Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 121 recap: Reap the rewards

Red Sox Game 121 recap: Reap the rewards

Highest WPA: Shane Victorino, .356 (1-5, 2 RBI, exceptionally good timing)
Lowest WPA: Mike Napoli, -.300 (0-5, 3 K, 5 LOB)

I don’t know what the Hell a “Todd Redmond” is, but he and the rest of the Blue Jays’ pitching sure made the Red Sox’ bats look pretty bad for most of this one. Fortunately, Ryan Dempster was just as good, and when the Sox had the lead going to the bottom of the eighth, everything seemed in good hands. Then, Junichi Tazawa reminded us that he is only human–and a possibly overworked, tiring human, at that. There were concerns about his usage before the All-Star break, and it certainly seemed like the team was trying to avoid using him in do-or-die spots…tonight, perhaps, we found out why.

After Taz blew the lead, it seemed like this one was doomed to failure, with John Farrell doing the usual things managers do in tied games on the road: Save their closers for situations that may never come, pinch run for their best hitters for absolutely no benefit, let Jonny Gomes face righthanded pitching, that sort of thing. But then, through the miracles of BABIP, victory came from what looked to be certain defeat, with two runs coming in on Shane Victorino’s single (the only time he reached base all game*). Then, Koji Uehara shut the door, and that was that.

Koji’s appearance not only signaled that the Blue Jays were done putting runners on base; it also insured that he’ll be back next season, at the same salary as this year. That’s a nice little bonus on top of what was already a very nice contract; I think I speak for all of the Nerds when I say that we’re looking forward to another year of Koji Time.

* Per this tweet, I am honor-bound not to insult Shane for one week. That doesn’t stop me from stating facts.

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