Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 64 recap: Another series win

Red Sox Game 64 recap: Another series win

Highest WPA: David Ortiz, .247 (2-4, HR, BB, 3 RBI)
Lowest WPA: Stephen Drew, -.057 (1-4, 3 LOB)

In a perfect world, Robert Coello would have found a way to be an awesome reliever while with the Red Sox. But if he has to be good for another team, I’ll take “turns bad loss into total blowout against Boston” as a consolation prize.

Meanwhile, Ryan Dempster kept reminding me that he’s nothing more than an innings-eating guy who’s nice to have around, not the “really good in his own right complement to Buchholz and Lester” we saw early on. Still, it gets harder and harder to form a legitimate complaint about the signing; Josh Beckett will be lucky to make 15 starts this year, Anibal Sanchez had a start skipped today (admittedly my weakest criticism of Dempster alternatives, but a well-timed injury for this blog’s purposes!), and Brandon McCarthy is on the disabled list with shoulder problems and also recovering from a seizure.

So instead of praising or questioning the pitching, let’s focus on the offense: just about everybody got in on the action today, with only the slumping Mike Napoli failing to get a hit. Saltalamacchia’s pair of home runs probably earned him even more playing time over David Ross, and I’d usually complain about that, but these days, Salty’s actually getting on base enough that I can’t complain about his bat (and BABIP-driven criticisms are undercut by his 29.7% line drive rate). Mike Carp and Daniel Nava both started over Shane Victorino (and each recorded three hits, including a Carp homer), so it looks like John Farrell is actually playing to win, not to justify contracts.

Still, the offense will have to keep this up, and we’ll hope the back of the rotation can stay at this level at worst: Boston’s next 14 games come against the Rays, Orioles, and Tigers. If – and it’s a BIG if – they can come out of that stretch still in first place, it’ll be hard for even the most pessimistic to question them as the favorite in the AL East.

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