Batting third in the line up, Adrian Gonzalez flew out for the third out of the top of the first inning. But not before he singled. You see, Gonzalez’s fly ball out was his second at-bat of the inning. The Red Sox batted around, scoring seven runs before Jon Lester took the mound in the rubber game of the three game set versus the first place Indians. Before Lester’s first pitch the Red Sox had essentially won the game:
Note where the “2″ is on the X axis of the to graph. Charitably, the Red Sox were 90% to win the game. That’s called production. Since I live in the western time zone, I turned the game on and the Sox were up 3-0. Soon it was 7-0. An Indians friend of mine called during the sixth inning when the score was 13-0. He said, “A few years back the Indians had a twelve run come back against the Mariners, so this one isn’t over yet.” I said, “Um, yes it is. If they score twelve today, you know what happens? They still lose.”
Some notes on the blowout, in ultra-sexy bullet point form:
* Your WPA (that’s Win Probability Added, not Whiny Projectile Aardvark) leader for the day is Dustin Pedroia, who’s first inning homer was his third and his first since April 15th. Pedroia also had a single and was robbed of a double on a hard line drive down the left field line by Austin Kerns. Pedroia has been dealing with some issues associated with his left foot, the one he injured last season. It sounds like he may need some time off at some point if it continues bothering him, but it was good to see him hit the ball hard a few times, something he’s not done so far this year.
* Carl Crawford, come on down! You’re the next contestant on End! My! Sump! But for some ungenerous score keeping, Crawford would have hit for the cycle Wednesday. He crushed a curveball into the right field stands for a homer, hit two into the gaps for doubles, one of which got away from Shin-Soo Choo who’s banner year continues (do you get an error for a DUI?). With his four hit Crawford brought his slash lines from .212/.249/.293 to .229/.264/.335. OK, it’s not exactly impressive, but it’s a start.
* Someone else who seems to be coming around at the plate is Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Salty had two hits and a walk, including a roped single and another homer, giving him four in the last ten days. His OPS is now north of .700 and don’t look now but he’s slugging .420. The on-base percentage needs work, but if he keeps swinging the bat like this, well actually, if he keeps swinging the bat like this he’ll hit .70o with 120 homers. So a ‘no’ on that, but Salty is not only not an automatic out anymore, but he’s actually contributing to the lineup.
* Jon Lester did what a good pitcher does with a seven run lead. He threw strikes. In six innings he walked one batter and struck out seven. Yes maybe there was less pressure with that kind of run support, but Lester kept the game a laugher by holding scoreless the team with the second most runs scored in the AL.
* The recently added to the roster Drew Sutton filled in quite ably for Kevin Youkilis at third base. I’m not sure what is bothering Youk but I’m guessing it’s his hip which has been an issue for him all season long. Getting back to Sutton, he had three hits in five plate appearances including two doubles, one to each field. He also kept the first inning rally going with a bloop single to center. Additionally he played a sure-handed third base including making a nice back handed pick and displayed a strong and accurate arm.