Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 22 recap: Expectations met

Red Sox Game 22 recap: Expectations met

Highest WPA: Clay Buchholz, .169 (7.2 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 10 K, 2 ER)
Lowest WPA: Mike Napoli, -.047 (1-4, 2B, 3 K, 2 LOB)

Clay Buchholz picked an okay night to look… well, okay. The American League’s surprising ace of the year so far was a bit more believable in his achievements today (though he did get back to his ground ball roots while looking less confident and more hittable early on), but it hardly mattered; the Astros are the AL’s worst team this year, and only slightly raised the possibility of a threat when they cut an early 4-0 deficit in half.

A baserunning mistake from Stephen Drew aside – you’d think a guy hitting .122 would be hustling out of the box – the team looked to be firing on all cylinders. Nava got on base via walks, Ortiz continued his torrid pace and slugged his first home run of the year, even Will Middlebrooks managed to get a solid non-homer hit, which marks approximately the tenth time this season fans have thought, “THAT will be the one to turn him around!”

All that said, this is only the Astros. There’s very little to get excited about this series; the Red Sox should expect to win every time here. But while the pitching staff gets itself healthy and some of the lower-third bats try to find their swings, well, no one’s going to complain about things being too easy.

I didn’t actually get to see Daniel Bard’s ninth inning, but with the repeated “it’s the Astros” caveat… slightly more strikes than balls is a relief. As Goog has said, if John Farrell can somehow turn around the man broken by 2012’s predictably failed experiment, it’ll go a long way to erasing the manager’s tactical missteps.

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