Now, to fully understand what the Red Sox Strut is, it means to have reason to walk with a confident, proud air around you. Some people mistake it for vanity, arrogance, or being pompous. This incorrect assumption is not what we mean. The Strut is about knowing that your deeds showed off your amazing skills to the baseball-loving public.
It’s been a brutal season for the Red Sox so far, and there isn’t much to look forward to for fans other than seeing if some younger guys can contribute and speculating about the future of manager John Farrell and general manager Ben Cherington. Still with Clay Buchholz and the underperforming Rick Porcello currently on the DL, Boston was able to offer some solid pitching performances this week.
Wade Miley (6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 1 HR) and Joe Kelly (5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 SO, 1 HR) got whacked around in their starts against the Tigers, but the other three starters gave the team a chance to win which is all you can ask for at this point. Eduardo Rodriguez was given the loss in his start at Yankee Stadium, but he pitched well. He scattered six hits and gave up two runs in seven innings with two walks and five strikeouts. That wasn’t enough to get him to strut though.
This is where it gets interesting. I seriously thought that Henry Owens had earned his way to strut after his performance Sunday in his second start of the week, but he’s not quite there yet. Owens has been very solid and encouraging in his first two outings with the big club. In New York on Tuesday night, Owens was able to toss five full innings with five hits, three runs, a walk and five strikeouts, and he left the game with the Red Sox in the thick of it with a 2-1 lead before the bullpen imploded and cost him the victory. In his second start Sunday, the offense was much better and gave him a nice lead to work with. Again, he was only able to go five innings, but only allowed one run on three hits and four walks. It’s great that Boston has found another reliable young arm, but he still hasn’t been awarded the right to strut.
So that leaves us with Steven Wright’s start on Wednesday night against the Yanks – and that performance amazingly allows Steve Wright to strut for the first time this season. The Red Sox bullpen has been so inconsistent and overworked that Wright going eight innings is extremely important in contributing to his strutting rights. He also only allowed one run on four hits and two walks and added a strong nine strikeouts. It may be the only time Wright get to strut for a long to come, but the knuckler was baffling New York that night giving Wright the rights to the knuckle strut!
Aug 9, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitterDavid Ortiz
(34) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the eighth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Red Sox offense didn’t get much done against the formidable Yankees pitching staff earlier in the week, but they were able to do some damage against the Tigers. They only scored six runs total in the three games in New York. They were able to cross the plate twenty times in Detroit. There were a few different contributors, but not a ton of performances really stood out at the plate.
Bogaerts didn’t do anything against the Yankees, but bounced back with five hits and a couple RBI in Detroit. Jackie Bradley, Jr. had a huge Sunday afternoon in Detroit with five RBI. Brock Holt has come back down to Earth, but did OK over the weekend as well. Rusney Castillo had two games without a hit on the week, but has started to contribute. Sandoval and Ramirez have had their moments with a few hits here and there, but they haven’t had any real impacts on wins.
There is really only one candidate on the Red Sox who could possibly strut this week – David Ortiz. He would be strutting no matter what after officially triggering the option clause in his contract in regards to plate appearances, but he also can strut because he was the best offensive player for Boston on the week.
Big Papi went 7-for-23 on the week to hit .304 with six RBI and five runs scored. He’s been raking and looks like he’s truly on against opposing pitchers. He always said he loves to hit at Comerica Park in Detroit, and he showed why this past weekend clocking two big home runs. He also added a home run in New York earlier in the week. He now has 23 home runs and 65 RBI on the season in what will be another solid one for David. The only distressing thing is that even after a big week like this one, his average is only up to .249 which is clearly evidence of his struggles against lefties this season. Still, his performance this week in definitely reason for us to witness the Papi Strut!
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