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Red Sox 1, Pirates 4: Bucs sweep Sox in snoozefest

Despite the fast game, it was the worst way the Red Sox could have finished their opening homestand.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Boston Red Sox Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Do you ever wish you could just go back in time and reclaim a couple of wasted hours? That’s what this Red Sox-Pirates game felt like today.

Boston’s offense couldn’t find any momentum for the second game in a row. Just five hits for this Red Sox squad, most coming in a seventh inning that could have drastically changed the outcome of this game. After an RBI single by Chrisitan Arroyo and a scrappy infield single by Raimel Tapia, Reese McGuire stepped up to the plate with a chance to tie the game with one swing of the bat. For about 90 seconds, he did. A moonshot down the right-field line was deemed a fair ball, a three-run jack to tie the game, 4-4. After both a crew chief discussion and a video review, the call on the field was overturned and deemed a foul ball. Albeit it was the correct call, but devastating for Boston. McGuire would end up striking out looking, and that was about that.

Corey Kluber wasn’t completely ineffectual today; he looked better than on Opening Day. With a line of 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, and 2 Ks, you’d hope the bats would have looked as alive as they did the entire series against Baltimore with a chance to grab a much-needed win in this series to the Pirates. The lumber was almost non-existent. The top four of the lineup went a combined 1-for-14, with the only hit being a Justin Turner single in garbage time (the bottom of the 9th), which was quickly erased by a Masataka Yoshida double play. No one after Christian Arroyo even managed a hit in this one.

After some promise in taking the opening series to the Orioles, this feels like many, many steps back against the Pirates.

WPA Chart

WPA Chart of the Red Sox-Pirates game on April 5th, 2023.
Even with the Carlos Santana homer, the Red Sox didn’t give themselves many chances.

3 Studs

Corey Kluber (0.143 WPA, 5.0 IP, 1 HR, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)

As I said above, Kluber gave the entire lineup a chance to do some damage. Just not to be.

Christian Arroyo (0.057 WPA, 2-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 K)

Probably the only actual bright spot in the lineup for Boston this afternoon. After a frustrating opening series for Arroyo, he did step up with two base knocks, driving in the only run and starting what could have been much more of a rally for the Red Sox. Hopefully, he can carry that confidence going forward.

Richard Bleier (0.017 WPA, 1.0 IP. 1 H, 1 BB)

This was probably the epitome of how Richard Bleier works. Sure, he gave up a hit, but Bleier’s game is to elicit ground balls into submission. After a lead-off walk, he got Rodolfo Castro to ground into a 5-4-3 DP. After giving up said base hit, he got Jason Delay to ground one right back to the mound to end the inning. Not completely clean, but compelling enough.

3 Duds

Masataka Yoshida (-0.144 WPA, 0-for-4, 1 K)

This was a rough game all around for Macho Man. One strikeout, one double play in the ninth, and a throwing error. Just negative contributions all around.

Rafael Devers (-0.118 WPA, 0-for-4, 1 K)

I know he hit his first homer of the season last night, but it still feels like we’re waiting for the genuinely consistent Rafffy to show up. We all know it will come, but it’s frustrating knowing his bat's impact on the lineup when it doesn’t show up.

Kaleb Ort (-0.114 WPA, 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 K)

This was the backbreaker right here. In the seventh inning, still down by two—which is what I would call within striking distance—Ort allowed the Bucs to double their lead. A sac fly to Bryan Reynolds and a double down the right-field line to Carlos Santana was more than enough for Pittsburgh. I’m sure everyone in the ballpark could feel the air deflate out of Fenway after his half-inning of work; I know I sure did at home.

Play of the Game

With a WPA of 0.121, by far the most impactful play of the game was Carlos Santana’s solo HR off of Kluber in the top of the 4th inning.

If you’re looking for the most impactful play that positively affected the Sox, it was Justin Turner’s single in the 9th, with a WPA of 0.048.

Player of the Game

Who was the player of the game in this one?


Who was the Red Sox’s Player of the Game in their 4-1 loss to the Pirates on 4/5/23?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    Corey Kluber
    (56 votes)
  • 17%
    Christian Arroyo
    (14 votes)
  • 3%
    Richard Bleier
    (3 votes)
  • 10%
    Other (leave your answer in the comments below)
    (9 votes)
82 votes total Vote Now