The middle innings are often the least watchable part of any given ballgame. This is thanks, of course, to middle relievers. Lacking either the arsenal to be starters or the elite stuff to be closers, middle relievers are, generally speaking, the most boring players on the field. And the question posed by teams using an opener is: what if we get rid of the cool part and just go right to the middle innings!
The opener sucks even when it works, is what I’m saying. And when it doesn’t work, well, the bright side is you all of a sudden find yourself with a couple of free hours on your hands.
Justin Garza, owner of an incredibly divisive mustache, was the opener for the Red Sox today. The hope was that he would go two innings before handing the ball to Brandon Walter, who would make his MLB debut and go as long as he could. Garza did not make it two innings, as Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton had themselves a a little home run derby in the first.
Brandon Walter eventually was able to stabilize things; from the fourth inning on, he actually only allowed one hit. But this only came after he failed to strand one of Garza’s runners and let two more score, all before the Sox even got their first baserunner of the game in the fourth.
For the Twins, Joe Ryan decided to be the opener, the closer, and the, err, middler all by himself. With little more than a mid-90s fastball that he kept at the top of the zone and a splitter that he kept at the bottom, he completely shut down the Sox en route to a complete game shutout.
The Red Sox did not come close to winning this game, or even look competitive. So, you know, that sucks.
- Not a single Red Sox player reached second base. No one gets studded today.
- David Hamilton: Fine, I guess if you get your first big league hit you’re kind of a stud.
- Justin Garza: 1+ IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 K, 2 HR
- Connor Wong: 0-3, 3 K
- Jarren Duran: 0-4, 2 K
Play Of The Game
Let’s give it to Byron Buxton’s second homer of the day because, all things considered, this guy freaking rocks at baseball and it’s a damn shame we haven’t gotten to see him play a full, healthy season yet.
Byron Buxton with another moonblast.— Tyler Milliken ⚾️ (@tylermilliken_) June 22, 2023
HR #2 on the day. 931 FT combined. pic.twitter.com/TUYVgS88fF
Who was the Red Sox player of the game?
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