Sox Win First Extra-Inning Game of 2011
I’d imagine that most fans here passed out after an arduous Bruins playoff victory. If that’s the case, they’ll wake up to the news that the Red Sox also won in overtime.
Josh Beckett was outstanding again, giving up only 3 hits over 8 innings of work. However, he received a no-decision, as the Sox squandered several scoring opportunities against rookie Tyler Chatwood. Luckily, the bullpen came up big with 3 scoreless innings, and the Sox managed to score a couple of runs in the 11th.
Kevin Youkilis was removed from the game after hitting a foul ball off of his foot, but fortunately, x-rays were negative. He’s probably day-to-day at this point, but I’ll update this if anything changes.
Top 5 Heroes (Fangraphs WPA)
||Huge 2-out, 2-run single in 6th inning
||3 for 4, 2 walks
||Quick, scoreless 9th, only needed 9 pitches
||8 strong innings
||1 for 3 with a double, 2 walks, 1 run
WPA is an interesting stat to use when determining how “big” or “clutch” a player came up over a period of time. However, one of my problems with the metric is manifested in last night’s numbers posted above. Intuitively, you’d think that Josh Beckett’s contribution (8 excellent innings) was more crucial to the win than Dan Bard’s (a scoreless 9th inning). Much of WPA is determined by situational environments outside of the player’s control. Sometimes, to earn a good WPA, you just have to be in the right place at the right time. It should never be used to figure out how good a player really was. It can, however, be used to determine how good a player was when it counted.
I do admire Jason Varitek’s accomplishments over the course of his career in Boston, but right now he looks like someone who should no longer be playing professional baseball. Yes, I probably wrote that same exact line two years ago, but at that time my statement was 50% hyperbole. The hyperbole in my words are now gone. After going 0 for 3 with 3 strikeouts and a walk last night, the Captain is now hitting .043/.185/.043. It’s a small sample (26 plate appearances), but it’s not like you can really rely on Saltalamacchia to give him a rest when he’s hitting like this.
Luckily, Varitek has some sort of magic catcher’s mitt that can transform pitchers like Josh Beckett from perpetually injured underachievers to a front-line aces. In that sense, he might be worth keeping around. Speaking of which…
Quote of the Day:
“Oh, I’m freaking locked in. … Fortunately I can help us win in other ways right now.”
- Jason Varitek, on his slump
- AAA – Bad news from Pawtucket as Ryan Kalish, considered by many to be the heir apparent to J.D. Drew in right field, hurt his arm while making a diving play. It could be minor, but it could also be very bad; remember, Kalish missed most of the 2007 season after breaking his wrist. In better news, Lars Anderson had three hits and is now hitting .320 with a .462 OBP.
- AA – Catcher Tim Federowicz, known primarily for his defense, is hitting .341/.375/.523 after going 2 for 4 last night. Given the issues in Boston, he is absolutely someone to keep an eye on.
- High A – Kolbrin Vitek went 3 for 4 with a double, now hitting .341/.431/.500. No, I’m not just copying and pasting this from yesterday’s recap. He’s Lowrie-esque right now.
- Low A – Brandon Jacobs went 2 for 3 with a double, and is hitting .353/.452/.686.