The Red Sox ran into a wall tonight, both literally and figuratively. The first inning has been a problem for the Red Sox all throughout the month of April - tonight was no exception. The third batter of the game set the tone, with Jose Ramirez working a twelve-pitch single, later going on to score the second run of the game when Jarren Duran threw himself at the wall trying to make a catch to save a run. Against a pitcher like Shane Bieber, that simply can’t happen.
The Red Sox have had a top offense in baseball so far this season, largely due to their ability to work counts, hit home runs, and make productive outs. Tonight, that didn’t really happen. The offense made quick outs and squandered the few opportunities they had as Bieber cruised through seven innings. The Sox did have eight of the ten hardest-hit balls in the game despite only scoring two runs, but moral victories don’t count in the standings.
It’s a tough loss to swallow with some clear opportunities, but losing a game to Bieber is never the end of the world. It’s on Bello and Sale to win the series, how that goes is anyone’s guess. Onwards and upwards, go Sox.
Jarren Duran (.21 WPA, 3-for-4, 3 2B)
If you’re taking a positive away from this game, it’s Jarren Duran’s performance. Duran continues to hit the cover off the ball while playing an improved center field. If he was right-handed, you’d have forgotten all about Adam Duvall.
Kutter Crawford (.08 WPA, 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 Ks)
I wrote about Crawford on Tuesday, calling for him to return to the rotation. After tonight’s outing, I wouldn’t hate leaving him in the bullpen in a 2021 Garrett Whitlock-type role. He was touching 97 MPH with his fastball and sitting in the low 90s with his cutter. Kutter Crawford is good.
Justin Turner (.02 WPA, 1-for-4)
Turner had one of the hardest-hit balls in the game. That’s all.
Reese McGuire (-.21 WPA, 0-4, 2 Ks)
McGuire looked lost at the plate tonight. He killed opportunities by grounding into a double play and striking out on three pitches with Duran on second later in the game. He also had a passed ball, failed to catch a foul tip for a third strike, and a couple of stolen bases against him.
Nick Pivetta (-.17 WPA, 5 IP, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks)
Pivetta was Pivetta. He is what he is at this point. He’ll have a few games here and there that might make you think there’s something more, but he’s a fifth, maybe fourth starter at best. Be happy with the innings, just don’t expect him to lock anyone down, especially against a disciplined lineup like Cleveland.
Rafael Devers (-.14 WPA, 0-4, 1 K, 1 BB)
Devers didn’t come through for any big hits tonight. Even the best have off nights. Don’t worry about Raffy.
Play of the Game
Oddly enough, Jarren Duran’s seventh-inning bloop double was the most impactful play by WPA. Unfortunately, the rest of the lineup couldn’t bring him home, and it was largely forgotten. Hits like those only happen when you’re really swinging it.
Jarren “Ted Williams” Duran is what the kids are calling him— Jake Roy (@Jake3Roy) April 29, 2023
Who was the Red Sox Player of the Game on 4/28/2023 vs. the Guardians
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