The Boston Red Sox possess one of the most prolific offenses in the major leagues this season. Their .336 wOBA is tied for the third-highest mark out of the 30 major league teams. However, all semblance of their power-hitting lineup was completely absent in Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat suffered at the hands of the Chicago White Sox. Instead of displaying their usual proficiency, the lineup the Red Sox sent to the batter’s box was made to look like a bunch of below replacement level hitters by White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana.
Quintana mowed down Red Sox batter after Red Sox batter during his 6.3 innings of work, not allowing the Red Sox to collect a single hit until the second batter of the seventh inning. Quintana then gave up three hits in succession, but the Red Sox were unable to take advantage of their brief display of productive hitting in the seventh inning.
After the third straight hit surrendered, Quintana was removed from the game and replaced by relief pitcher Jesse Crain. Crain faced a situation where the Red Sox had loaded the bases and seized a less than commanding 35.5 percent chance of winning the game. However, it was the best opportunity the Red Sox had had all game to seize control of the game.
They ended up wasting their chance to score even a single run, with Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew being retired in succession by Crain.
The Red Sox offense gave another brief flicker of life in the eight inning while facing White Sox relief pitchers Matt Thornton and Matt Lindstrom. Thornton gave up a walk and a single before being replaced by Lindstrom, against whom the Red Sox managed to score an unearned run. Lindstrom then induced David Ortiz to ground into a double play, with one out and a runner on third base, to end the mini-rally the Red Sox tried to orchestrate.
The conclusion of the top of the eighth inning saw the Red Sox trailing by just one run, but with just a 13.9 percent chance of winning the game.
During the bottom of the eighth inning, relief pitcher Alex Wilson conceded an earned run to the White Sox and put one of the final nails in the coffin that was the chance of the Red Sox winning.
In a fitting summation of the offensive struggles the Red Sox had all game long, posting a feeble hitting line of .129 BA/.206 BA/.129 SLG with a .165 wOBA, it was the Red Sox hitters who sealed the defeat for the club. The three batters who hit in the ninth inning, Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava, and Will Middlebrooks, were retired in order, and the game was mercifully over.
With such a lack of production from the Red Sox bats, Red Sox pitching became an afterthought in the game. Even though the pitching allowed just three runs in the game, they only posted a win probability added of 0.028 as the Red Sox hitters made sure all of the pitching efforts were negated.
The Boston Red Sox lost their second straight game to the White Sox because they did not hit like their statistics suggest they should. Now the offense will be looking for a bounce-back performance in Wednesday’s contest, the finale of the three-game series with the White Sox.