-2 to run their record to 2-1 on the season.
Yesterday’s contest was a make-up game left all the way over from early April — back when Drew Pomeranz was a still a Padres reclamation project, Blake Swihart was in one piece and David Price wasn’t utterly depressing. One day after being called “frontrunners” by the Boston Globe’s Ronald McDonald, the Red Sox pulled out a gritty one-run victory sure to send the clown into a grimace.
Top Play (WPA): Barring a postseason matchup — a distinct possibility — this was David Ortiz’s last game in Cleveland, and he went out with a bang. His two-run donger in the sixth inning gave the Red Sox a lead they would never relinquish, despite the best efforts of Craig Kimbrel later in the game. Fun fact: I like David Ortiz!
Bottom Play (WPA): With the Sox up one in the ninth inning, Kimbrel gave up a leadoff double to Francisco Lindor. More than Rajai Davis’s eighth-inning RBI double or fourth-inning solo home run, this boded well for the Tribe, and things looked especially juicy for the hometown crowd when Mike Napoli walked in the following at-bat. Then Kimbrel struck out some guys and got a popout and we won, but jeepers, man. This heart really can’t take it any more. Celine Dion I’m not.
Key Moment: In retrospect, I’d say Jackie Bradley Jr.’s sixth inning ding-a-ling is worth mentioning, but just to be a contrarian, I’ll go with Carlos Santana’s seventh inning double play ball with Mike Napoli on third and no outs; the WPA gods say they’re .005 points apart, and they drink a lot.
Trend to Watch: Pomeranz was exquisite. If he pitches for the rest of the year like he pitched yesterday, the Sox have a good chance at making some real noise in the playoffs. This may not yet actually be a trend, but let’s hope it is.
Coming Next: The last of three opponents in three days: it was the Diamondbacks in Boston on Sunday, the Indians in Cleveland on Monday, and it’ll be the Orioles in Baltimore tonight. The matchup is Eduardo Rodriguez versus Yovani Gallardo, so if you play daily fantasy, you might want to jam your lineup full of Boston and Baltimore’s hitters. Just a hunch. Because the pitchers are bad, see.
Photo by David Richard/USA Today Sports Images