Recap: Red Sox 4, Jays 2; Token David Price Pun

Reunions can be bittersweet, can’t they? The Jays faced last year’s trade deadline acquisition David Price, and ended up losing. The Red Sox’ new ace was excellent, starting to earn that big money contract they lavished on him in the off-season. He struck out eight over seven solid innings, with just two earned runs. Marco Estrada wasn’t quite as good, striking out three and allowing four runs over six innings, with all the runs coming in one unfortunate inning. A couple of infield singles in the third inning both plated after a Xander Bogaerts home run. After Jose Bautista‘s first inning RBI, when it seemed like the Jays might plate a few runs against Price early, they were unable to mount much offense. The Red Sox benefited from a balanced attack, as every starter except Mookie Betts reached base.

Top Play of the Game by WPA

With the Blue Jays leading 1-0 in the bottom of the 3rd, Xander Bogaerts came up to the plate with two runners on base. He promptly parked a ball in the seats above the Green Monster, giving the Red Sox a 3-1 lead. This was the pivotal play of the game for the Red Sox, as going from a deficit to a lead increased their chances to win by 26.1%. It gave the Red Sox a lead they made stand up for the remainder of the game.

Bottom Play of the Game by WPA

The Blue Jays were trailing 4-2 to open the 8th inning, and Ezequiel Carrera got a bunt single, bringing Kevin Pillar to the plate. The much-maligned leadoff hitter grounded into a double play, lowering the Jays’ chances to win by 13.1%, and snuffing out the best chance for a rally in that inning.


Anyone who watched the Jays’ exciting run to the postseason last year isn’t surprised by how good David Price is. Even with the Jays’ reputation as a lefty mashing squad, Price settled into a good rhythm after a rough first inning. After Josh Donaldson (“getting his”, as he promised) tripled, and Jose Bautista doubled, the Jays weren’t able to sustain much against the Red Sox’ new, expensive ace.  Price mixed speeds and locations well, keeping the Jays’ struggling lineup off balance, and also benefited from a generous strike zone from umpire Angel Hernandez, as we will review shortly.


Hernandez is not a historic favorite for the Jays or their fans, and there were more than a few examples of why today. There were several calls that benefited Red Sox pitcher David Price, a player who does not need the help:

And, the cherry on top of the bad strike zone sundae, in the 9th inning, with flame throwing closer Craig Kimbrel on the hill for the Red Sox:


Balls and strikes aside, the largest issue for the Jays is still lurking.


12 games in, and the Jays continue to scuffle on offense. This is a surprising development for a team that was the best offense in baseball last year, scoring 891 runs, an average of 5.5 runs per game. They’ve scored four or fewer runs in eight of their twelve games. While the Jays’ pitching has been better than expected, it hasn’t usually been enough to overcome the drought. The core of the team (Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion) have continued to be great, but they’ve gotten very little outside of those three and left fielder Michael Saunders (who had the day off today).


Tomorrow’s day game kicks off at 11:35 ET, and features two starters who’ve begun the season well. The Jays will start hard throwing righthander Aaron Sanchez (1.38 ERA in two starts) against knuckleballer Steven Wright (1.35 ERA). Wright faced the Jays in his only prior start of the year, allowed one earned run and striking out five over six and two-thirds innings. Sanchez, despite having two excellent outings, has yet to record a win this season.

Lead Photo: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

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