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Red Sox 4, Twins 10: Kluber, Sox lose the plot in bad loss

After seeing some great starting pitching this week, Corey Kluber lays an absolute egg.

Minnesota Twins v Boston Red Sox Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The terrible tenure of Corey Kluber continues for the 2023 Boston Red Sox. When you give up three runs in the first inning, you can’t expect your offense to bail you out. When you let up another four in the third inning, putting your club down SEVEN runs, you ice any chance your team has of winning. With an ERA+ of 84 last season and now well under that to start the new season, it makes you wonder if Corey Kluber has anything left in the tank. For all the optimism I had about Garrett Whitlock’s start on Sunday, I feel the same intensity of immense dread seeing Kluber as the probable starter.

With Yu Chang on the paternity list, Enmanuel Valdez got the call up to make his Major League debut and had his share of highs and lows. Valdez went 2-for-4 on the day, knocking a single in the bottom of the third for his first big league hit.

However, he did make an error (it could have been two but one was changed by the official scorer to become just a single), but hopefully for him, it’s just nerves.

Congratulations to Kiké Hernandez on ripping his 100th career homer, a solo shot in the sixth.

A too-little, too-late game for anything for the Sox. Ho-hum.

The WPA chart for the Red Sox-Twins game on 4/19/2023.
Literally, Kluber gave them no chance from the time he took the mound Wednesday night.
FanGraphs

Three Studs

Enmanuel Valdez (.043 WPA, 2-for-4, 2 1Bs)

When there weren’t many bright spots in this one, it’s great to see someone make his debut and be productive! Honestly if he can produce consistently, someone like Christian Arroyo should watch out for their spot for now.

Triston Casas (.011 WPA, 1-for-2, 2 BB)

In a season that hasn’t gone Casas’ way so far, he maximized on a passive plate approach to draw two walks, one of which resulted in him crossing home plate. Hopefully the bat awakens soon.

TIE: Richard Bleier (.003 WPA, 2.0 IP, 1 K) and Kiké Hernandez (.003 WPA, 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 BB)

Credit to Bleier after I kinda ripped him this morning for being the least effective member of the bullpen. Two supremely clean 1-2-3 innings showed me up a bit. Let’s all hope he can bring that more often. As far as Kiké goes, nice to see his bat show up, as he also came home to score in the bottom of the ninth.

Three Duds

Corey Kluber (-.340 WPA, 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HRs allowed)

Nuff said about Kluber above. Just a pathetic outing. Somehow willed his way through give innings, hurling 103 pitches.

Alex Verdugo (-.050 WPA, 0-for-4)

After arguably the most Fenway-like walk-off and inarguably the funniest post-game interview of all-time last night, Verdugo couldn’t make much of an impact Wednesday evening aside from a HBP. The only concession I’ll make is the gulf between being a detriment like Kluber above and just having a cold day like Verdugo did as far as WPA goes.

Justin Turner (-.041, 0-for-4, 1 K)

The same can be said for Justin Turner, who just had a cold bat tonight. Nothing more, nothing less.

Play of the Game

As far as the entire game goes, it’s Edouard Julien’s two-run blast in the first inning that was the most impactful in this one.

For the Red Sox, it was oddly enough Verdugo getting hit by Joe Ryan in the bottom of the third to load the bases. Boston would only score one run in that frame.

Poll

Who was the Red Sox’s Player of the Game in their 10-4 loss to the Twins on 4/19/2023?

This poll is closed

  • 18%
    Kiké Hernandez
    (14 votes)
  • 51%
    Enmanuel Valdez
    (39 votes)
  • 17%
    Richard Bleier
    (13 votes)
  • 13%
    Other (answer in the comments!)
    (10 votes)
76 votes total Vote Now