Home > Game Recaps > Red Sox Game 131 recap: Our lefty > Their lefty

Red Sox Game 131 recap: Our lefty > Their lefty

Had 'em all the way

Highest WPA: Jonny Gomes, .200 (1-3, HR, 3 RBI, BB, SB)
Lowest WPA: Craig Breslow, -.102 (2B, BB, 0 outs)

Dominant starting pitching performances are great, but they make for short recaps. Jon Lester is still a really good pitcher, and today he looked like a great one against a really good offense. At least, a really good offense by the standards of the National League, a place where it’s still totally acceptable to stop the flow of competition and surrender an out every nine batters.

I’m sure everyone who paid good money to see two of the best teams baseball has to offer was happy to see one of them without its best player. Watching Jon Lester flail pathetically at batting practice fastballs is just as thrilling as a showdown between a Rookie of the Year candidate and future Hall of Famer David Ortiz. And really, who wanted to see Carl Crawford hit against his former team? Nobody I know, that’s for sure. He needed a day off from the field*, so it’s much better that he not play any part at all; we wouldn’t want this series to have an interesting subplot or anything. This is baseball; who needs excitement?

Sportspun’s bonus bullpen rant: While Koji Uehara needed work enough to get into an 11-run game earlier this week, and had rested more than 72 hours since that six-pitch outing, John Farrell went with Junichi Tazawa in the eighth today. And then, when Tazawa had put the tying run on deck (making it a SAVE SITUATION!), he… kept Taz in. And then went to Breslow. And then let Breslow give up a walk after his first-batter double. Only at that point, with the go-ahead run at the plate, did the team’s best reliever get into the game. Uehara ultimately needed just 15 pitches to get four uneventful outs. The Red Sox are one game under their Pythagorean record (and one game over .500 in 1-run games) and I have to think Farrell’s bullpen mismanagement is factor here. He’s not offensively annoying on every level like Bobby Valentine, but… it’s a damn shame that this is both an upgrade, and that a winning season will keep him around for at least a few extra years.

* Sportspun’s alternate explanation for Crawford being on the bench: he’s frail and on the fast track to being a platoon player. The Dodgers have started Hot Carl in only 33% of their games against lefty starters, compared to 71% of the time against righties. I’d say that’s a fine tactical move and not an indictment of the $20 million malcontent’s abilities, but… he’s sitting for Jerry Hairston.

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