The Red Sox, however improbably, have won 11 games in a row.
Top Play (WPA)
I…I really don’t know how to describe this one. It involves an Ortiz double, some dancing, and a .363 WPA.
That’s just incredible. A mad dash and dance to at the plate to decide who would win the game. Words really don’t do it justice, so just watch it again and try to comprehend how that even happened.
Bottom Play (WPA)
After Fernando Abad allowed Brad Miller to knock the game-tying run in, John Farrell called for Joe Kelly, who, in his new and improved shutdown reliever form, got a ground ball out of Nick Franklin to start a double play to end the inning. That squandered opportunity by the Rays came with a -.251 WPA, and that Dustin Pedroia fellow seems to be everywhere in this recap, huh?
Usually, I’ll put a good Red Sox play here, but man, the top of the fifth inning was TOOTBLAN hell. First, Xander Bogaerts is thrown out at home on a Mookie Betts grounder to third base – no one really knew why he was running – and then Betts is picked off at first base soon afterwards.
The younger Red Sox are known for their almost hyper-aggressive baserunning, and it works every so often, but they ran themselves out of a potential rally here.
Trends to Watch
1. The pitching. Oh my god, the pitching. Twenty-one strikeouts in nine innings, and 23 in ten. That set a franchise record for strikeouts in game. Eduardo Rodriguez went strikeout crazy by punching out 13 in 5.1 IP, and he teamed up with Heath Hembree to record a streak of 11 straight strikeouts. Joe Kelly pitched a phenomenal 2.1 IP of scoreless baseball to shut down the Rays and end the game. This was a big game for the middle relievers, and most of them stepped up. Great stuff all around.
2. A bum knee? Dustin Pedroia doesn’t know what you’re talking about. After going 0-for-15 coming into Saturday’s game, Pedroia’s uncorked four hits – two of them being massive go-ahead homers. Guess he just needed a couple days to get back to being himself.
The Red Sox have an off day on Monday, but they’re right back to work on Tuesday, traveling to the Bronx to take on Luis Cessa and the Yankees. David Price will start that one, and for the first time since 2013, the Boston Red Sox will have a chance to clinch the American League East pennant.
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