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Red Sox 1, Angels 2: Ok But Tanner Houck Shoved!

The struggling righty shines in a tough loss.

Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

He did it! Pop that Champagne! Wake up the kids so they can witness history! See you all on Boylston Street!

It’s no secret that Tanner Houck has struggled to remain effective late into ballgames. (Or maybe “late” isn’t the right term. He struggles just to get to the late part of the ballgame in the first place. He’s the pitching equivalent of your father-in-law, glued to the first act of the movie but snoring on the couch before the first plot twist.) Just how much has he struggled? Take it away, Pod On Lansdowne:

Fifteen and a half! That’s an almost impossibly high ERA, and it’s fueled by several meltdowns: two earned runs in the fifth against the Mariners, three against the Orioles, SIX against the Blue Jays.

And that’s why tonight felt something like an exorcism. Tanner Houck not only made it through six innings, he got better as the game went on. He faced just 12 hitters over his last four innings (yes, that’s minimum), generated 17 total whiffs, and struck out Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani four times. He set a new season-high in strikeouts with 8, a new season-low in earned runs with just 1, and tied his previous season-low in hits with 3. He didn’t seem to be in danger of losing his rotation spot coming into the game (it’s Corey Kluber who appears to be the on the endangered list) but he did his best to solidify his spot anyway. What an outing.

And oh yeah: the Sox were completely unable to get anything going with the bats (or even the eyes: they failed to walk for the first time all season) and lost, with just a single swing off Kutter Crawford making the difference. Oh well!

Three Studs

  1. Tanner Houck: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
  2. Masataka Yoshida: 2-4, RBI
  3. Connor Wong: 1-3, 2B, R

Three Duds

  1. Justin Turner: 0-4, 2 K
  2. Kutter Crawford: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 3 K
  3. Alex Verdugo: 0-4, 1 K

Play Of The Game

Facing his fifth batter in his second inning of work, Kutter Crawford threw a changeup that just didn’t get down enough and Mickey Moniak deposited it over the wall.