Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 28 reaction: Efficiency

Red Sox Game 28 reaction: Efficiency

Highest WPA: Pablo Sandoval, .131 (1-3, BB)
Lowest WPA: Justin Masterson, -.358 (4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, K, 6 BB, HR)

The Red Six didn’t want to keep Jon Lester, because paying $26 million a year for a very good starting pitcher isn’t efficient. Instead, among other things, they signed Justin Masterson for $9.5 million. After another horrible start, he now totes an ERA/FIP/xFIP line of 5.18/4.60/4.83.

If paying a very good pitcher like a very good pitcher is inefficient, what’s the word for paying a horrible pitcher like a good pitcher?

Of course, I don’t want to say that the Red Sox chose Masterson instead of Lester. They simply chose not to bring back Lester. Revenue around the league, especially in Boston, continues to go through the roof, while the players’ share stagnates. Make no mistake: The biggest reason the Red Sox only have one good starter is that their owner chose not to pay the perfectly reasonable price for more.

If you haven’t had enough repetitions that the Red Sox’ cheap ownership is the primary reason the Red Sox’ rotation is bad and therefore that the Red Sox are doomed, feel free to look at my and Sportspun’s Twitter feeds. We spent most of the middle innings having basically the same argument we’ve had a thousand times since the winter, and will doubtless have a thousand more times between now and the Red Sox’ inevitable elimination from the playoffs. (Whether that happens in the ALDS, the Wild Card game, or sometime in September is a function of exactly how pessimistic you feel like being.)

Special credit for losing this one goes to John Farrell. After we had all assumed that Daniel Nava was dead, Farrell had him bat ice-cold with the bases loaded in the eighth inning. That’s a really really shitty thing to do to a hitter, and it seems like it was as much to justify keeping Craig in the lineup as anything else. Secondly, Farrell pulled off the always stupid move of running for David Ortiz when there was a chance Ortiz’ spot might come up again, and what do you know, it did! If you had never heard of Luis Jimenez before he ended tonight’s game batting in place of our Hall of Fame cleanup hitter…well, you’re not alone.

ALLEN CRAIG WATCH: Speaking of inefficient allocation of arbitrarily limited resources, it’s Allen Craig! He went 0-2 with a walk and a strikeout; humorously, his 33 wRC+ in this game was higher than the 32 wRC+ he’d posted to this point in the season. So, you know, he’s improving.

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