The Boston Red Sox were absolutely embarrassed by the Orioles on Friday night and they made sure that wouldn’t be happening again on Saturday.
Boston may not have had anyone in the Home Run Derby this year but that hasn’t stopped them from smacking moon-bombs on the regular. After getting humiliated by Baltimore on Friday night the Red Sox went into Camden Yards yesterday to do some damage. The offense was lead by a resurgent Jackie Bradley Jr. and who got the party started early.
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Things started off pretty normal for a clash between the Red Sox and Orioles and then the scoresheet made its way to the second inning. Some small ball would set the stage for JBJ to do the damn thing and he did exactly that. Smacking a 3-run dinger and giving the Sox a 4-0 lead. Baltimore wouldn’t go down easy as they tacked on five runs of their own in the third.
That’s about where the fun ended for the Orioles and Boston would just keep smashing the ball and tacking on insurance runs. As we all know, there aren’t enough runs in the world to make Red Sox Nation comfortable with calling upon the bullpen.
Everyone got involved in the offense last night and it was a beautiful sight to see. In total, the Red Sox smashed five homers with Mookie Betts, Sandy Leon, and Rafael Devers all adding in on the fun that JBJ was having. It was awesome to see this team respond this way after such a letdown on Friday night. And with how this season is playing out I was a bit shocked that they were able to tally up so many runs after the beating in game 1.
Even though everyone contributed and made this a full team win, for me the big story as I mentioned at the top is Jackie Bradley Jr. Though his defense has been off the charts this season as we’ve become accustomed to seeing his bat has left more to be desired. Much of his season has been spent wondering what in the hell is going on at the plate. But the summer heat has also brought a hot bat for JBJ and he’s become a serious threat at the plate.
Jackie now owns a strong stat line of .232/3.29/.406/.735 and after yesterday he’s up to 11 HR and 37 RBI. His bat is becoming a weapon in the arsenal of Alex Cora and it’s getting hot at just the right time for a Red Sox comeback. A pair of 3-run dingers for JBJ has to be a hell of a confidence boost for the Gold Glove centerfielder.
When the season began and Jackie wasn’t producing it felt like Red Sox Nation had forgotten that he was the reigning ALCS MVP. He also tends to start the season slow and pick things up as the calendar moves towards October. It looks like 2019 is following that same trajectory as the Sox begin to march towards the postseason.
His work at the plate is often overshadowed by how well he runs the outfield but he is making progress when in the batter’s box. His K% is a bit high at 25.6% but that’s also where it was last season. The positive in that note is that his BB% has risen to 10.8% which is the highest it’s been since 2015. Yeah, he’s still striking out but he’s also showing more patience to wait for his pitches.
Jackie may not be showing Christian Yelich numbers when it comes to homers but he is carrying his highest ISO since 2016 with a .174. JBJ is also two homers away from tying his mark last year and 6 away from tying his 2016 total. His offense is coming along and he is contributing on a nightly basis in every aspect of the game.
The Red Sox needed to bounce back in a big way after getting embarrassed on Friday night and they did exactly that. Jackie Bradley Jr. got the scoring started and they never looked back from that point. If he can continue to produce at this rate then the deficits in both the AL East and Wild Card races will dwindle in a hurry.