The Boston Red Sox (51-64) continue their series against the Los Angeles Angels (67-48) after taking the opener last night. Allen Webster had his best start of the season, lasting 6.2 innings and holding the Angels to a pair of runs. Most importantly, he allowed only two walks, after allowing a total of 11 over his first two starts.
Yoenis Cespedes continued his success against his former division rival by driving in a pair of runs to record his first RBIs in a Red Sox uniform, while Mike Napoli homered to give Boston an insurance run. Napoli now has 3 career home runs against former teammate Jered Weaver – all of them solo shots. In 21 games in Anaheim since the Angels traded him, Napoli is hitting .377/.478/.857 with 11 HR and 16 RBI.
- Clay Buchholz (5-7, 6.20 ERA) gets the start for Boston. His poor season continues as he's given up 7 runs in each of his last two starts. Walks continue to plague him, as he's issued 13 free passes over his last 16 innings. Whatever mechanical issues he solved during his stint on the DL have clearly become a problem once again.
- Brock Holt has started 3 of the last 4 games in CF, which has left Jackie Bradley starting games on the bench. Bradley is in a horrific 0-for-24 slump over the last 7 games that he's made a plate appearance in, but he still provides value with this superb defense. It's not that Holt has been bad in center field, but he's not the elite defender that Bradley is. It's difficult to keep a guy in the lineup if he's not hitting, but the problem is that Holt has been dealing with a recent slump of his own, with his batting average dropping 21 points since July 22. He's shown signs of climbing out of that funk lately, but is still hitting only a mediocre .276 in August, which so far has been his worst month of the season.
- Garrett Richards (12-4, 2.58 ERA) will take the mound for Los Angeles. He's 6th in the AL in ERA, 5th in WHIP (1.02) and 7th in strikeouts (152) during a breakout season. His numbers have improved dramatically from anything he showed over his first few years in the league. He actually had a negative WAR through parts of three seasons with the Angels, with last year being the first time he provided positive value. Now his 4.3 WAR is the 6th best in the league.
- Albert Pujols may be past his prime years from his days in St. Louis, but he's having a strong bounce-back season after seeing his production drop off last year. Pujols is hitting .275/.326/.479 with 21 HR and 70 RBI. He'll never live up to that contract, but he's clearly still got plenty left in the tank.
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Tags: Allen Webster, Baseball, Boston, Boston Red Sox, Brock Holt, Clay Buchholz, Mike Napoli, MLB, Yoenis Cespedes