It’s not an error that the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays tonight, but that didn’t stop either team from committing a heck of a lot of errors on their own. Six combined errors, including four by Toronto, and they could have had a fifth on Enmanuel Valdez’s go-ahead two-run single, and I’m not saying neither team wanted to win, but this wasn’t anyone’s A-game today in the field.
It’s great that Nick Pivetta was able to settle down and pitch six innings, saving the bullpen for yet another game, but two more home runs given up isn’t the best look on his part. His “balk” in the 5th inning definitely isn’t a good look on the umpires, however.
Here are the 3 pitches from Pivetta during the Bichette at-bat— Brandon Wile (@Brandon_N_Wile) May 4, 2023
Spot the difference for the balk call pic.twitter.com/yT9v82lAmu
If you can spot the difference, I’ll gladly dub you a better detective than Sherlock Holmes. In any case, Pivetta survived a lot of hard contact early and established some case to keep him as your number five starter. I’m sure the comments section will be bounding with comments on Pivetta, Houck and Paxton as to who should stay in the rotation and who should be a bullpen arm.
Speaking of contact, how about 15 hits for the Sox?! No dingers tonight, but multi-hit nights from five of nine batters, including a three-hit game for Triston Casas, who absolutely deserved a game like this. Three batters, including Casas, also had multi-RBI games. For all of the “One Player” games we’ve dubbed this season, tonight was a concerted team effort from start to finish. Credit to the Red Sox for pushing Alek Manoah hard in his last two innings, forcing the big righty to shove 27 pitches in the 4th and 33 pitches in the 5th. Talk about in-game adjustments the second time through the lineup.
The passive/anti-aggressive plate approach is working again for Alex Cora’s crew, working multiple 6+ pitch at-bats in Manoah’s last two frames and, frankly, becoming characteristic of the team as a whole, finding ways to fight off pitches and frustrate pitchers.
One batter who’s really shining? Masataka Yoshida, who, with two hits and two RBIs, extended his hit streak to 13 games. Macho Man is really finding his groove, showing why he was an OBP monster in Japan.
Chris Martin with two impressive strikeouts in the seventh; we hope Kutter Crawford is OK after tweaking something in the ninth inning; Brasier somehow being effective; and that’s your ballgame. The fifth Red Sox win in a row, a season-high four games over .500 at 18-14!
With the win, the Red Sox also grabbed their third win of the season over the Blue Jays, tying their season total in wins against the Jays from last year as a WHOLE. That’s meaningful down the line.
Three Studs of the Game
Enmanuel Valdez (.227 WPA, 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 K)
Valdez drove home the game-winning RBIs with a wicked hopping RBI single off Vlad Guerrero Jr. into right field and is showing off the tools that have made him such an intriguing prospect.
Jarren Duran (.173 WPA, 1-for-2, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI, 2 BB)
I wrote in my home runs article this morning about Jarren Duran showing off; he’s also learning to use every part of the park, splitting the left-field gap for an RBI double to kick off the Red Sox’s scoring. Since April 17th when he was called up, Duran leads the AL in doubles.
Triston Casas (.158 WPA, 3-for-5, 1 run scored, 2 RBI)
Casas put in the mental work over a couple of games on the bench, and it’s looking like the approach is working. Multiple RBI singles, including the game-tying run in the bottom of the 5th inning. Look at these three studs. All young players the Red Sox are going to count on in the future.
Three Duds of the Game
Kiké Hernandez (-.106 WOPA, 1-for-5, 1 run scored, 2 K)
Even with an RBI single, not the most effective day for Hernandez. Maybe change up the green hair for some better mojo.
Rafael Devers (-.079 WPA, 1-for-5, 1 run, 1 K)
A fielding error doesn't help Devers’ case, but he continues to lack in the OBP department. He can slug, and he’s getting lucky the rest of the lineup compensated for him tonight, but he’s gonna need to get on base more consistently for this team to have constant success over 162 games.
Alex Verdugo (-.043 WPA, 1-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K)
He can’t be the walk-off king every game. Oh well!
Play of the Game
With a WPA of .214, it’s Enmanuel Valdez’s go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the 5th inning!
Who was the Red Sox’s Player of the Game in their 8-3 win over the Blue Jays on 5/3/2023?
This poll is closed
Other (answer in the comments!)