Jaylen Brown’s monstrous contract with the Celtics. Patrice Bergeron announcing his retirement after two decades as a Bruin. The Patriots awaiting reports of who is and isn’t attending mandatory training camp starting tomorrow. And, finally, Kiké Hernandez being traded for two depth relief pitchers, followed by the realization that maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. Despite being a veteran figure and something of a driving force to bring other veterans to Boston this offseason, this team is rid of the lowest-ranked player in fWAR the entire league. It’s been a busy/sad/exciting/insert adjective here day for a Boston sports fan. So much so, that I would not blame you if the heavy rain showers that Boston experienced led you to go to bed thinking that there was no way this game was being played. There’s no way this city can handle more news in one day, right? Well, the rain stopped, and after an hour and forty minutes, the Red Sox, now down their motivational presence, no matter how weak in the infield and at the plate, were set to begin their game against the Atlanta Braves at 8:50 PM.
The Red Sox trotted out John Schreiber, fresh off his first career IL stint, to make another first: his first career start. Rotation is definitely not the first thing I think when I think of Schreiber, and for good reason: he used 23 pitches in the the first inning and was astronomically lucky to get out of that frame having only given up one run. We also witnessed a horrendously fielded — and thrown — ball by Christian Arroyo that luckily never went on the books due to a miscall on the umpire’s part that actually saw Arroyo catch the ball for the first part of a double play. Speaking of the first and of full bases, the Red Sox gave Charlie Morton just as much trouble in the bottom half. The two-time All Star and the two-time World Series Champion had some long at-bats by Rafael Devers and Triston Casas, the latter of whom walked Justin Turner in (who reached on a fantastic hit.) Christian Arroyo picked up an RBI of his own two pitches later to make it 2-1. Of course, because this is the Red Sox, Connor Wong struck out instead of blowing it open to leave three stranded.
After that heart attack disguised as a first inning, it was time for Nick Pivetta, the hero from last week who pitched six strong relief inning and struck thirteen Athletics out. Now, Atlanta and their relentless lineup is a different beast entirely, and it gave Pivetta trouble, too, but Pivetta remained strong, forcing Atlanta into situations where they left men on.
The Red Sox continued, characteristically, to squander opportunities, hitting into an incredibly rare 8-3-5 triple play in the third inning, thanks in huge part to some terrifyingly bad baserunning by Adam Duvall, and, to a lesser degree, Masataka Yoshida. It was their first triple play in six years, and the first 8-3-5 since, oh, the Boston Beaneaters against the Providence Grays in Chester A. Arthur’s presidency. But luckily, in the next frame, Pivetta forced Eddie Rosario into a double play to mitigate whatever damage such an ill-fated inning would ripple towards.
Yu Chang would make the most of a Jarren Duran faulty infield bounce and score to make this contest 3-1 in the fourth. And Duran didn’t wait long before stealing his second base of the game; the throw wasn’t remotely close. Rafael Devers got RBI number 75 off of Morton a few pitches later to make it 4-1, and a rapidly unraveling Morton’s night was over after 3 2⁄3 innings. The Red Sox did a great job of getting to Morton early in his counts but also extending at-bats when they could. Again, though, since this is the Red Sox, three more were stranded to prevent this from becoming a blowout. Still, I refuse to stick my nose up at a 4-1 lead, regardless of whether it could be 10-1. That 4-1 turned to 5-1 thanks to some prime hitting by Triston Casas and Yu Chang, or maybe by lax fielding on Atlanta’s part.
0 runs, 3 hits, and 19 Ks in Nick Pivetta's last 12.0 IP. pic.twitter.com/7Dh5bxWWo3— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 26, 2023
Pivetta, who’s been tremendous in relief, finished off his outing quietly without issue, and Richard Bleier began the seventh inning for Boston on a short leash with Chris Martin warming up in the wings. Arcia almost made this 5-2, but Duvall fielded the ball well and we could all exhale, especially with Ronald Acuna Jr., already a factor in this game, slated to be the third batter of the inning. Devers had a bad throw after running a long way for a Chris Harris ground ball that may have been better fit for Yu Chang to field, guaranteeing Bleier would face Acuna with a man on, and Wong committed a throwing error trying to gun Harris down. One pitch later, Acuna was walked, and out came Alex Cora to make that switch to Martin, who made us clench a bit, allowing an Acuna stolen base, before striking Ozzie Albies out with a 97 mile an hour heater.
Nervous? You shouldn’t be. Masataka Yoshida made the most of a Daysbel Hernandez meatball to make for a two-run shot to the short wall. It was his third hit of the game and it made the ballgame a comfortable 7-1. Joely Rodriguez came back out in the ninth inning, but by allowing a couple of runners on with just one out, Kenley Jansen started warming up.
In a day full of transactions by every team in the city and a lengthy rain delay followed by strange occurrences, it’s good to get such a decisive win against such a tough team. I’d usually say let’s do it again, but let’s only keep the winning up another 24 hours, not most of the other stuff that occurred today, right?
Was tough to decide on three since every Red Sox batter had a hit, but:
- Nick Pivetta: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K
- Masataka Yoshida: 3-4, 1 HR, R, 2 RBI
- Justin Turner: 1-3, 2 R, 2 BB
Again, tough because of the prominence of the bats.
- John Schreiber: 1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB
- Connor Wong: 1-4, 2 K, E
- Genuinely at a loss for another one. Let’s just say the weather, ok?
Play of the Game
It would seem as though Fangraphs has Triston Casas drawing a walk in the first inning followed closely by Christian Arroyo’s RBI along the third base line. If I could put this sequence together, and I’m going to, I would say this/these is/are the play of the game. It threw Morton completely off a groove, it held the Red Sox into a mode where they had to protect a lead, and gave them the momentum and drive to build on that lead. It’s when the Red Sox play their best, after all!
Who was the Red Sox’s player of the game in their 7-1 win against the Braves on 7/26/23?
This poll is closed
The tarp that came off