Series Recap: Red Sox vs. A’s 5/9-5/11

<> at Fenway Park on May 11, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Some quick thoughts coming up about this week’s Sox-A’s bloodbath right after I make sure professional baseball still exists in Oakland…

  • Another series, another series win for the Red Sox, this time due to an outrageous offensive output. Boston scored 40 runs in the three game set to sweep the A’s and bump its record up to 21-13. The Sox have needed every win to keep pace with the Orioles, who have also won four straight games.
  • I guess we have to start by talking about Barry Bonds Ken Griffey Jr. Babe Ruth Jackie Bradley Jr. JBJ is now in the midst of a career best 17 game hitting streak, during which he’s posting a .406/449/.859 slash line with 6 HR and 24 RBI. He went 8-14 against Oakland, with a grand slam on Tuesday followed up by two more dingers last night:

  • This stretch has bumped up Bradley’s career batting average from .214 all the way up to .229. He’s also now second on the team in RBI behind David Ortiz. The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier compared him to Kansas City’s Alex Gordon earlier this week, and, quite frankly, that would be a terrific best-case scenario for a guy who had a 53 OPS+ through his first 530 big-league plate appearances.
  • The Red Sox run differential has surged from +23 to +48 after this series, putting them in third in all of baseball behind the Cubs (+99) and the Cardinals (+50). The Red Sox are also tied with the Cubs in total runs, with 196.
  • Boston also hit 8 homers and had 48 (!) hits across the three games. The Sox now have five players hitting above .300, with Hanley Ramirez lurking just below that mark at .297.
  • Chris Young had an abysmal start to the season, but he’s finally coming around now. He was 5-10 in the series to boost his average all the way up from .182 to .256. He’s a key cog for this Red Sox team, and if he can hang around .250 and mash left handed pitching, that will be huge.
  • Last season was the first since 2011 that Dustin Pedroia‘s OPS actually increased, though his hot start was erased by a hamstring injury that limited him to only 93 games. Fortunately, Pedey is picking up right where he left off pre-injury in 2015, with his .851 OPS and 133 wRC+ being his best marks since that same 2011 season. He’s on pace to hit 29 HR, and while there’s pretty much no way he keeps that up, I’m just glad to have The Laser Show operating at full capacity once again.
  • This Week In Clay Buchholz: Clay thought he was being traded mid-game after yet another poor outing. Seriously.
  • Other than that, the pitching was fine. Rick Porcello pitched well last night, and Sean O’Sullivan performed admirably enough in a one-off spot start, somehow only giving up four runs in six innings despite allowing 12 hits. When your offense is scoring 13 runs a game, you can get away with that stuff.
  • In other Red Sox news, the organization is currently under investigation for some possibly-against-the-rules stuff regarding international free agents. Baseball America has the full report here, but the short version is that the Red Sox were basically packaging players together by using the bonuses of guys to sign other guys with the same trainer. We’ll see how this all plays out.

Up next: The 14-21 American League Champion Astros.

 

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