Highest WPA: Wade Miley, .382 (8 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 K, BB)
Lowest WPA: Mookie Betts, -.057 (0-4, K)
Well, hell, if every game was like this, I wouldn’t complain so much about this team. Xander Bogaerts had four hits. Mike Napoli hit another homer AND crushed a ball off the Monster. Wade Miley–Wade Miley!–threw eight innings and allowed one run, and even though I saw it I’m not sure I believe it.
Taking two out of three games in a series, scoring 19 runs over those three games…this is what the Red Sox were supposed to look like this season. They’re not all going to be like this, but when the plan works…the plan works.
Highest WPA: Mike “Hittin’ A Lot Of Dingers” Napoli, .426
Lowest WPA: David “Let’s Crash The Rocket Into The White House And Kill The President” Ortiz, -.266
Not that he said anything particularly egregious during this broadcast, just in general. Harold Reynolds was there too which I’m sure would’ve driven most of you up a wall but honestly he seems like an okay dude to watch a ballgame with if you tune out some of his dumber opinions.
Uh, well anyway we won and Steven Wright who is currently my favorite pitcher on this roster for reasons that I doubt I have to explain to any of you looked pretty good. The team scored a lot of runs for once and they managed to not allow a bunch at the same time which is some sort of spooky coincidence which much mean that we’re all doomed or trapped on a holodeck on some alien spaceship or something. I can’t explain wins! Mike Napoli hit two dingers too, which lends credence to my “aliens” theory. Logic just doesn’t work here folks.
Cole Hamels Update : Cole is still a Phillie and you’ll pry these prospects from my cold, dead hands. Swihart is great, praise Satan.
Rick Porcello is pretty good. Pretty good pitchers have shitty games. If your best pitcher is only pretty good, your team is shitty.
— The Goog (@GoogTheGoog) May 23, 2015
I was going to say "rotation" in that last tweet but fuck it. If you can't pitch you don't have shit. Right now the Red Sox don't have shit.
— The Goog (@GoogTheGoog) May 23, 2015
NESN should add a "what is Hamels worth now?" graphic to every broadcast.
— Mike Gianella (@MikeGianella) May 23, 2015
Highest WPA: Xander Bogaerts, Fangraphs acting up but “above zero” is impressive these days (2-2, BB)
Lowest WPA: Hanley Ramirez, -.225 (0-4, 2 LOB)
When I wasn’t playing The Show tonight, I was watching this garbage. I am bad at The Show, with very little plate discipline and lately no ability to pitch strikes. To top it off, either my Internet or the network is wonky and graphical glitches dominated games.
I still should have stuck with that instead of the Sox.
I don’t know why I bother. Sure, it’s some form of addictive behavior and habit, but I’m not even chasing the highs anymore; once they gave up that back-breaking third run, there was no sense the Red Sox could get back in it. Instead, they made Wandy Rodriguez look even better than they made Phil Klein look last night.
Of course, I’d be lying if I said I had no hope at all for this whole season; no one outside the Central division is running away with a playoff spot. Maybe these guys put it together and pitch like May while also hitting like April. But while I don’t see the rotation reverting to “historically terrible,” I also don’t see Ramirez making it through June without a DL stint. Maybe it’s coincidence, but the simplest explanation is “dude hurt himself that play he looked like he hurt himself, causing subsequent sucking.” I’m going with that.
But hey, cheer up; at least Allen Craig is giving AAA pitchers something to feel good about.
Highest WPA: Sasha Banks, .520 (carried the best WWE women’s match…I dunno, ever? Maybe?)
Lowest WPA: Colin Cassady, -.120 (S A W F T, sawwwwwwwft)
* Tyler Breeze and Finn Balor had a good little match. Finn’s whole demon thing is over going to take off huge on the main roster or get him treated like a joke, and it basically all comes down to how the crowd reacts to his first appearance. If he gets treated like a star and pushed like a star, he’ll be a really big star. If he gets treated like a joke, he’ll be the Boogeyman. As for Tyler, I think he has an outside shot at having the first half of Shawn Michaels’ career. As with all optimistic WWE predictions, this carries the caveat of “unless they fuck it up, which they probably will, because they do that.”
* Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady could be the next New Age Outlaws, if they can get 10,000 people in Des Moines to sing along with their shtick as easily as they get 400 people in Florida (or 1,000 in Philadelphia when I saw them live) to. I don’t know why Carmela was added to their act, and I don’t know what she brings; judging by how much the crowd hates her, I think I’m not alone in those thoughts.
