Can this Chris Sale show up more often, please? It looked almost effortless for him today. Touching the seventh inning is also massive, it’s been a long time since he’s done that.
Today is the first time Chris Sale has recorded an out in the 7th inning since Aug. 8, 2019.— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) April 30, 2023
Sale clearly brought his command with him, and while he didn’t stack up a ton of K’s, limiting the Guardians to three hits, working his way out of two jams and maintaining his cool, this was exactly the confidence boosting outing he needs.
Chris Sale, Wicked 81mph Slider. pic.twitter.com/4fCvdC8xVM— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 30, 2023
I’m glad I wasn’t at the ballpark today because there’s nothing worse than sitting in cold rain, soaking to your bones, no matter the game. Luckily the weather didn’t interfere with this one too much.
Can we also talk about Alex Verdugo? Another three RBIs and a home run, he’s looked as locked in at the plate in the month of April as he has been ever in a Red Sox uniform. I don’t know what’s given for him, whether it’s mechanics, seeing the ball better or just the mental game, but he’s been arguably the Red Sox’s best hitter to start the 2023 campaign.
Let’s also give a little love to the bullpen! Schreiber, Bleier and Bernardino combined to give up only one hit through the last 2.2 frames. Bernardino has been a solid addition to the bullpen, giving up no runs in 5.0 innings with the Sox so far.
Another series’ win, despite still hovering one game above .500. They clearly aren’t in the upper echelon of teams, but despite a lot of things being thrown at them — the Duvall and Kelly injuries, a really rough start for the rotation, inconsistent bats — they’re holding their own a lot better than expected. April baseball is complete!
Three Studs of the Game
Chris Sale (.276 WPA, 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 K)
This was vintage Chris Sale, make no mistake about it. I won’t say he’s back — we know how the starting rotation has flipped on its head a lot this season so far — but this was quite the welcome sight.
Connor Wong (.160 WPA, 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K)
Absolutely CRUSHED a home run that pretty much set the rest of the game in motion, changing a one-run lead to a three-run lead. It’s nice seeing him develop more and more behind the dish!
Alex Verdugo (.120 WPA, 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K)
Another homer, plus an RBI single, Dugey is really doing it all lately. I didn’t even mention him in my “Who Saves Us Without Duvall?” article earlier this month, but Verdugo may be the winner so far.
Three Duds of the Game
Enmanuel Valdez (-.092 WPA, 1-for-4, 1 K)
Legged out a nice double in the 8th, showcasing some blazing speed to beat a throw from Steven Kwan in left field. Not too bad otherwise, which says something as having the lowest WPA.
Rafael Devers (-.079 WPA, 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K)
Devers can be hot or cold this season: hit a 450-foot tank or not make too much of an impact. Lucky his error didn’t swing momentum too far away from the Red Sox, but not a highly productive day at the plate.
Rob Refsnyder (-.035 WPA, 0-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K)
Just a quiet game for Refsnyder. Not everyone’s gonna contribute every game!
Play of the Game
As far as WPA goes for the whole game, it was Connor Wong’s 2-run shot in the bottom of th 6th inning with a WPA of .161!
Who was the Red Sox Player of the Game in their 7-1 win over the Guardians on 4/30/2023?
This poll is closed
Other (answer in the comments!)