Some teams have the capability to bat 1-9. The Red Sox proved that they were one of them tonight, as the bottom third of the order knocked out five hits and scored all six runs. This included home runs from Sandy Leon and Brock Holt. The bottom of the Diamondbacks order picked up two hits, but it is interesting to note that while the Red Sox have two good bats (Leon has an OPS over 1.000, Holt over .700) and a top prospect in those spots. The Diamondbacks had Chris Owings (who has numbers similar to Holt) and two players who have been in the minor leagues most of the year, one of whom will go back there next week.
So if the Diamondbacks were to win this, they needed good pitching and good hitting. At first, it looked like they would get the pitching half of it. Archie Bradley set the Red Sox down in order in the first two innings, and after they had taken a 1-0 lead, he struck out Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts, a nice combination to go with his strikeout of David Ortiz in the second inning.
After wasting opportunities in the second and third innings, the Diamondbacks took the lead in the fourth, thanks to the speed of Michael Bourn and a single by Rickie Weeks. They added to their lead in the fifth, with Bourn driving in Owings to make it 3-1. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got. Bradley and the Diamondbacks gave it back and then some. Leon led off the fifth with a home run just past the Pesky pole. Socrates Brito committed an error which allowed Brock Holt to reach, and Andrew Benintendi tied it up with a double. He would score on a single by Betts, making it 4-3.
The Red Sox extended the lead to 6-3 in the sixth, as Brock Holt homered, driving in Leon.
After Oscar Hernandez singled to lead off the seventh, neither team had a hit the rest of the way. That doesn't mean, though, that both bullpens were excellent. The Diamondbacks actually did pretty well. But the Red Sox struggled. Matt Barnes walked the bases full to lead off the eighth. Unfortunately, Brad Ziegler no longer plays for the Diamondbacks. In a circumstance that is doubly unfortunate, he plays for the Red Sox, and they use him properly, instead of making him a closer. He struck out the side instead of getting a double play, but Ziggy clearly still has it, even after moving across the country.
The Good: Michael Bourn, 23.9%
The still somewhat good: Jake Lamb, 10.9%
The exact opposite of good: Archie Bradley, -42.4%; Socrates Brito, -12.9%
And I'm pretty sure Brito's WPA doesn't include his error which led to two unearned runs...
Slow thread today, with only 19 in attendance (and that includes me, who was only there very briefly because my computer couldn't run the thread and the game at the same time.)
No comment of the thread, as the only comment with multiple recs was of the TWSS variety.
Tune in again tomorrow for a good matchup between Rick Porcello and Zack Greinke!