Red Sox Strut: Xander Bogaerts, Chris Sale show consistency is key
Strutting Candidates: A Recap of the Red Sox offense last week
The Sox offense started the week slowly once again. They have been in some battles with the Orioles early on this year so I had a feeling it there would be some close matchups. Boston only managed to score 14 total runs in the four game series. That would all change with the weekend series against the Twins in which they exploded to score 31 total runs (meaning they averaged more than ten runs per game for the series) capped off by a ridiculous 17 run effort on Sunday including a ten run ninth inning. That brought their average runs per game for the week up to about 6.4 runs scored.
Unfortunately for Boston, last week’s Strut recipient wasn’t able to keep the streak alive. Hanley Ramirez was OK at times over the course of last week and did have a two home run game, but he also had a couple “0-for” performances, struck out four times and still doesn’t exactly look like the Hanley from the latter half of last year.
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The same can be said for Mookie Betts. After going without a hit in the first game of the Orioles series, he was able to get just one hit in each of the next four games before going 0-for-5 in Saturday’s game where the Sox managed to score eleven runs. He did hit a homerun with two double for the week. Betts was moved down to the leadoff spot later in the week so it will be interesting to see if that trend continues and if it does anything to get him going.
Mitch Moreland added three more doubles to his total for 2017, but he also added four more strikeouts. He went 8-for-26 over the last seven games which is an average of .308 and picked up five RBI over the weekend, but he’s dropped off a bit since he was Strutting a few weeks back.
Dustin Pedroia still hasn’t fully gotten his groove back since returning from the knee injury that was caused by the Machado slide. His batting average for the week was only .222. He did have seven RBI and his first two homeruns of the season this week so things are improving, but he needs to get on base and get that average up.
Jackie Bradley Jr. is still struggling at the plate, so much so that John Farrell ended up sitting him for three games last week. Bradley only managed one hit in 14 at-bats. Chris Young took his place in the lineup and actually made a good case to Strut this week going 6-for-14 with six RBI and two homeruns. If Young can do this on a more consistent basis, he could definitely be Strutting. The Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato wrote an interesting piece on Young staying ready by hitting during David Price‘s rehab bullpen sessions.
The phenom – Andrew Benintendi had a very solid week despite two 0-for-4 performances in the middle of the week. He was moved to the cleanup spot after Farrell’s lineup changes and did well going 5-for-10 when he was hitting fourth. He also had four RBI and two homeruns for the week. I get the feeling that Benintendi will certainly be strutting soon enough.