Before we break anything extensive down, let’s take a look at the usual numbers. The Boston Red Sox went 4-3 this last week, batting .286 with fifteen homers. Pitching had an ERA of 3.66 with an impressive opponent batting average of just .211.
So why only four wins out of the last seven? Boston is stranding runners as if our lives depend on it. On the season, Boston is averaging 3.67 Runners Left In Scoring Position. That’s good for 27th in baseball with RLISP. Boston is averaging hitting into one double play per game. Talk about momentum killers.
Simply put, the Sox can’t get a hit in the clutch. Time and time again fans see the Sox get a runner in scoring position with only one out and cannot knock them in. It’s an epidemic that is solely on the players; they need to figure out how to get those runs across.
Not all is negative though. More than a few players had a breakout week.
Steve Pearce is starting to warm up, going 7-17 with one homer and four RBIs. Jackie Bradley Jr seems to be seeing the ball better as well. Not really ever known for his bat, he had a respectable .250 batting average last week with three long balls, two doubles, and four RBIs.
The biggest story from this last week offensive-wise is the breakout performance of Rafael Devers. He had an average of .444 over the week, slamming for three bombs, two doubles (one of which should have been a home run but was held to a double thanks to the roof at Minute Maid Park), and seven RBIs.
Devers has quickly become a top performer for the Sox and manager Alex Cora has noticed.
“He is becoming one of the best third basemen in the league,” Cora said.
J.D. Martinez only played three games this week due to a sore back and was unable to register a hit in seven trips to the plate.
On the mound, David Price had a great outing after returning from the Injured List, going five and two-thirds innings, striking out five while not allowing a run. The Sox also placed Tyler Thornburg on the Injured List with a “right hip impingement.”
Ryan Brasier continues to look like he is starting to figure things out, pitching three innings of relief, striking out two and not allowing a run. Matt Barnes had a little hiccup over his two innings pitched, allowing two runs with three hits and two walks.
Looking ahead to next week’s action, the Sox cap off a three-game series in Houston and then head back to Boston for a quick three-game series against the Indians. From there, they are right back on the road to the Bronx against the Yankees.
Cleveland has been hovering around the .500 mark and they will enter Boston losers of their last two series. New York, on the other hand, has been red hot and shows no signs of slowing down.
My prediction for this week. Boston will take two of three in Boston against the Indians and will lose two of three in New York. Devers will continue to rake and hit three more bombs, Xander Bogaerts will continue his quiet but stellar performance, Chris Sale will have a bounce-back outing, and David Price will look lackluster on the mound. I predict the bullpen will suffer a major setback, more than likely against the Yankees when we need them the most.
Check back next Sunday for your weekly Red Sox review!