Whenever Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz decides to hang up his cleats and retire, prompting baseball enthusiasts to engage in a career retrospective, there is no doubt Ortiz will be remembered as one of the great designated hitters to ever play. During Wednesday’s contest, he demonstrated why he will be so highly regarded as he propelled his team to an 11-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners with his bat.
Ortiz had four plate appearances in the game and maximized almost every one of them. Two of his plate appearances concluded with him getting a hit, with both of them being of the extra-base variety; the double that he hit set the record for most hits by a designated hitter (1,689) and the home run that he hit drove in both Pedroia and himself to give the team a 4-0 lead.
Even one of the two outs that he made, a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning that scored Shane Victorino, was beneficial to the Red Sox in the team’s attempt to run up the score in an astronomical way that would have been seen as unsportsmanlike if the players were children.
Ortiz’s production at the plate yielded him a 0.221 win probability added for the game, the highest among all Red Sox players who participated on Wednesday night.
However, Ortiz was not the only Red Sox hitter who played a role in the steamrolling of the Seattle Mariners pitching staff. Most of the lineup took significant advantage of the offerings by the Mariners pitchers, spraying hits around the stadium en route to contributing to the team’s 11-run output.
For the contest, the Red Sox hitters put together a batting line of .333 BA/.438 OBP/.472 SLG with a .392 wOBA and a collective win probability added of 0.356.
Providing the offense with pitching support was starting pitcher Felix Doubront, who mixed in effective pitching with some fortunate amounts of luck. Doubront gave up just one earned run in 7.0 innings by striking out six Mariners hitters and limiting the damage the Mariners did once they reached the base paths against him. Doubront stranded 85.7 percent of the seven base runners he allowed.
The Red Sox were so completely through in their dismantling of the Seattle Mariners that they were never seriously challenged at any point in the contest and did not have a win expectancy below 50.0 percent after the first inning.
Not even the final score is truly indicative of how one-sided the affair was so it is worth noting that the three runs the Mariners scored in the eighth inning against Red Sox reliever Brandon Workman only increased their win expectancy from 0.1 percent at the beginning of the eighth inning to 0.4 percent by the end of it. It was a comeback attempt only made noteworthy by its extraordinary ineffectiveness.
The dominance of the Red Sox on Wednesday is just their latest as the club continues its inexorable march to the postseason.