Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 99 recap: Staying on message

Red Sox Game 99 recap: Staying on message

Highest WPA: Mike Carp, .115 (3-4, 2B, R, still exempt from my rage)
Lowest WPA: Dustin Pedroia, -.216 (0-4, front row seat to the Daniel Nava Is An Idiot show)

For a long time, this blog has featured Goog assailing the decisions of the front office and/or ownership, while I defend the uncertainty of the future, the importance of payroll flexibility, and the solid performance of the team.

Well, I hope our readers have been rooting for a unified front! The Red Sox are now just one game ahead of Tampa Bay in the loss column, playing .500 ball while the Rays (and Orioles) have been gaining ground. Yes, the Red Sox still have the second-best winning percentage and Pythagorean record in baseball, and yes, they still have a strong record in divisional games.

But if they really spent the All-Star break focused on extending soon-to-be-30-and-still-diving-everywhere Dustin Pedroia, rather than looking under every damn rock in North America for pitching help… yikes. (To be fair, they did add Brandon Lyon and Jose Contreras on minor league deals, but “probably better than Jose De La Torre” should not be the goal.)

To be fair, it was a pair of singles off Matt Thornton driving in inherited Lackey runners that really doomed the Sox today – well, that and a combination of terrible luck (it’s not your fault, Mike Carp!) and terrible decisions (it was totally your fault, Daniel Nava!) on the bases. Today’s game brings Jose Iglesias down to 13 for 54 in July with just one extra base (and 7 strikeouts to 2 walks), and Nava’s offense has been crashing for months while Shane Victorino’s glass legs have had him flirting with the DL every other day.

But today, we saw Pedro Beato and Drake Britton in a close, winnable ballgame. I don’t really care that it didn’t blow up in John Farrell’s face. Hell, I sort of wish it did. Fox announcers claimed that before the deadline, the Sox will be testing their internal options to see just how much they need to find outside help. If this is true, Ben Cherington has lost his damn mind. Britton was basically average in his second year at AA; Beato and Jose De La Torre worse than average at AAA. Brandon Workman, one great start aside, isn’t anything better than a spot starter. Steven Wright has allowed 52 walks in 92 innings at AAA. And I’ve beaten the Allen Webster horse to death already. Meanwhile, Jon Lester’s Sunday start got pushed to Tuesday, and Monday’s pitcher is the dreaded TBA.

Again, the Sox are still in very good position, and if Clay Buchholz comes back this year, even better. The sky isn’t falling, but if Ben Cherington is honestly unaware of the holes in his roof, it might as well be.

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