The Boston Red Sox defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in a much more conventional manner Monday night, putting aside the late-game heroics in favor of returning to a more reliable winning recipe. In hearkening back to their early-season success, the Red Sox dispatched the Phillies 9-3 thanks to a couple of big run-scoring innings and effective pitching.
While the Red Sox scored multiple runs in three innings on Monday, it was the first inning where they gave themselves a lead commanding enough to take full control of the contest. In the first inning, the Red Sox scored three runs due to a couple of home runs. Pedroia’s two-run home run was the first and was later followed by Mike Napoli’s solo shot.
The two home runs gave the Red Sox a 3-1 lead and provided the team with a win expectancy of 76.3 percent by the end of the inning. It was an advantage that the club would refuse to relinquish for the final eight innings as their win expectancy only dropped below 70.0 percent for a single at-bat in the top of the third inning; after Erik Kratz’s solo home run, Ben Revere drew a walk.
Obviously incensed that the Phillies would dare to try to come back and make a contest of things, the Red Sox used the bottom of the third inning to put the game completely out of reach. A collection of singles and doubles saw the Red Sox score three runs in the bottom of the third inning, resulting in a win expectancy of 90.9 percent.
It was a stranglehold that became progressively tightened as the game continued without the Phillies being able to mount much of anything against the Red Sox pitchers, at least not when it counted. Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Miller, and Clayton Mortensen combined to allow just three earned runs because of their ability to strand Phillies base runners.
The three pitchers posted a left on base percentage of 98.4 percent, which served to mostly negate the above-average hitting line of .306 BA/.375 OBP/.508 SLG with a .390 wOBA of the Phillies lineup.
Red Sox pitchers did not throw exceptionally well on Monday, but they proved stingy enough, especially considering they received nine runs of support. When the Red Sox offense is clicking on all cylinders like it was against the Phillies, the pitching staff has much more margin of error.
Most importantly, the Red Sox’s latest victory extends their winning streak and has resulted in the salvaging of the month of May for the club. After a disastrous start, the Red Sox are currently 14-12 in May and once again leading the American East standings.