Home > Uncategorized > Red Sox Game 140 recap: Scherzer? I ‘ardly know ‘er!

Red Sox Game 140 recap: Scherzer? I ‘ardly know ‘er!

Highest WPA: Jon Lester, .356 (7 IP, 8 H, ER, 0 BB, 9 K)
Lowest WPA: Shane Victorino, -.113 (0-4, 2 K, 3 LOB)

For the first four innings, this looked like the umpeenth time this year that the Red Sox ran into a really really good starting pitcher who was able to pound the zone with strikes and shut down the usually powerful offense. Of course, it doesn’t always take a great starter to do that; the likes of Ryan Vogelsong, Scott Diamond and the immortal Bruce Chen have been able to silence the Boston bats this year. While it’s true that the Sox have scored more runs than any team but one this season, it certainly seems like they have a vulnerability, one that’s been exploited multiple times by multiple possible playoff opponents, often with multiple pitchers.

Yes, those are all links. So’s this. And this!

Anyway, it seemed that way, until the Sox were able to come through with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, the key hit coming just when I thought the rally was snuffed. The slim lead was big enough for Jon Lester; after a rough first inning, he was excellent for the next six, and left with the lead. Then John Farrell put on his managin’ cap, letting Brandon Workman pitch to Miguel Cabrera as the tying run. Amazingly, that worked, and so did letting Craig Breslow (who has no real platoon split in his career, and a pretty big reverse split this year) pitch to Prince Fielder. Junichi Tazawa was able to finish the eighth, Koji shut the door in the ninth (that’s when managers stop having to think!), and that–as they say–was that.

POSSIBLY TERRIFYING OMEN: With two out in the bottom of the seventh, Shane Victorino batted lefthanded for the first time in almost a month. Hopefully he was just trying it for the sake of changing things up, after having gone 0-3 with two strikeouts batting from the right side, but at this point I seriously would be happy to never see Shane hit from the left side ever again. He had a .713 OPS as a lefthanded batter this season, .726 for his career, and .629 last year. He’s not a good hitter batting from the left side. This is why I didn’t like his signing, and I hated him batting second. If he goes back to batting lefty 70% of the time, then he goes back to being a liability, rather than a surprising asset. Nobody wants that.

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