Gunner and Blake and Murphy are bland as fuck.
* Rhyno and Baron Corbin had a match.
* Every NXT special is another reminder that NXT has the best women’s wrestling on the planet, and tonight was no exception. Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch had a grueling, physical, technical match, not unlike one you might have seen Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle have. Seriously, it was that good. From the opening video package to the final shot of a beaten but not broken Lynch walking through the curtain, the match had a big fight feel that you simply don’t get from women’s wrestling. Nowhere is the difference between WWE and NXT starker than in the women’s division, and it’s going to be a shame to watch Sasha and Becky (and Charlotte, and Bayley) follow in the footsteps of Emma and Paige and go from NXT megastar to main roster afterthought.
* Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are both really great, and neither of them should be in developmental anymore, but they are, so they may as well have great matches with each other. So they did. Zayn did such a good job selling the apron powerbomb at the end of this match that I seriously began to wonder if he was selling at all; I was sitting there saying things like “Hey, Sami, move your left leg a bit, okay? … You know, just to prove that you can?” WWE played up the debut of Samoa Joe like a big deal, and if you cared about Joe when he was on the indies or TNA I’m sure it felt like a big deal. I’m not one of those guys. I’ve seen a handful of Joe’s best matches, and they’re all really good, but he doesn’t do anything special for me. I’ll be interested to see if that changes now that he’s working in WWE.
* Joe Kelly had a really good start, which is weird. Brock Holt and Blake Swihart can’t hit, which isn’t weird. When you’re starting multiple black holes in your lineup, you can’t really afford to have your best hitters have off nights; unfortunately, Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez had off nights, and the rest of the team couldn’t pick them up. More unfortunately, Clay Buchholz is pitching tomorrow.
Look, this team is pretty damn mediocre unless everything’s clicking, and everything can only click when Porcello’s on the mound and nobody’s hurt, so that’s not happening. Wade Miley sucks, but he had a good night tonight, so people are going to pretend he doesn’t suck for a while. Joe Kelly sucks, and he’s pitching tomorrow, and that’s a shame. There are only so many ways to write “The Red Sox could have been really great this year if they spent more money and weren’t stupid, but instead they refused to sign Lester, hoarded overrated prospects, acquired Wade Miley and Justin Masterson, and traded John Lackey for Joe Kelly and Allen Craig. Oh well; maybe next year.”
I’m probably going to the game on June 1. By that time, Hanley might be back to 100%, or he might have screwed himself up by playing hurt. Napoli might be hitting the ball well, which would be nice. Nava might have remembered he has talent, or been cut, either of which would be acceptable at this point. Holt and Victorino and Bradley might all have been shot into the sun, but probably not. Steven Wright might still be on the roster, which would be a hilarious disaster.
SHANE VICTORINO WATCH: He sucks.
JACKIE BRADLEY WATCH: He sucks.
BROCK HOLT WATCH: He sucks.
BLAKE SWIHART WATCH: He sucks.
ALLEN CRAIG WATCH: He sucks at AAA.
Is that everyone? I think that’s everyone.
Highest WPA: Blake Swihart, .230. Return to your seat, Goog.
Lowest WPA: Hanley Ramirez, -.066
Unfortunately for all of you, there are still things we can sort-of-kind-of pick apart about the Red Sox’ win against Felix Hernandez tonight. Like the fact that they could’ve scored even more runs off of the King, or just the fact that a lot of their success tonight can be attributed to him tweaking his ankle in the middle innings and never quite being the same. I mean, he walked Jackie fucking Bradley for shit’s sakes, something has to be wrong here. When these sorts of things happen I suspect the involvement of some sort of trickster god or spirit.
But no, the Sox did win and they did it with their bats and their defense, something I couldn’t have predicted but maybe would have hoped for. Rick Porcello continued in his role as the only member of the Red Sox rotation that can be reasonably expected to turn in a decent start, and we thank him for it. He did however give up a game-tying solo homer, much like Clay last night, at which point you might expect that the Sox’ chances of winning had instantly evaporated the way this season has gone. But then Felix wilted at a time of least convenience for Seattle and the Sox scratched out just enough offense to win. I’d call that a good night.
We’re guaranteed a split in this road series! As far as west coast trips go, well, I’ll take it. The Sox are approaching a .500 record, which if recent years have taught us anything is reason enough to expect agony in the coming days. Not only that, but with this win they guaranteed at least a .500 record on this trip, and with a win tomorrow it could be a winning road trip and they could reach .500 for the season at the same time! I’m pretty much as scared as you all are.