Boston Red Sox may have finally hit their stride after sluggish April
By Brendan Howe
The Red Sox struggled in April, but as the weather gets warmer, so too will the Boston bats. Stay cautious, but the team may have hit their stride.
We can all admit this was not the start to the 2019 season that we, or the Boston Red Sox, were expecting. But after a rocky April, Boston is turning the page to May and heating up against their foes from out West.
There are 162 games on a Major League baseball team’s schedule. The Red Sox have played 31 of those 162 games, leaving them with another 131 to go after today, to defend their crown from last year’s World Series triumph.
It’s been blatantly obvious that something is lacking with this 2019 squad thus far, but not being able to put a finger on exactly what that ailment is may be the most frustrating part, in addition to the roller coaster ride of emotions Sox Nation has endured throughout the first month of the season.
Timely hitting has been absent, quality starts were few and far in between, and the bullpen couldn’t hold a lead if their lives depended on it. The defense that had been so reliable a year ago has made its fair share of errors at the most costly times in ballgames throughout the month.
Tom Caron broke down the rest of the Red Sox season in fragments and much simpler numbers with this tweet:
With the kind of damage this team did last season, going 80-52 (1-0 since that tweet, btw) straight through to the finish line is more than doable. In fact, it should be easy.
Now, 79 more wins from here on out would put Boston at 93 wins, which may not be enough to surpass the Rays if they continue their pace, but it should at least get them to the playoffs with a Wild Card.
A bad month won’t wreck a team’s season by any means, and Boston has put the hurt on one of the other playoff teams from 2018, the Oakland A’s. The Red Sox wrapped up a 10-game homestand today before they head out to the south side of Chicago for their first meeting of the season with the White Sox.
The past three games at Fenway Park have seen the Sox offense explode for the first time all season. Let’s just say it: the past three games have been fun. Boston plated 21 runs on 28 hits over the course of the series versus Oakland. Game two starter Rick Porcello tossed an absolute gem, going 8 scoreless innings while striking out 8 in the process.
On Monday, Boston scored all 9 of their runs without the long ball, something they’ve struggled to do all season. RBI’s from Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Michael Chavis, and Jackie Bradley Jr. all contributed to the winning effort.
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The very next night was more of the same, as Boston deposited a couple of balls over the wall, as home runs by the reigning MVP and Mitch Moreland got the Red Sox out to a 4-0 lead early, and that proved to be plenty for the starter Porcello.
As the calendar flips to May and the weather starts to warm up a bit more, hopefully, the Sox bats will follow suit. They’ve shown good patience with timely hits and they’ve started to regain a bit of that swagger we saw in 2018.
That’s the beauty of baseball. Each day provides a new opportunity, a clean slate to start fresh with. There’s been no panic with these Red Sox thus far, despite the lackluster start, and it starts at the top with the manager. Alex Cora has set the tone since day one, assuring fans and media that the team will snap out of it and they need to just go play their game.
That’s what they’ve done these past few nights, and it’s what they’ll need to continue to do in order to get back to the promised land once again in 2019.
Boston will head on the road for a quick trip to Chicago and then down to Camden Yards in Baltimore. Both teams are in the dumpster as far as their record is concerned. Yet another great chance for the Red Sox to make up some ground.