Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 104 recap: Must be midnight

Red Sox Game 104 recap: Must be midnight

Because the Red Sox are turning into pumpkins.

This is what predictable mediocrity looks like

Highest WPA: Drake Britton (IP, 2 K) and Mike Napoli, .003 each (0-3, BB)
Lowest WPA: John Lackey, -.171 (6 1/3 IP, 9 H, BB, 2 K, 5 ER, 3 HR)
Highest BAC: Drake Britton, .050 (Just a couple shots; some lady asked him to take her kids home)

When John Lackey is your best starter, you’re just not good enough. That was true even when he was pitching like the Lackey of old, but it’s especially true if he keeps pitching like this. Combine that with the unsustainable first halves of Daniel Nava, Shane Victorino and especially José Iglesias correcting themselves, and you have a team that has played better than could be expected yet still finds themselves looking up at a superior opponent.

The Red Sox have money. The Red Sox have prospects. And the Red Sox have holes. If five more days pass, and the Red Sox enter August without acquiring improvements for third base, the bullpen, and the rotation, we’ll know that winning isn’t the most important thing to this front office.

You know, as if we didn’t already know it when Nick Swisher and Anibal Sanchez signed reasonable contracts with other teams. But Nava, Victorino and Dempster are just as good so much cheaper, you guys!

IGLESIAN REGRESSION WATCH: Another day, another 0fer. This makes 15 straight games where Jose’s lowered his OBP.

SPORTSPUN ADDENDUM: Yep, those WPA figures are correct (we did not make Britton take a Breathalyzer, though). Goog expected Ellsbury (with 2 hits) would lead the team, but here’s the problem: Jacoby’s hits came when the game was 3-0 and 5-0, and with outs already in the inning. He led off the first and third by making outs. Pedroia had a 2-out hit; Ortiz had a hit when down 6-0.

Win probability is fun to look at for telling the story of the game, but that means context is everything and individual accomplishments are easily skewed into greater or less importance than they would have in a vacuum. Napoli was lucky. He walked to load the bases in the first, but made his outs when his team was down 3, 4, and 6 runs.  As a result, he made his team 0.3% more likely to win the game. The fact that that “accomplishment” led the team… well, that tells its own story.

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