Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 24 Reaction: Pitchers and catchers

Red Sox Game 24 Reaction: Pitchers and catchers

Highest WPA: Mookie Betts, .089 (1-4, 2B, RBI)
Lowest WPA: Mike Napoli, -.253 (0-4, 5 LOB)

Because we just have to run this fact into the ground, Joe Kelly throws hard. Per NESN, he’s the hardest-throwing starter in the American League! Right behind him? Nathan Eovaldi.

But Eovaldi, unlike Kelly, was actually good. He got some luck on balls in play, but ultimately weathered some long at-bats (including one from Blake Swihart) and kept Boston bats off balance and overmatched. And when the Sox were within one, Alexi Ogando’s slow ascent to being one of the relievers I have a little faith in was paused thanks to a Chris Young homer.

Is a team that started the season looking hot turning back into a pumpkin? Probably too soon to go into panic mode – no one in a strong AL East is without problems – but the Sox have lost 7 of their last 10, and when it’s not the starters being shelled, it’s timely mistakes with the bullpen.

I’d like to lump the Ryan Hanigan injury in as justification for pessimism, but honestly, as much as I like Hanigan, he wasn’t going to make or break this team. If Swihart can be as unobjectionable as he was today, the team should be fine behind the plate – and hopefully, the low expectations of “kid, we had no choice but to call you up” will keep him from pressing. Hell, maybe the “we have no other catcher” factor will get Ruben Amaro to back off and lower his demands for Cole Hamels to a package more agreeable to the Sox (Manuel Margot isn’t the best A-ball prospect ever, and A-ball prospects shouldn’t be untouchable).

All of this is to say we’re effectively in a holding pattern and assessing just what this team is capable of; we might as well take it one game at a time instead of conceding on account of the glaring shortcomings in early May.

The next “one game” to care about? Joe Kelly’s starting. So yeah, I’ll be back Monday night.

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