The Boston Red Sox are the talk of the MLB, making a historic start to the new campaign with a record of 21-8 . They have been dominating the win column with bats coming alive, hitting a total of 39 runs at the time of writing. With how well this team has been, they already seem five steps ahead of where they were last season. Could this be a warning shot to the rest of the MLB to watch out for these Red Sox, or could it be a fluke waiting to occur?
Through the first 29 games, the Red Sox have not lost a series yet and have only been shut out once by the Oakland Athletics, where Sean Manaea pitched an impressive no-hitter against the team. Under their new manager Alex Cora, the teams seems to be primed as a World Series contender. It is only May, but you can’t deny the promise this team has shown through the first month and a half of the season. Cora has proven to be an enormous influence on this squad, and it has shown that his system is working.
The pitching has seemed to become alive again after the struggle last season where it seemed Chris Sale was the only reliable player in the rotation. With that, Sale continues to shine, pitching 51 strikeouts with only 10 earned runs allowed in his seven games so far this season. In addition, Rick Porcello has been extremely impressive as well, coming off of a lethargic campaign. This year, Porcello has 38 strikeouts and just 10 earned runs on the year, leading him to a 4-0 record on the season.
The bullpen was a major concern entering this season, and it has not been too disappointing thus far, allowing only 16 runs, but posting a combined ERA of 3.13. The ERA is less than ideal, but there are some key highlights in this bullpen. One of them includes Matt Barnes, who has thrown with an ERA of 2.38, and has only allowed three runs through his 11 total innings pitched.
The true reason that this team has been leaving a mark though involves their lineup, which has been dominant. As mentioned previously, Boston contains 37 home runs on the season, including five grand slams, which is an MLB record to start the year.
The most impressive player from this area is shortstop Xander “X Man” Bogaerts, who contains a team-high .375 batting average with 21 runs on 56 at bats. As far as consistency goes, look no further than RF Mookie Betts, who has landed a .488 on base precentage to start the year. In addition, newcomer JD Martinez has played DH for the Sox since arriving, and has totaled a .337 batting average and 22 total RBIs, which leads the team.
Defensively, Boston has looked as solid as ever, even with the absence of Gold Glover Dustin Pedroia dealing with a right knee injury. The infield contains 23 double plays so far and just 12 errors. In the absence of Pedroia in particular, 2B Eduardo Nunez has done a fine job with 29 putouts, 47 assists, and only one error on the year. There is no rush for Pedroia to come back, as the Red Sox continue to show a strong defensive front.
Although this hot start is nothing short of phenomenal for the team, it’s still early and there plenty of time for a collapse. The team has plenty of heat on them with the New York Yankees only behind by two games. In baseball, a hot streak can disappear on the flip of a coin. In saying that, Red Sox fans can only hope the team maintains the lead in the AL East. On the other hand, there is very little room for error.
Photo Source : SportsIllustrated.com