Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 12 recap: real Canadian hero

Red Sox Game 12 recap: real Canadian hero

these precipitous drops right over the '9' are not a thing you want, guys

Highest WPA: Ryan Dempster, .371
Lowest WPA: Andrew Bailey, -.169

As the Nerds’ token optimist, I’ve justified Ryan Dempster’s contract by citing his reliability and durability, especially in the wake of some of the shallow rotations of recent Boston teams. But dominant outings, even against the league’s worst offense? Those are always pleasant surprises. And “pleasant” is an understatement for what Dempster gave the Red Sox today. He didn’t make a weak lineup look weak, he outright overpowered them. The Rays came into Patriot’s Day with 69 strikeouts in 388 plate appearances (18%). Against Dempster? 10 strikeouts, 24 plate appearances (42%). If that’s not domination, I don’t know what is.

Maybe it’s “what other teams do to the Sox in the ninth.” Today, it wasn’t Joel Hanrahan’s fault. It was hardly even temporary closer Andrew Bailey’s fault. The WPA numbers cited don’t mention Jarrod Saltalamacchia having no chance to stop Desmond Jennings from stealing into scoring position. They don’t include a just-missed dive and ill-considered throw from Jackie Bradley (please enjoy Pawtucket soon). And they give Bailey very little credit for getting out of the go-ahead-run-at-second jam created by the two singles and horrible defense; he went on to strike out the next two batters and pop up the third. (I have no idea why the Nerds’ template always uses WPA; I just blog here intermittently and complain about everyone else.)

But a Pedroia walk and Napoli Monster double later, and the defensive gaffes are a footnote. If the Sox pitchers can keep up anything resembling this level of performance, they should be in fine shape once David Ortiz returns to boost the offense and give the Sox more room for uncharged errors.

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