Red Sox Strut: Shaw And Owens Bring It
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.
This week’s Strut comes after a good 10-game stretch for the Boston Red Sox. At least, compared to most of the season.
The Red Sox are starting to believe, more and more, in their youthful future being the ever-present success. Two men, first baseman Travis Shaw and lefty pitching prospect Henry Owens, have led the charge in the past seven days. Others on the squad have also had their own success; however, these two have had something to ‘strut about’ just a bit more than the rest.
Since 1975, people have been spending a summer’s day or night watching the movie Jaws, with Robert Shaw as the infamous old fisherman Quint who tries to capture a gigantic, man-eating, Great White shark. However, this summer, Red Sox Nation have been spending their time watching another Shaw entertain them. Travis has shown his toughness as well, trying to tame a gargantuan-sized deficit in the American League East division.
The 25-year-old lefty bat has hit .423/.500/.571 with two home runs and five RBIs in the last seven games. Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has the RBI-lead with six, but he earned most of them in one night while hitting .313.
Shaw’s consistency is also a major factor in this week’s award. At this point in the season, Shaw has a .350 batting average in his small sample-size of 80 at-bats. Not too small, mind you, to earn six home runs and 13 RBIs.
With his versatility at first base or third base, Shaw’s multi-talented performances should vanquish any suggestion that he could not fill Mike Napoli‘s shoes on defense. The question is quickly becoming whether the Red Sox could find a big-hitting first baseman and, maybe, move Shaw to third. I’ll let the Pablo Sandoval doubters chew on that one.
Just remember: there’s always a bigger fish.
Aug 21, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Henry Owens (60) pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
In the last seven days, there were four Red Sox starters who earned wins in five appearances. However, Owens proved to be just a cut above the rest.
Owens was as successful in earning a win as Joe Kelly, who blanked the Cleveland Indians in six innings; Wade Miley, who gave up only one run in 7.1 innings; and Eduardo Rodriguez, who pitched two games to combine for 14 innings. Owens took the award, this week, because he had to work eight innings but allowed only one earned run. A home run was his only big mistake, as Owens gave up only four hits in the outing. Everyone else had given up more hits.
While Kelly and Miley are veterans, with Kelly having 11 games of playoff experience with the St. Louis Cardinals, Owens and Rodriguez were baptized by fire this season, being prospects whom were never expected to start for the big club so soon. The pressure for these young men to overcome the frightful bats in the AL East, as well as the rest of the major leagues, has been incredible. Rodriguez should get the honorable mention this week because of the same boiling pot of Red Sox fans Owens has been trying to satisfy. Owens edges Rodriguez simply because of the no-decision and the combined 13 hits.
The Red Sox will needs more pitchers like Owens and Rodriguez next season if they want to compete against the elite teams for a playoff spot. Right now, though, Owens should be allowed some time to strut before 2015 ends.
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