Some reporters asked Dustin Pedroia if the Red Sox have transformed from a team built to score runs into a team built to prevent runs. I’ve never been a big Pedroia fan, but his response has shot my man-crush for him to dangerously high levels:
“I don’t even buy into that stuff. We have great pitching, we have
great defense, and we have good offensive players. I don’t
even know what run prevention is. I’m a baseball player. I don’t know
how to read very good; I don’t know how to write very good. We just go
play, man. That’s it. We’ll be fine.”
Pedroia is a ballplayer. He plays ball. He has no obligation to give a very obviously hungry Boston press corps. some quotes designed to serve the “do the Red Sox have enough offense?” narrative they’ve decided will dominate this spring. You can hit and play defense at the same time, and there’s every reason to think that the Red Sox will do just that. Screw the Boston press and their false, newspaper-selling dichotomies.
(thanks to Wooden U. Lykteneau for the heads up)
The Blue Jays’ playoff hopes were dashed a long, long time ago, but they’re happy to play spoiler as the end of the regular season draws near. On Thursday evening, the Jays trailed the Rays 8-2 entering the bottom of the ninth inning. They proceeded to put up a seven-spot to walk off 9-8 winners, handing the Rays a devastating loss in the midst of their quest to reach the postseason.
Dwight Smith started things off with a leadoff double against Jaime Schultz. Rowdy Tellez followed up by doubling him in. Jonathan Davis was hit by a pitch and then, after Reese McGuire struck out, Danny Jansen hit a three-run homer to left field. Enter Sergio Romo. Romo struck out Richard Ureña, but then allowed a single to Kendrys Morales, a two-run homer to Lourdes Gurriel, then a walk-off solo homer to Justin Smoak.
According to FanGraphs, the Jays had a 0.4 percent chance of winning entering the bottom of the ninth inning. Their probability rose to a measly 4.8 percent after Morales singled. Gurriel’s homer made it 53.8 percent, an increase of a whopping 49 percent.
After the awful loss, the Rays fall to 6.5 games behind the Athletics — who won 21-3 over the Angels earlier — for the second Wild Card in the American League. They have 10 games remaining.