Red Sox Game 129 recap: Barry Zito is not good
Highest WPA: Will Middlebrooks, .236 (1-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB)
Lowest WPA: David Ortiz, -.076 (0-3, 2K, 3 LOB)
That’s not exactly a controversial statement, I know, but it does serve as a good reminder of why the Sox’ offense suddenly remembered how to hit today. Felix Doubront didn’t really look all that good, but he is better than Zito, and the Giants’ offense isn’t on the same level as the Red Sox’. A good, solid, convincing win on getaway day, and now there’s a day off tomorrow before the showdown with the white-hot Dodgers.
Sportspun was quite interested to see me explain away Middlebrooks’ homer as mere BABIP luck, but obviously it wasn’t. It was a hanging changeup from Barry Zito, though. And his walk, while nice, did come while batting in front of the pitcher. Basically, Middlebrooks has looked good since coming back from Pawtucket, but it’s really easy to look good when more than half of the balls you make contact on wind up as hits. Forgive me if I’m a little hesitant to get behind a crappy hitting infielder who has an insane BABIP for a few weeks.
Editor’s note from Sportspun: Koji Uehara worked the ninth inning. Like last night, this wasn’t a SAVE SITUATION. While John Farrell went with the team’s worst pitcher in that tied game yesterday, figuring to keep Koji rested (for something more important than a bases-loaded jam where anything but an out would win the game), he went with his best in an eleven run game today. Yes, that’s right: not 24 hours after being unused because CLOSERS only get SAVES, Uehara worked a situation where San Francisco’s win expectancy was – no exaggeration – 0.0%. If this isn’t grounds for immediately firing a manager, nothing is.