Well, that was nice to see, Mr. Sale. Five innings of shutout ball is as close to what we’ve been screaming for any starter to do for a while. A 21-pitch first inning, a 19-pitch second inning a 23-pitch third inning, a 17-pitch fourth inning, and a 20-pitch fifth inning certainly spells why he didn’t go any further, despite only giving up two hits and two walks. Kansas City certainly put up some tough at-bats, with multiple six and seven-pitch plate appearances cutting that outing short. However, for getting to 100 pitches and throwing effectively against patient, grinding batters, it feels good to see him show up.
Maybe this is Masataka Yoshida’s wake-up call? He blazed a 415-foot homer to break the scoreless deadlock in the fourth inning and the Red Sox generally didn’t look back from there. Sale said after the game it was Yoshi’s homer that really set the tone for the rest of the game.
The Duvall Power Show also stayed blazing hot, with a mammoth homer down the left-field line in the sixth inning.
In a series the club HAD to win, they did their job in the last two games. Now, an insane crunch begins, starting with three in St. Petersburg against the Rays.
Chris Sale (5.0 IP, 2H, 2 BB, 5K, 0 ER, .267 WPA)
See above for my notes on Sale. Most pitches he’s thrown since May 20th.
Masataka Yoshida (2-for-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .197 WPA)
Again, see my notes above for Yoshida. Hell, I’d take power over average right now if he can put runs on the board.
Triston Casas (1-for-4, 1 K, 1 run scored, .070 WPA)
Only one hit for Casas today, but he continues to punish the ball and generate momentum. After a Justin Turner walk, Casas put one off the base of the left-field wall (granted Dairon Blanco lost it in the sun). Two batters later? Yoshi home run. This also continues a 10-game hitting streak where he’s batting .405 with 4 doubles, 2 homers, 7 RBI and 1.176 OPS. Savage in the box.
Connor Wong (1-for-4, -.071 WPA)
Wong hit a double and would come around to score on a throwing error in the seventh, but not much else productive for Wong lately.
Trevor Story (0-for-4, 1 K, -.041 WPA)
Another o’fer for Story, who’s bat still looks like it’s catching up to his eyes at times.
Kenley Jansen (1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 K, .004 WPA)
IMO, Jensen is lucky he got thrown into the game in garbage time to get some work in. That was a shaky outing, where even the flyouts were hard hit. I get it, closers need good reps to stay sharp, and I think the Red Sox are being extra careful with him after his injury scare last week. They’re going to need him to be at his best down the stretch if they want to capitalize on their remote chance of postseason baseball, and today was by far not sharp.
Play of the Game
With a WPA of .193, it’s Masa’s three-run shot to put the Red Sox on the board in the top of the 4th inning.
Who was the Red Sox’s Player of the Game in their 7-3 win over the Royals on 9/3/2023?
This poll is closed
Other (answer in the comments below)