Now that’s more like it. Also, Zombie Clay Buchholz.
Top Play (WPA)
Jackie Bradley Jr. had a solid hold on this one from the get-go. His two-run dinger in the 4th inning was worth .211 WPA, the highest mark in the game by over 100 points. That’s his 23rd homer. Twenty-third! After last year’s surge, you’d think this would be the 90th percentile outcome. Well, now it’s reality. JBJ is doing things for real.
Bottom Play (WPA)
This one also belonged to the Red Sox, thanks to Hanley Ramirez grounding into a double play to end the top of the 3rd inning. That twin killing came with a -.097 WPA. In the first three innings, the Red Sox continued their trend of shooting themselves in the foot with runners in scoring position, with Yoan Moncada & Buchholz striking out with JBJ on third in the 2nd inning, and then this GIDP. Wasn’t the best showing from the best offense in baseball.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, Clay Buchholz had to pitch with runners on the corners and no outs. He struck out Jon Jay and Travis Jankowski to get it to two outs, then Matt Barnes came in and got Wil Myers out. That situation – especially with this pitching staff – could’ve spiraled out of control very quickly, but that was the kind of pitching you want to see from a playoff-bound team. Buchholz, by doing what we’ve come to see as very non-Buchholz things, got two outs in a tough situation, and Barnes set down the best hitter on the Padres. That isn’t a glowing compliment, but it’s a happy acknowledgement of jobs well done.
Trend to Watch
Chris Young hit a homer yesterday, because it was his birthday. He also hit a homer today, because the party doesn’t stop when your birthday’s over. It stops when you want it to stop. And from how hot Chris Young has been, that party might never end. There’s probably a No Country For Old Men joke in here somewhere, but David Ortiz is hitting, so whatever.
One last game on the west coast, and most of you can stop staying up so late. David Price will take on Jarred Cosart, who’s been moved around so much he’s still wearing a Marlins cap in his ESPN mugshot.
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