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Game 129: Red Sox at Twins

Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Red Sox sit six games back of the last Wild Card spot, just one game behind the Chicago White Sox and four games behind the Minnesota Twins. However, as they drift further under .500 (now 4 games below) both the quest for October and any reason to expect success are fading fast. However, Trevor Story is back, Franchy Cordero is cooking, Kiké is returning to the lineup (like Story, not every day yet) and one of their young pitchers is possibly close to a breakthrough.

Brayan Bello had a tremendous start last week against the Toronto Blue Jays, despite the Sox ultimately losing the game. The young righty tossed 5 innings of 6-hit, 2 run ball, and struck out 7 against just one walk. That’s more in line with expectations for Bello than we saw previously.

A Twins lineup without Byron Buxton looks tempting for a repeat performance. As a reminder, while Bello’s ERA stands at 7.36 his FIP is a cool 3.03. Some of those errors and generally bad fielding leading to long innings, extra buys on base, and more runs were simply out of his control. He may not need much more to prove he’s major league ready now and all but guarantee himself a rotation spot in 2023.

Dylan Bundy burst onto the scene with the Baltimore Orioles in 2012 when there was something of an issue about reliever usage.

Bundy would subsequently hit the hinjury train pretty hard and did not resurface until 2016 (he was 23 then, like Bello is now to put the excitement around him into some perspective). While there were some hints of his potential in 2017 and 2020, Bundy just wasn’t available or effective enough to be anything like his projections. Now a decade later he’s on his fourth team and is doing...fine. His bWAR is 0.1, ERA/FIP sitting at 4.56/4.34 respectively. He’s essentially become the definition of league average.

The strikeout propensity has left him over the last few seasons but he’s on pace for some of his best walk numbers. He handled the Red Sox way back on April 18 allowing 5 hits and 1 run over 5.1 innings and racking up 6 strikeouts. Over his last 43.2 innings, Bundy has struck out 30 while walking 10 and holding his opponents to a .228/.278/.383 batting line against. Last time out he gave up 3 hits and 2 runs to the Houston Astros, but didn’t strike out anyone.

Game 129: Red Sox at Twins

Lineup spot Red Sox Twins
Lineup spot Red Sox Twins
1 Tommy Pham, LF Luis Arraez, 1B
2 Alex Verdugo, RF Carlos Correa, SS
3 Xander Bogaerts, SS Max Kepler, RF
4 Rafael Devers, 3B Jose Miranda, DH
5 J.D. Martinez, DH Nick Gordon, 2B
6 Trevor Story, 2B Gio Urshela, 3B
7 Franchy Cordero, CF Jake Cave, LF
8 Christian Arroyo, 1B Gilberto Celestino, CF
9 Reese McGuire, C Sandy León, C
SP Brayan Bello, RHP Dylan Bundy, RHP