All good things must come to an end. That’s the way the cookie crumbles when you play 162 games.
Red Sox bats went pretty quiet as Taijuan Walker just walked all over this Boston lineup, tossing six frames of one-run ball with six strikeouts. Uncharacteristically for the Sox, as OB and Youk noted on NESN’s broadcast in the 9th, they drew no walks. I don’t know if it was a combination of trying to be aggressive on a pitcher who got shelled on his last outing out against the Dodgers, but Walker’s use of a splitter low and away to a predominately left-handed lineup trotted out by Alex Cora served as a perfect putaway pitch.
That’s not to say every bat was completely cold, as Masataka Yoshida wasted no time extending his hit streak to 16 games. He’s truly becoming an OBP monster with how often he finds himself on base. While getting picked off in the first didn’t help, he continues to find ways on the basepaths.
That’s not to say Phillies bats were truly prolific either, as both starters were virtually perfect through three frames. It was Houck who blinked first, but only let up two runs despite falling into a bases-loaded, no outs jam. In the end, it was the bullpen who couldn’t hold up, plus Red Sox bats failing to find meaningful hits that did Boston in. Out of the city of Brotherly Love with a whimper, down to Hot ‘Lanta to face an NL East-leading Braves for a short two-game series.
Triston Casas (.096 WPA, 1-for-2, 1 HR)
In what was the only run-scoring contact for the Red Sox, Triston Casas socked a 416-ft solo shot to dead center field. Casas’ bat is slowly waking up, and with the news Christian Arroyo is on the 15-day IL, it’s just another next-man-up situation for someone to get balls in play.
Tanner Houck (.022 WPA, 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)
Aside from a shaky 4th inning, it’s hard to fault Tanner Houck in a solid performance. While he did give up a Bryce Harper single in the 6th that’s credited as an earned run on his line, Houck did strike out Trea Turner the previous at-bat and got Nick Castellanos to ground out before getting yanked by Cora. With Houck at 74 pitches, I wonder what would have happened if you let Houck face Schwarber to try and get out of the sixth, since Schwarber’s HR was the gut punch.
Ryan Brasier (.013 WPA, 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 K)
Ryan Brasier threw an...effective inning? His only hit was soft contact to Kiké Hernandez from Edmundo Sosa, but Connor Wong caught Sosa trying to swipe second base in any case. This clearly buys him time, but how much, no one knows.
Rich Bleier (-.168 WPA, 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 HR allowed, 1 ER)
Dude. Your one job was to get out of the 6th inning unscathed. You have up a moonshot to Schwarber to completely change the momentum of the game for good. Shame.
Rafael Devers (-.082 WPA, 0-for-3, 1 K)
When Raffy is on, he’s mashing like no one’s business. When he’s off, his swing gets too violent, like he’s swinging out of his shoes every pitch. He starts to force it instead of taking some soft contact and getting base hits. Maybe that’s the magic solution to find some consistency on-base this season. For now, today was an off day for Devers.
Alex Verdugo (-.071 WPA, 0-fo-4, 2 K)
I’ll give Dugey a pass after missing the last few with an illness. It’ll take some time to get back into a rhythm again.
Play of the Game
Overall: Kyle Schwarber’s two-run HR in the bottom of the 6th (.172 WPA)
Red Sox: Triston Casas’ solo HR in the top of the 5th (.107 WPA)
Who was the Red Sox’s Player of the Game in their 6-1 loss to the Phillies on 5/7/2023?
This poll is closed
Other (answer in the comments!)