The Boston Red Sox have a very thin margin for error as the season winds down and J.D. Martinez is making sure they don’t miss the postseason.
What a night it was for the Red Sox and star slugger J.D. Martinez. This season has been a curious one for Boston as on any given night they can look like the best team in the game or the worst. Friday night was a positive one for the books as the Sox mauled the Angels 16-4 with the bat of Martinez being a catalyst for much of the offense.
This was the type of game that both Martinez and the Red Sox needed to keep the juices flowing as they attempt to sneak into the postseason. After embarrassing sweeps by the Rays and Yankees, Boston was gifted an easy schedule and they’re making good work of it. They were able to sort of split a series with Kansas City (the final game still has to be finished) and have now taken the first two games from the Angels.
Boston still has a chance to make it to the dance in October but they’ll need all hands on deck and everyone has to perform. That all starts with the league-leading offense of the Red Sox and the bat of their star slugger. Last night was a statement game from J.D. at the plate as he went a whopping 4-5 with two homers, two doubles, and 4 RBI. His perfect night would end on a fielding error in the eighth.
With time running out on the season and with every at-bat becoming direr, tonight was a reminder of what J.D. is capable of. He is a leader of this team both on and off the field. If he’s having a good night there’s a solid chance that the rest of the lineup will want to rise to the occasion. Friday night was the perfect example of that as the rest of the lineup added on 10 more hits.
We all know that J.D has the ability to opt-out of his current deal this winter and test free agency. If you look at things from the outside it looks like he couldn’t be happier in a Red Sox uniform, and he’s stated that he’d love to finish his playing days here. But if Boston doesn’t make it to the postseason there could always be a change in the winds and we could see Martinez walk away.
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Watching him play each and every night it sure doesn’t feel like he’s ready to take that Red Sox jersey off anytime soon. Last night was such a pleasure watching him go out there and just mash the ball like he was at the Sandlot with his buddies. Hell, he even thought he whacked a dinger just for it to be a double. Luckily he saw Carlos Fables yelling at him to go back to second in time to not get thrown out.
In his next at-bat, he would make sure that there wouldn’t be any doubt as he crushed a ball to centerfield. It didn’t matter who the Angels put on the mound Martinez was getting in that box ready to wreak some havoc.
With Boston needing to add to the win column pretty much every night for the rest of the season, having J.D. get hot right now is a perfect storm. Tonight’s 4-5 effort brings his slash line up to .310/27 HR/71 RBI/.383/.569/.952. Though his numbers may be down from last year’s MVP caliber season they’re still strong as hell for a DH in the AL East.
The Red Sox are hitting another part of their schedule that can allow them to make some ground in the Wild Card standings and they need to take advantage. IF they get more nights like tonight from J.D. Martinez and this offense then that shouldn’t be an issue. There’s still plenty of season left for Boston to make up ground on their rivals and tonight was a step in the right direction.