I wrote these words about Brayan Bello just a few hours ago this morning:
One of the great things about baseball is that, no matter how ugly a team’s season might be, you can always get a thrill out of following and rooting for individual performances — especially those by young kids who are just growing into the game.
I didn’t expect — or want — those words to prove so prophetic so quickly.
Brayan Bello threw seven no-hit innings tonight. The first hit he did give up was an infield hit that, had Kiké Hernandez’s positioning at short been just a little bit different, could have easily been an out. Then the Red Sox lost.
They lost because they themselves were one-hit for most of the game. Venezuelan ace Jesus Luzardo gave up a leadoff single to Alex Verdugo, then proceeded to absolutely slice up the lineup, as most pitchers seem to do against the Red Sox these days.
Let us not let our frustrations cloud the achievements of Bello. He is a stud, and the consensus of the not-too-distant past that his ceiling was that of a number two or three starter at best was wrong. He can, and hopefully will, develop into a true ace. But let us not let our excitement about the best young Red Sox starter since Jon Lester minimize the failures of this 2023 team. The team is composed of Rafael Devers, a few promising kids, and a collection of stopgaps. It was not built to contend, it is not contending, and it is not clear how big the gap that these short-term, low-risk mediocrities are supposed to act as stopgaps for even is.
Brayan Bello: 7+ IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 5 K
The rest of them.
Play Of The Game
I’m not saying that Kiké Hernandez should have made this play. He wasn’t in the right spot, it was well-placed, and it took awhile to even get to the dirt. But the fact that the best pitching performance of 2023 was done-in by a poorly struck grounder to the shortstop that wasn’t converted into an out is some poetry that Walt Fucking Whitman would admire.