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Red Sox 2, Angels 1: Whitlock, Turner do all the Sox need

Red Sox take the series, go back to .500 and play in under two hours!

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Boston Red Sox Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

First off, can we appreciate how brisk this game went? One hour and 57 minutes! Granted, neither offense could do much, but if this isn’t the definition of the pitch clock doing its thing, I don't know how much more you can ask of it.

The good: Garrett Whitlock absolutely stymied the Angels’ bats. Seven strong frames, three hits, two walks, five strikeouts, and only one run given up, he looked as tremendous and efficient as any time he’s been a starter. Whit becomes the first Red Sox starter this season to toss six innings, let alone seven. His stuff? Looked filthy. Just a thread of Pitching Ninja highlights on his devastating slider.

If this Whitlock shows up more this season? That’s a massive add to the Red Sox rotation. Color me excited to see Bello come back tomorrow too.

The bad? The Sox offense didn’t look that much better, though the one bright spot happened to be the only two runs of the outing.

Turner’s been swinging a good bat lately, and for him to finally knock his first Red Sox home run, it’s apparently all the Sox needed today.

Masataka Yoshida came back to the lineup in the DH slot and looked like he needed to shake off the rust. A hit-by-pitch, a strikeout, and a groundout. Hopefully, he’ll find his way again soon, but it is a 162-game season, and it’s still April, so no need to rush.

I know we all rag on Kaleb Ort and Ryan Brasier but they do deserve some props for holding their own. Despite getting himself in a jam, Ort had the incredible presence to pick off Brett Phillips to end the 8th inning, and Brasier not only got Shohei Ohtani to fly out, he struck out Mike Trout. I wouldn’t say get used to these performances, but it’s good to see them do something productive.

All in all, this was a game to smile about. It might not all have been put together, but seeing the pitching dominate was quite the sight to behold.

The WPA chart for the game between the Red Sox and Angels on 4/16/2023.
After JT’s two-run dinger, the Sox really didn’t look back!

Three Studs

Garrett Whitlock (.359 WPA, 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

Simply sensational from the finally cemented starter. No one could have asked for a better performance from Whit today.

Justin Turner (.184 WPA, 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI)

It’s way too early to compare the returns on Turner and J.D. Martinez, themselves also being two different players with different profiles, but Turner’s bat has definitely come alive in a way they’ve needed to for where he slots in the lineup.

Ryan Brasier (.169 WPA, 1.0 IP, 1 SO, 1 save)

Is this real life? Did Ryan Brasier toss a really effective inning to close out a one-run game? With Jensen unavailable after two masterful saves in the last two games, Brasier certainly held his own.

Three Duds

Rafael Devers (-.123 WPA, 0-for-3)

He just looks like he’s forcing it at the plate. Again, it’s very early in the season still, and he’s tied for the league lead with 7 home runs, but the hitting is coming in spurts. Consistency has to show up at some point.

Connor Wong (-.110 WPA, 0-for-3, 1 K)

I feel bad for Wong being down here because he did catch Brandon Drury stealing, but he’s not getting it done at the plate right now.

Christian Arroyo (-.106 WPA, 1-for-3, 1 K)

I feel like Arroyo has lived in this section for most of this season. Just a shame, and I don’t know what the solution is. If Trevor Story were healthy, he’d probably be riding pine.

Play of the Game

When your home run was the only difference in this one, you’re the play of the game. With a WPA of .185, the most impactful play today was Justin Turner’s two-run shot off Reid Detmers in the 3rd inning.


Who was the Red Sox player of the game in their 2-1 win over the Angels on 4/16/2023?

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    Garrett Whitlock
    (187 votes)
  • 2%
    Justin Turner
    (6 votes)
  • 5%
    Ryan Brasier
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    Other (let us know in the comments!)
    (0 votes)
204 votes total Vote Now