Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 7 Recap: JBJ meets WPA

Red Sox Game 7 Recap: JBJ meets WPA

Highest WPA: John Lackey, .342 (7 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 ER)
Lowest WPA: Dustin Pedroia, -.163 (0-5, RBI, K, 7 LOB)

I’ve gotten pretty pessimistic about Jackie Bradley Jr. – about as much as I’ll react to a quarter of a season’s worth of Major League playing time – but tonight, he showed flashes of what we want him to be. Tasked with patrolling Fenway’s tricky right field until Grady Sizemore gets hurt (which briefly looked to have occurred when he crashed into the center field wall) or Shane Victorino gets healthy (which, screw it, who knows?), Bradley looked like a plus defender tracking down a couple of scary fly balls. At the plate, he got a nice mix of opportunity, luck, and ability, making solid contact for a pair of go-ahead singles and an infield hit that opened the floodgates for insurance runs.

If that “big night” sounds like damning with faint praise… well, I did admit that I’ve become irrationally bearish on Bradley, so a nice night of RBI singles and solid range stood out. Plus, there’s not that much else to write about. John Lackey looked really good, but that hasn’t been a story since… probably around this time last year, when we also had heavily-guarded optimism. The parallels, of course, end there, but if we can see a horse-faced headcase in his mid-30s prove his critics wrong, who’s to say a 24-year-old beloved by scouts and stats alike isn’t starting to find himself in the bigs? (The gods of BABIP regression, that’s who!)

I meant “who aside from a parentheses-dwelling buzzkill?”

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