I used to think the combo of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz was the best in baseball. That is until Adrian Gonzalez donned a Red Sox uniform. Gonzalez is something I don’t think I have ever witnessed. Even when he makes an out it seems like he is driving in a run. We are barely into our third month of play and Gonzales has already racked up 91 hits. He now leads the league in batting avg, doubles and RBI’s. Big Papi seems to feed off Gonzalez perfectly. It seems like every game Gonzalez drives in the first run and Ortiz hammers the nail into the coffin with a back breaking home run.
The two of them powered the Sox to their ninth straight win, a 14-1 drubbing at the expense of the Toronto Blue Jays. That makes three straight series sweeps. The Athletics, Yankees and Blue Jays have been casualties of the Red Sox high powered offense. We all expected Gonzalez to be a powerhouse but, who expected this kind of output from Ortiz? As of today Ortiz is fourth in the American League in batting and home runs, he would probably be amongst the leaders of RBI’s if Gonzalez didn’t always clear the bases before he comes to the plate. Gonzalez and Ortiz have a combined 30 home runs and 103 RBI’s, amazing.
This team is running on all cylinders. Every member of the starting lineup is contributing with the lone exception of J.D. Drew. But, I don’t want to focus on any negative when everything else is so positive. Funny how everything seems to work out for the best. Francona finally has a lineup that works for everyone. Carl Crawford looks better suited batting behind Ortiz then he does at the top of the lineup. That allowed Francona to slot Gonzalez in the third spot, where he has flourished. How many times has Gonzalez driven in a run in the first inning? With Dustin Pedroia having peace of mind that his knee is structurally sound, expect to see the laser show in full force. How does an opposing pitcher stand a chance when you have Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez to face every first inning. No wonder Gonzalez leads the world in RBI’s with Ellsbury batting in front of him.
The Sox can really send a message to the other AL East teams if they can beat up on the Tampa Bay Rays the next three games. This isn’t going to be easy. Rays Manager Joe Maddon, adjusted his starting rotation to allow him to send his three best, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson and David Price to face the Sox. Maddon never shows fear, unlike Yankees manager Joe Girardi who seems to do the opposite, How many times does he switch C.C. Sabathia around to face a lesser opponent? Imagine the Sox sweeping all three of their AL rivals? Talk about sending a message. Bring on the Orioles!!!