Back Boston and Wacha Through Five

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Sometimes it feels like no matter what you bet, you have something go wrong. That was what I felt like for a small portion of August. No matter what happened, I just couldn’t get on a sustained run. In a lot of games, we were getting crushed in the last at-bat, some others were just bad calls. The past seven days? Well, six of the seven have been outstanding. In the last seven days, I am 20-4 with all the plays listed. I actually forgot to go look at the line for Zac Gallen to get a win was yesterday, too so it could’ve been even better. Still, in this business, it isn’t enough to have a good streak – a bad one could be coming – you have to keep doing it every day.

One of the pitchers I have on my small list of “guys to watch for their starts” is Michael Wacha. Wacha has been the best pitcher for the Red Sox for basically the entire season. The problem, of course, is he missed time with injuries so we didn’t get to use him as much as I would’ve liked. Still, for a team that is not going to make the playoffs, and is having a relatively disappointing season, the Red Sox have done well in his starts. This is a bit disjointed because he missed all of July, but in his last nine starts, the Red Sox have won seven of them. He’s been worse away from Fenway this year, but it isn’t exactly a bad split. He has a 3.26 road ERA, which most pitchers would, and should, be pleased to have on their stat sheet. He’s already faced Tampa twice this season, including just two starts ago. On the year, he’s thrown 11 innings and allowed six earned runs. The concerning part for me, is in a year that he has allowed just 10 total home runs, the Rays have hit four of them off him in those 11 innings.

Luis Patino is throwing for the Rays. This is basically a random spot start for Patino. Perhaps the Rays are going to use him a bit more, but he will need to prove he deserves the ball more if he is going to help them continue this pursuit towards the playoffs. Patino’s last start was in the middle of August against the Royals. He looked good in it going 5.2 innings and only allowing four hits in the game. The Rays have a strong bullpen but you probably don’t want to have to rely on them too much in this game.

I think that Wacha is being a bit disrespected here in the game. I know the Rays have hit him well, but I think the books are giving Patino too much credit. The one concern is that Boston had to travel and the Rays didn’t. However, I still am going to back Wacha through five innings at -120. The Red Sox should handle that portion of the game, I’m just not fully convinced about the whole game.

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Written by David Troy

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