Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 161 recap: It doesn’t matter!

Red Sox Game 161 recap: It doesn’t matter!

Highest WPA: Daniel Nava, .247 (4-4, R)
Lowest WPA: Franklin Morales, -.354 (.1 IP, H, K)

Or so Tom Caron says. Because the A’s lost this afternoon and the Red Sox clinched homefield throughout the playoffs before a pitch was thrown, it doesn’t matter that the Red Sox lost. It doesn’t matter that the bullpen blew the lead. It doesn’t matter that Junichi Tazawa gave up two runs. It doesn’t matter that Franklin Morales–who is bad*–was allowed to face Steve Pearce, a righthanded batter. It doesn’t matter that Morales–who is very bad*–predictably failed to get Pearce out, giving up the two runs that put the Orioles ahead and sealed the game. And it certainly doesn’t matter that Morales–who is very, very bad*–has been basically promised a spot on the Red Sox’ playoff roster because he’s “throwing the ball so well” and he “looks so good out there” despite the fact that he is very, very, very bad*. Doesn’t matter!

On the other hand, I didn’t see a single pitch of this game, and only found out the result because NESN happened to be on when I was setting up my series recording for Once Upon A Time. So, you know, maybe it really doesn’t matter.

* Before Sportspun goes insane: I recognize that, for his career, Morales has been a perfectly fine pitcher, and that for the most part he’s been even better than that as both a starter and a reliever with the Red Sox. However, that time has seen him suffer roughly a thousand injuries, including one from which he is still trying to recover. That effort is, to be kind, not going well. He’s walked 15 batters in just 25 innings pitched this season. He’s been better since his return from the DL in August (6 BB in now 13 IP), but still not anything approaching good. As we discussed when analyzing the loss of Andrew Miller, you can get away with a bad walk rate if you strike out a ton of batters, which is something that Morales (20 K for the season, 9 since his return) simply hasn’t been able to do. I’d be more than willing to say that he should be on the roster next season, but for right now, Franklin Morales simply isn’t a guy you want on the mound in an important situation. Hopefully, the Red Sox realized that tonight.

  1. September 28, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    At this point, our argument really does seem like an issue of semantics, not sabermetrics; I agree Morales is a solid pitcher who can help a team next year. Right now, the question is his health, because he really HASN’T looked good out there by any statistical measure. I’d rather not say Morales “is” bad but he “is pitching badly most likely because he’s not healthy.” A point overlooked in this recap: Matt Thornton wasn’t useless! You’ve got to think that Doubront gets a little bullpen work tomorrow and the two of them get serious playoff consideration.

    ON THE OTHER HAND: The last time the Red Sox won the World Series, Morales was part of it! (…in that he gave us seven runs in 3 innings over two games.)

    But hey, for now, keep our priorities straight. You know who DOES “look really good out there” without need for parsing tiny details? The whole damn cast on Once Upon a Time.

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