Here at BSI the staff has been getting pretty stoked lately as we’ve come to realize that the Red Sox are indeed for real. These are not the bashing, home-run happy Red Sox to which fans have become accustomed. Boston is currently ninth overall in home run production. Neither are the surly, unlikeable collective of the past two seasons. This is a scrappy grind it out, get ‘em on, get ‘em over, get ‘em in crew that is continuing to find unlikely ways to win. So where are the fans?
While the Sox pile up runs – an MLB-leading 431 – and grind opposing pitching to dust – an MLB-best OPS of .793 and a pitches seen per plate appearance of 4.06 – fewer fans have been catching the fever.
According to baseball reference.com attendance is down 3,816 per game this season through 44 home dates compared with last season’s abominable 69-93 team attendance, even in the midst of their AL best 50-34 record. Boston is second only to Pittsburgh’s blistering .630 winning percentage (.595) and are one of only two teams, the Atlanta Braves being the other, who have been over the .500 mark all season long.
Boston has had seven walk-off wins this season. They are dramatic, likeable, productive and highly entertaining to watch. As of Monday’s day off they were tied for second in the majors in stolen bases. That’s right kids, the Red Sox are stealing a lot of bases this season.
If you’ve been turned off by the Red Sox’ recent on-field products, it’s time to tune in to this bunch. Besides, do you really want to follow the continuing deconstruction of the Bruins collapse, the Aaron Hernandez circus or the dismantling of a Celtic team that is headed for the bottom of the NBA scrap heap?
All aboard! The Red Sox express is pulling out of the station and headed for a fascinating second half. Tonight they take on the San Diego Padres at 7:10 pm at Fenway. John Lackey (5-5, 2.99 ERA) goes against lefty Robbie Erlin (1-0, 3.50 ERA)in the final three-game series of the home stand before the Sox head to LA to take on the Angels Friday night to start a 10-game west coast road swing against the Angels (3 games), Mariners (4 games) and Athletics (3 games) before taking a four day break for the All-Star game on July 16.
If you’re on the fence, give the Sox a chance. This crew may just deliver on a worst to first miracle if they play in the second half like they half in the their first 84 games.