Counting Saturday’s contest 8-6 victory against the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox have only won eight of the 21 games that pitcher Jon Lester has started, which is unsurprising considering how poorly Lester has pitched this season. It should also not come as a shock that in winning Saturday in a Lester-started contest that the Red Sox had to win in spite of the starting pitcher.
In the 6.0 innings he lasted on Saturday, Lester allowed the Yankees to score four earned runs against him, thanks in large part to the two home runs he gave up to the Yankees hitters. Lester did not allow a high number of Yankees hitters to reach base, holding the 23 batters he faced to a lowly .261 on-base percentage, but when a pitcher fails to strand more than 62.5 percent of the base runners he allows, it does not always matter there are not a high number of opposing hitters who reach base. That is how Lester ended up conceding four earned runs for a game ERA of 6.00.
Lester did not pitch great, although his 3.30 expected fielding-independent ERA suggests he was a bit unfortunate in his start especially with those two home runs, but he was not even the worst Red Sox pitcher to step on the mound on Saturday. The aforementioned distinction goes to relief pitcher Vicente Padilla, who did more to cost the Red Sox the game than any other Red Sox pitcher.
Padilla was given credit for 0.7 innings pitched, and before he could record a third out and complete the inning, he served up a two-run home run to Mark Teixeira that tied the game at 6-6.
Luckily for both Lester and Padilla, who served up all six runs the Yankees scored on Saturday, the Red Sox offense was in the mood to score a high number of runs. The offensive output by the Red Sox not only resulted in eight runs, but also served to overcome the Red Sox pitching and no doubt provide a little more confidence to the Red Sox hitters.
For the game, the Red Sox hitters combined to post a batting line of .297 BA/.341 OBP/.486 SLG with a .356 wOBA and also went 3 for 5 with runners in scoring position. It was a great combination of overall productive hitting mixed with timely hitting for the Red Sox offense, especially from Adrian Gonzalez who knocked in four of the eight runs the Red Sox scored.
The excellent hitting the Red Sox displayed in the contest is one reason why they were able to combine to garner a win probability added of 0.56. Since their pitchers only combined to post a win probability added of -.06, it is safe to say the hitters can take the credit for the latest victory by the Red Sox.