Almost everything worked against the Boston Red Sox in April. Will they be able to heat up as we shift into summer to stay in the division race?
The Boston Red Sox have had a challenging start to the year, to say the least.
First, they lost David Price to an elbow injury for the start of the season. Coming out of Spring Training, the story was the thin bullpen depth with the injuries to Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith. Then “flu-gate” hit the clubhouse, and it hit very hard. Remember when Xander Bogaerts missed a game because his flight got canceled? Now Steven Wright needs surgery. Luck has not been with the Red Sox so far.
As of right now, the Red Sox are 17-14. That’s a four games behind the Baltimore Orioles and 4.5 games behind the New York Yankees to place the Sox in 3rd in the American League East standings.
The Yankees, who have received the absolute best kind of luck to go along with their great play, are red hot right now. In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, the Yankees are an 21-9 and have looked like real contenders this month. The question is, can they keep it up?
Perhaps not. With a less-than-stellar starting pitching rotation, a young core who is producing at unbelievable levels, and injury-replacements playing out of their minds, this .700 winning percentage seems difficult to maintain.
The Red Sox will certainly need to improve if they’re going to compete with the Orioles and Yankees for the AL East crown. Fortunately for Boston, who own the 3rd best team ERA in the league, the offense seems to be improving.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox invited group of players you’ve probably never heard of to Spring Training
- Jeter Downs’ official departure will continue to haunt Red Sox
- Aaron Judge’s Yankees return a brutal reminder of what could have been for Red Sox
- Red Sox should capitalize on Yankees’ latest roster move
- Red Sox ownership’s latest reported venture could be what’s affected team spending
The last two games have revealed what the Red Sox offense is designed to look like. After an 11-1 rout of the Minnesota Twins on Saturday, Boston scored 7 runs in 8 innings and 10 runs in the 9th on Sunday to dismantle the Twins 17-6. In a turn from the early season norm, the Boston offense stole the show in a Chris Sale start.
Offensively, the Red Sox had enormous success in Saturday and Sunday’s games. While the Sox had been struggling to find run support for their pitching staff, especially Sale, that was not the case in either game.
Can the Red Sox maneuver through their early-season misfortunes and rise to the top of the AL East again? A look back at 2016 provides some encouragement. It was not until about this time last year that the bats really awoke for what became the league’s best offense in terms of runs scored.
Believe it or not, if you picked up the 2016 AL East Champion version of the Red Sox and dropped them into the division right now, they would only have a 1 game advantage on the 2017 Sox through 32 games.
For all of the adversity Boston has been through on and off the field, they are still very much in position to compete for and win the AL East. That should be encouraging to fans, as other teams may have already wilted under the same circumstances.
The Red Sox certainly aren’t out of it yet. Even in the same division as the Yankees, the Red Sox have a chance to wear the AL East crown once more in 2017.