Alex Cora is confident that the Red Sox are moving in right direction
The Boston Red Sox are off to a poor start this season, but Alex Cora is confident that the team is beginning to move in the right direction.
This hasn’t quite been the start to the season that the Red Sox were hoping for after winning the World Series this past October. We’ve seen it time and time again in sports when a team wins the championship they often have a hangover the next year. Despite the denials of such phenomenon it sure seems to be what has happened in Boston.
As the season began the starters couldn’t go past mid-game and were letting runs cross the plate at an astounding rate. The bats were colder than a popsicle on Antarctica and saw no warmth in sight. The one silver lining in the whole mess was the fact that the bullpen was lights out and kept the Red Sox in games. Luckily for Boston, some of those poor trends are seeing an upwards tick and things are looking brighter. Alex Cora is seeing the positive changes in his club and he believes that this isn’t just a fad.
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In recent weeks the starting pitching has found its groove and is beginning to resemble the rotation of old. Though there is still plenty of work to do as Chris Sale is still a ghastly 0-5, but his outings have gotten better with each performance. Eduardo Rodriguez, Rick Porcello, and David Price have all seen positive mobility in their starts as of late and the confidence seems to be back in full.
"“I’ve got confidence in all of them,” Cora said about his starting pitchers. “It was just a bad start for everybody. I mean, people can point out our spring training or whatever. I don’t think that’s the thing. Judge us over 162 games. See what happens. And they did struggle early. Now they’re finding their rhythm and we’ll see where it takes us.”"
The bats recently have started to wake up and not a moment too soon for a team that is seeing their October hopes slip away. Mookie Betts has been anything but an MVP in 2019 but he’s found his mojo and is looking like he wants to make a charge for back to back accolades. J.D. Martinez has been swinging the bat like he’s seeing beach balls coming from the mound. Top prospect Michael Chavis has been a spark of energy for the defeated squad and Mitch Moreland has been the most clutch hitter in the lineup.
Unfortunately, that silver lining from before has become a bit of a stressor now for the Red Sox. When the bullpen is called upon it has become more of a Jekyll/Hyde scenario with the fans never knowing which would be on the mound. There has been great consistency with guys like Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier but not so much with the likes of Tyler Thornburg and Brandon Workman.
Alex Cora is confident in this team that they have all the pieces necessary to put the puzzle together. It’s all right there in front of them they just need to take a step back to see the big picture. This is the same team that raised the Commissioner’s Trophy last fall minus a few departures. The skipper clearly hasn’t lost his team and they aren’t ready to give up the fight but it won’t be all rainbows and sunshine like last year.
Last night was a statement performance from crafty right-hander Rick Porcello as he had what is easily one of his best outings in a Red Sox uniform. After a March/April that was a nightmare for Porcello he proved last night why he carries the name of “Ricky Raindrops.” Porcello would throw for a stellar 8IP while fanning 8 and only walking 2. A great pitching performance that was backed up by some strong defense and plenty of runs.
"“It was a total team effort,” Porcello pointed out. “We swung the bats well. We played good defense.”"
The Red Sox still have a long way to go but they’re now on what appears to be the right path. Alex Cora still has the clubhouse and the team is still responding to his message. That is a positive note after such a rough start to the season. It’s going to take some serious magic to get back to the Fall Classic at this pace but it can be done, just look at the Dodgers from last season.
Boston is starting to hit their groove and at a perfect time in their schedule as they’re about to hit the road for trips to Chicago and Baltimore. The Red Sox will have plenty of chances to make up the ground they gave up in April as May is a new month with new opportunities. With the team starting to click on all levels it’s shaping up to be a good run.