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Red Sox 5, Rangers 15: The Return of Day Bello

Maybe Bello should only pitch at night.

Boston Red Sox v Texas Rangers Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

Well, the day didn’t start poorly. In fact, it started great! Adam Duvall with a 443-foot crush job off Jon Grat in the first inning. Bobby Dalbec hit his first homer at the Major League level in the second inning, a 427-foot shot to dead-center field. All looked well! Then the rest of the game happened.

Jonah Heim crushed a three-run homer to right field, and Mitch Garver put on in the bullpen in right-center field to go back-to-back. Tie game. Two more runs come home to score in the second inning. The Rangers would score at least two runs every inning until the seventh. They went on a 15-0 run against the Red Sox.

Bello hadn’t given up more than three runs in his last six starts.

Brayan Bello’s day/night splits in 2023.
His day/night splits are BRUTAL.

That’s the literal definition of Jekyll and Hyde. If there’s one touchpoint to work on in the offseason, it’s how to be as effective when the sun is up as when it’s down.

April 13th was the last time the Red Sox were this many games under .500. Ugly afternoon in Arlington. Mission 1: failed.

The WPA chart for Red Sox-Rangers on 9/20/2023.
The second inning turned from total elation to utter devastation.

Three Studs

Adam Duvall (2-for-4, 3 RBI, 1 HR, 2 K, .237 WPA)

Bobby Dalbec (2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 HR, 2 K, .053 WPA)

No one

I’m just going to combine the explanations for these guys. They did the offense tonight. Most of it. Almost all the runs, at the very least. Duvall hit the 20-homer mark, which makes him the fourth Red Sox to eclipse that mark, alongside Devers, Casas and Turner. Good on Bobby D, who’ll be the first baseman the rest of the way with Casas being shut down.

Three Duds

Brayan Bello (3.0 IP, 8 H, 2 HR, 8 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, -.599 WPA)

Nick Robertson (2.0 IP, 5 H, 1 HR, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, -.068 WPA)

Alex Cora

Cora talked postgame that he can only help make so many adjustments, but in the end, you have to show up and pitch when you’re called on. Yeah, this is partly on Bello for sucking terribly today. But I throw some blame right back on you Alex. Look at those splits. The more you talk about it, the more it shows that you can’t coach this issue. If this were a time here and there, OK, it’s on the player. This is now a habit that you call out in the media rather (than what we can see from the outside) actually make a difference on this with a player who clearly needs help in this facet. Bello is going to have to pitch in day games, the adjustment isn’t to not pitch him if the sun is above the horizon. But this is on Cora, Dave Bush and the pitching staff for not stepping in and making harder changes.

Play of the Game

Surprisingly, for the whole game and for the Red Sox too, it was Adam Duvall’s three-run shot in the first inning.