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Red Sox 0, Padres 7: Calamity Kluber

He’s the latest face in Tears of the Red Sox Nation

MLB: Boston Red Sox at San Diego Padres David Frerker-USA TODAY Sports

The final boss for Red Sox fans in this rotation. Destroying all our hearts with his gloom effect. Hailing from Crapariko Village.

This Sunday’s performance wasn’t just a DLC, but a full-blown sequel to the last time these three starters went in order in a series. Paxton and Sale throw absolute gems. Kluber throws an absolute stinker grosser than a piece of dubious food. You do yourself no favors when you continually give up runs in the first inning, putting yourself down. For Kluber last Sunday, it was one in the first and four earned runs overall. This time, it was four runs in the first and five overall, though just one earned. When you got six innings from Paxton and seven frames from Sale to get just 2.1 from Kluber. Not counting today’s start, Kluber commands an ERA+ of 72, by FAR the lowest of his career, not qualifying for three odd starts in 2011. Enough is enough. Chaim Bloom needs to channel his inner link and defeat this ultimate challenge by getting rid of Kluber. It’s as simple as that.

What’s even simpler is the decision to have signed Kluber in the first place vs. re-signing Wacha. That was on full display today. It was fully argued by Avery as soon as the 2022 campaign ended. Six innings of shutout baseball to improve to 5-1 on the year sure as heck proves something.

Hard to blame the offense for a day as cold as the Tabantha Tundra when your starter leaves you out to dry in a start arider than the Gerudo Desert.

Did the Sox ultimately take the series? Yeah, thanks to the first two games. Did today show a lot of flaws that need fixing going forward? Definitely.

The WPA chart for Red Sox-Padres on 5/21/2023.
Kluber gave the Red Sox no chance to recover after an awful first inning.

Three Studs

Masataka Yoshida (.034 WPA, 2-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K)

A walk and two singles aren’t too bad for a guy whose OBP continues to rise every series. Just unfortunate it didn't result in any runs.

Raimel Tapia (.029 WPA, 2-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K)

A walk and two singles aren’t too bad for a guy whose roster value is really just as a bench guy once Duvall is back. Just unfortunate it didn’t result in any runs.

Joely Rodriguez (.001 WPA, 1.0 IP, 2 K)

A weak tapper and two strikeouts aren’t too bad for a guy who’s still getting up to game speed. His arsenal looked decent, and he used his changeup and a sinker as putaway pitches to two vaunted hitters in Xander Bogaerts (swinging) and Juan Soto (looking). Let’s keep track of him as he adds more innings to his arm.

Three Duds

Corey Kluber (-.299 WPA, 2.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 R total, 3 BB, 1 K)

I know it says only one earned run. The reason it’s not five is even Kluber’s own fault on a fielding error from a hopper from Jake Cronenworth. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for Kluber today.

Rafael Devers (-.068 WPA, 0-for-4, 2 K)

As I wrote about in my birthday wishes piece last week, when Devers isn’t connecting, he isn’t doing anything. It’s a worrying trend, in my opinion.

Richard Bleier (-.049 WPA, 1 HR, 1 ER, 1 H, 3 BB, 1 K)

Is Bleier the next bullpen scapegoat with Brasier finally off the roster?

Play of the Game

Without a doubt, it was Roughned Odor’s bases-clearing double in the bottom of the first inning to make it 4-0 Padres.

There was no player of the game today in this one. Discuss below!