On Sunday, designated hitter David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox picked up right where they left off following Saturday’s 7-2 victory. Once again, the Red Sox bats proved too much for the overwhelmed Los Angeles Angels pitching staff, leading to the Red Sox scoring run after run en route to a 10-5 victory.
When facing an offense as prolific and productive as the one the Red Sox possess this season, all an opponent can hope for is that the Red Sox hitters will have an off day or that they will crumble against some elite pitching. If the Angels had those hopes entering Sunday’s contest, they were quickly dispelled on both fronts.
The Red Sox were very much on their game, and Angels starting pitcher Joe Blanton was simply not up to the task of preventing them from scoring runs. Blanton pitched well for exactly 2.0 innings before his stuff no longer proved effective.
In the third inning, with the score tied 1-0, the Red Sox offense wrested control of the game from the Angels. Entering the third inning, the Red Sox had a win expectancy of 44.8 percent, but that quickly changed as the inning progressed. All told, the Red Sox put four out of seven men on base in the inning and scored four runs.
The biggest hit of the inning came courtesy of David Ortiz’s bat. With the score tied at 1-1, thanks to an earlier RBI single by Daniel Nava, Ortiz slammed a three-run home run to right center field, providing a win probability added of .218 to the Red Sox cause.
No other hit and no other inning did as much to make sure that the Red Sox won the contest. The Red Sox finished the bottom of the third inning with a win expectancy of 79.8 percent.
For the rest of the game, the mission for the Red Sox was to protect their lead, and they accomplished it in excellent fashion. The Angels never got closer than two runs, and that for only half an inning, and eventually saw their deficit balloon to seven runs before they added two largely meaningless runs in the top of the eighth inning. Even after those two runs were scored, the Red Sox still had a win expectancy of 98.2 percent.
Although the offense had a largely spectacular run-producing day, the Red Sox pitchers could not match those efforts. They allowed the Angels to post an above-average batting line of .265 BA/.390 OBP/.529 SLG with a .399 wOBA and were only saved by their ability to strand base runners.
Mixed in with some clutch pitching by the Red Sox was some non-clutch hitting by the Angels with the result being a left on base percentage of 83.3 percent for the Red Sox pitchers.
The latest victory by the Red Sox marked their continued stand on top of the American League East standings. For the fourteenth straight game, the Red Sox have at least shared the division lead and it looks as if only a total collapse will keep the club out of the postseason this year.