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Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 3: Spain Without The S

That hurts.

Boston Red Sox v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Oh, the theme of this weekend. For the past month and change, the theme has been “starting pitching can’t save the offense’s ass when they need it to”. Granted, it’s been entirely true that for the last month, starting pitching wasn’t up to snuff. This entire weekend, it’s been the opposite.

Each and every Red Sox starter this weekend went six or more innings, giving up three runs or less. You’d think that’d help your “starters aren’t contributing” argument, right? It was juuuuuuuust in time for the offense to go virtually belly up. Shut out Friday. Two runs early Saturday, then nothing until the 12th inning, and even then, they lost. Today, aside from one run in the seventh, it literally came down to the Red Sox’s last strike in the ninth for magic to happen, and once again, bupkis.

This is just painful baseball to watch at this point. Yes, there are some extenuating circumstances. Does Jarren Duran–with his speed–maybe make the catch in the ninth on Josh Donaldson? Possibly, but that’s just conjecture. It feels like customs didn’t let the Red Sox bring their bats north of the border.

Mercifully, there are only 12 games left in the season. There are other sports to watch if you don’t feel like torturing yourself, and at the very least, a really intriguing off-season to come. I wouldn’t blame you for tuning out now, though.

The WPA chart for Red Sox-Blue Jays on 9/17/2023.
The Devers HR was one last gasp before throwing it all away.

Three Studs

Rafael Devers (2-for-2, 2 BBs, 1 HR, .508 WPA)

Devers has been trending in the right direction lately, and that’s certainly going to be a good confidence boost for him heading into the offseason. Between working walks and showcasing opposite-field power, I like what I’m seeing from him.

Nick Pivetta (6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, .040 WPA)

Pivetta continues to be electric in the latter-half of this season. Between his bulk starts post-opener, and the fact he hasn’t given up more than four earned runs in an outing since May, I feel so bad to have squandered this game for him. He hasn’t earned a win since August 23rd.

Nick Robertson (1.0 IP, 1 K, .029 WPA)

After a rough August, he hasn’t given up an earned run in September in five outings. His time in AAA was well spent, because he’s pitched out of jams and high-leverage situations with ease.

Three Duds

Justin Turner (0-for-5, 3 Ks, -.245 WPA)

I don’t know whether this is Turner’s bone bruise still hampering him, but he looked so off his game today. It makes me feel bad for someone who’s generally been an offensive boon for the club all season.

Garrett Whitlock (0.1 IP, 1 K, 1 ER, loss, -.367 WPA)

Where did high-leverage Whit go? The stone-cold killer who whipped through games like he had an Uber waiting outside? Whether he thought Donaldson’s walk-off was a homer, he walked off that mound knowing the game was over.

Reese McGuire (1-for-4, 1 K, -.200 WPA)

Neither catcher is doing themselves any favors in the batters box right now.

Play of the Game

For the game, it’s Chapman’s walk-off double. For the Sox, it’s Devers’ game-tying solo HR in the top of the ninth inning.