If you watched this Sunday afternoon, you were in for a strange one.
I don’t know if it’s that first getaway day feeling, I don’t know if it’s the pitch clock starting to affect game times, I don’t know if this was just two teams who just didn’t care much for this game. This was probably the furthest thing opposite of an instant classic you can come up with for a baseball game.
I need to credit almost the entire pitching staff in this one; they looked solid on the bump today. Kutter Crawford overcame a shaky first inning and tossed five decidedly OK frames. Josh Winckowski’s family was adorable on the NESN broadcast, having made the trip from Toledo, OH, to watch him toss a clean seventh. Long relief may indeed be the proper role for him going forward. John Schreiber and Chris Martin also did their thing, keeping relatively clean innings going into the ninth.
That last inning, though. One half very good, one half very bad. In the top of the frame, Triston Casas launched a 401-ft homer to right-center field to pad Boston’s lead. Not only is it great to see him rake, but off of left-handed pitching—an aspect he’s truly struggled in during his ascent to the bigs—that’s a huge win for him.
King Casas. pic.twitter.com/OucaoGJut4— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 9, 2023
The bottom half of the ninth turned really scary. Although Kenley Jansen did lock down the save, he didn’t look massively effective. It’s easy to overlook a shaky outing against a team like the Tigers; it can bite him down the road against better teams. What hurts this team the most is the possible loss of Adam Duvall. Racing in on a pop fly to lead off the inning, Duvall’s glove got stuck in the grass as he tried to make the catch and immediately came up wincing in pain. Cora and Co. came hustling out, and Duvall left down the tunnel. This was a wrist he had season-ending surgery on last year. If this is as serious an injury as Red Sox Nation is catastrophizing it out to be, this is a heavyweight damaging blow to this lineup. Duvall inarguably has been one of the Red Sox’s best hitters in the first few series of the season, and to lose his pop in the middle of the order drastically changes the balance of this lineup. We all pray to the baseball gods he’s ok.
Adam Duvall leaves the game after not being able to come up with this catch— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 9, 2023
Duvall is leading the league in OPS (1.544) pic.twitter.com/2kf87LPipG
Regardless, a 4-1 Red Sox win in 2:38, the pitch clock continues to do its job.
Red Sox complete the sweep of the Tigers with a 4-1 win!— Tyler Milliken ⚾️ (@tylermilliken_) April 9, 2023
⚾️ Kutter Crawford delivered 5 strong innings of 1-run ball. Got the W.
⚾️ Bullpen didn't allow a single run despite a somewhat rocky 9th inning. Kenley Jansen has his 2nd save of the season.
⚾️ Triston Casas had a… pic.twitter.com/QIUYqvKrg3
Kutter Crawford (.170 WPA, 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 K)
What a big relief for the Red Sox to have someone from the back of the rotation step up. I’m a little surprised Crawford didn’t throw the sixth inning, considering he’d only thrown 65 pitches through five. Still, a really needed outing from Crawford.
Triston Casas (.127 WPA, 2-for-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI)
Obviously, Casas’ homer in the ninth was impactful, but he also had the RBI double that quickly tied the game back up in the top of the second inning. I do have to give credit to Kiké Hernandez for stellar baserunning, but Casas’ bat was a big reason why the Sox came out on top.
Rob Refsnyder (.126 WPA, 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI)
The game-winning RBI, a seeing-eye ground ball through Javy Baez in the top of the fifth inning. Nothing shabby, especially when it can give Yoshida a day off.
Christian Arroyo (-.145 WPA, 0-for-4)
What’s cooler than being cool? Ice cold! That perfectly describes Christian Arroyo right now. I wonder how long the leash is for him, as much as he’s a fan favorite.
Alex Verdugo (-.104 WPA, 1-for-4)
Not much to say here, either. Just a dud game for Verdugo.
Adam Duvall (-.053 WPA, 1-for-4, 1 K)
Seriously, if there is a higher power, we all hope Duvall is OK. I don’t feel like ragging on him right now, not that he did much to rag on anyway.
Play of the Game
With a WPA of .128, Triston Casas’ RBI double in the top of the second proved to be the most impactful play of the afternoon!
Triston Casas smokes an RBI double to tie the game.— Tyler Milliken ⚾️ (@tylermilliken_) April 9, 2023
Offense punches right back. Nice to see Casas with some success against a LHP as well. pic.twitter.com/NsfI09jWyq
Who was the Red Sox’s Player of the Game in their 4-1 win over the Tigers on 4/9/2023?
This poll is closed
Other (let us know in the comments!)