Some thoughts on the Red Sox first series win of the season:
- Series wins are great, especially against a division rival. Although beating the best offensive team in baseball two out of three times at their own stadium is fantastic alone, the way in which the Red Sox won is even more significant. In the two wins, the Sox started off very rocky, but had the resiliency and heart to come back and slam the door shut.
- Even with a loss, the Red Sox outscored the Blue Jays 16-14 on the series, with Hanley Ramirez (6 hits), Xander Bogaerts (5 hits), and Dustin Pedroia (5 hits), largely contributing. Brock Holt, continuing his hot streak, had 3 hits including two doubles and a game changing grand slam on Friday.
- Least shocking news of the day: outside of a certain player, the Red Sox pitching rotation doesn’t evoke much optimism. The starters got hammered early on in the three games, with Joe Kelly, Rick Porcello, and Steven Wright giving up 7, 7, and 6 hits, respectively. While all were less than inspiring performances, Porcello’s might have been the most disappointing. By allowing a double and two home runs to Jose Bautista (who OWNS him), Porcello is continuing a dangerous trend of serving up softballs to hitters that know they can just lean back and tee off.
- Although most of Boston’s starting pitchers will keep trying to lose the Red Sox game after game, the bullpen has stepped up and been a brick wall early on. Noe Ramirez, Koji Uehara, Craig Kimbrel, Robbie Ross Jr., and Matt Barnes combined to face 32 batters and allowed only one run: an errant home run from Ramirez. Even more outstanding is that, in those 32 at-bats, only three hits were given up. That’s a 9% hit rate.
- The offense, emotionally charged by Pedroia and David Ortiz, is starting to bloom. With Rusney Castillo even getting two hits (out of the infield!), everyone except Mookie Betts is really finding their swing. Yes, I know the sample size of games is still very small. However, it’s important to keep track of players who have been consistently producing. Hanley Ramirez, hitting .429 with a 1.071 OPS, and Bogaerts, hitting .385 with a .429 OBP, are two of these hitters currently en fuego. If MVPookie (I’m working on another one, don’t worry) can start to get the wheels turning, this Sox offense will be incredible to watch.
- This was a very successful trip to the Rogers Centre. We knew that the starting pitchers would have trouble against the beast of the Blue Jays offense, but an incredible bullpen and never-quit attitude from the hitters won the series. The next matchup is with the current AL East winning Orioles back home, with the future Cy Young recipient David Price on the mound. Bring on the goblin-faced Manny Machado, I ain’t scared.