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Red Sox 2, Diamondbacks 4: Houck Hammered, Hitters Hushed

Rollercoaster roadie ends especially empty at Arizona

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Arizona Diamondbacks Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Seven called third strikes. 15 K’s in total. That’s how not to win a ballgame. I’m genuinely baffled about where some of these Red Sox bats have gone.

I have to give Merrill Kelly a ton of credit, he blew everything past Red Sox batters, even if it’s a thought exercise in whether the Red Sox bats sucked more than Kelly was that good.

Rafael Devers has been frustratingly cold. The top of the 7th is the most enigmatic moment of a very difficult stretch for Devers. You just scored your first run of the game with a Verdugo RBI single, the bases are still loaded with two down, and a well-placed hit scores at least two with how wonky and deep the outfield dimensions at Chase Field are. Devers strikes out swinging. He slams his helmet and bat on the plate. He knew it was his moment. We all knew it was his moment, probably THE moment the Red Sox had to really get back in this game, and it was wasted.

The Red Sox did take two of three road series out West, but the bats generally aren’t producing like they were a month ago. Adjustments need to be made. A day off tomorrow certainly helps. Adam Duvall is also set to begin a rehab assignment Tuesday in hopes to be ready for a series in the Bronx starting June 9th. May we all hope the Sox can hold on that long.

The WPA chart for Red Sox-Diamondbacks on 5/28/2023.
Houck didn’t give the bats any chance and the batters didn’t give themselves any chances.

Three Studs

Masataka Yoshida (.107 WPA, 2-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K)

Yoshida did just about everything he could to get on base and give the Red Sox opportunities to score. None better come to mind than in the 8th inning, where he hits a single after Justin Tuner’s solo HR. Duran strikes out looking, Casas whiffs, and even after a Kiké Hernandez walk, Raimel Tapia flies out to waste the opportunity. Even with one K to contribute today, he’s been on base a lot.

Alex Verdugo (.047 WPA, 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 K)

Verdugo did exactly what he needed to do in the 7th inning to keep the line moving and get the Sox on the board. Not his fault the inning ended the way it did.

Nick Pivetta (.038 WPA, 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 K)

A lot of credit has to go to bullpen-era Nick Pivetta, who tossed three strong scoreless frames to keep the Red Sox within even a sniff in the final few frames.

Three Duds

Tanner Houck (-.235 WPA, 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 HR, 4 ER, 4 K)

Just a frustrating outing for Houck. His first two innings were miserable, he couldn’t miss a barrel in the bottom of the first inning. In his next two innings, Houck completely settles down with back-to-back 1-2-3 frames. Very Jekyll and Hyde.

Rafael Devers (-.183 WPA, 0-for-5, 2 Ks)

I don’t know if he feels like he needs to make up for his few days out of the lineup, but this is what I’ve been talking about that when he’s off, he’s off. He swings violently like he needs to will a home run every time he steps into the box, and it completely throws off his timing.

Jarren Duran (0.129 WPA, 0-for-4, 4 Ks)

The ol’ golden sombrero. As ineffective at the plate as possible.

Play of the Game

As far as the whole far game, it’s Corbin Carroll’s 2-run HR off of Houck in the bottom of the 1st inning with a WPA of .167. For the Red Sox, it was Yoshida’s single in the top of the 8th with a WPA of .067 followed very closely by Justin Turner’s solo HR with a WPA of .066.


Who was the Red Sox’s Player of the Game in their 4-2 loss to the D-backs on May 28th, 2023?

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  • 11%
    (8 votes)
  • 80%
    No one?
    (55 votes)
  • 7%
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    (5 votes)
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