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Game 131: Red Sox at Twins

Mighty Wacha

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It’s been a few years since the “He’s the ACE” fad among Red Sox starting pitchers but 2022 has been more of the same. Who’s the ace? Well, it’s Chris Sale, except he was starting the season on the IL. Then it was Nick Pivetta until he fell apart. Nathan Eovaldi, Rich Hill, and even Kutter Crawford had some solid stretches where they too filled the role. But now as we knock on the door of September the ace this year is definitely Michael Wacha. ck Pivetta

Wacha, picked up off the scrap heap, has been between good and very good for a while now. Missing July almost definitely contributed to the Sox total collapse. The team is 12-4 in his starts (he’s personally 9-1 FWIW) and going from 8-19 in July to 12-15 or 11-16 (matching August) could paint a bit of a different picture right now. Heck, Wacha’s first start in August was the 14th, so maybe two more in August give the Sox another win. Alas, we can’t heal Michael Wacha and replay some games. He’s walked just three batters and struck out 19 in his last 18 innings since returning from the IL. If the Sox want to salvage one game from this series, this was always their best shot.

Joe Ryan, who’s Instagram is The Joe Ryan Experience, which, is frankly a great name, has had a very solid season. His ERA/FIP split is 3.65/4.19, he strikes out 3.32 batters per walk , and, outside of one game against the Padres where he allowed 5, doesn’t give up many homers. He graduated from Sir Francis Drake High School before attending Cal State Northridge and Stanislaus, and you could say his career with the Twins, as a team not always getting the headlines, has been uncharted.

It’s good to se Story and Hernandez back in the lineup, this is very close to the roster they want to roll out most days. And maybe there’s another bat to join them on the horizon?

Game 131: Red Sox at Twins

Lineup spot Red Sox Twins
Lineup spot Red Sox Twins
1 Tommy Pham, LF Luis Arraez, DH
2 Alex Verdugo, RF Carlos Correa, SS
3 Xander Bogaerts, SS Jose Miranda, 1B
4 Rafael Devers, 3B Max Kepler, RF
5 J.D. Martinez, DH Kyle Garlick, LF
6 Trevor Story, 2B Gio Urshela, 3B
7 Kiké Hernádez, CF Nick Gordon, 2B
8 Bobby Dalbec, 1B Gilberto Celestino, CF
9 Kevin Plawecki, C Sandy León, C
SP Michael Wacha, RHP Joe Ryan, RHP