Red Sox streak of extra-base hits comes to an unceremonious end
By Sean Penney
The Boston Red Sox had a streak of collecting at least one extra-base hit in each game dating back to last year that came to an end against the Blue Jays.
All streaks come to an end eventually. The Boston Red Sox saw their streak of three consecutive division titles snapped earlier this week when they were officially eliminated from the AL East division race. Now another streak that stretches back to last year has faded away.
The Red Sox were held to a pair of base hits while getting shut out by the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. This snapped a 159-game streak with an extra-base hit that dates back almost a full year. The last time the Red Sox failed to record at least one extra-base hit in a game was September 14 of last year when they were shutout by Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets.
The 159-game streak was the fourth-longest in MLB history.
Boston is at the tail end of a disappointing season but the offense has held up its end. The Red Sox are fourth in the majors in runs scored. They rank third with 570 extra-base hits and lead the majors with 320 doubles.
It’s no surprise that the Red Sox are near the top of the leaderboards in these categories. Rafael Devers (83) and Xander Bogaerts (80) rank first and second in the majors respectively in extra-base hits. Mookie Betts (73) and J.D. Martinez (69) both find themselves within the top-10 in the American League.
Devers leads the majors with 50 doubles and recently became the youngest player in franchise history to reach that total in a single season.
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Fenway Park is also tailor-made for extra bases. While it’s not one of the better home run parks, the inviting green wall in left field is a welcome ally for hitters. A routine fly out in many ballparks can scrape the wall for a double off the Monster.
Despite the loaded lineup and favorable home ballpark giving the Red Sox an edge, 159 games is an amazing streak.
The streak was bound to end soon given how lifeless this lineup has been of late. The Red Sox have scored only nine runs during their-five game losing streak, getting shut out twice. They were blanked in their last game by four Blue Jays pitchers who own a collective 4.76 ERA.
Ownership essentially waived the white flag when they fired Dave Dombrowski before the end of the season. You don’t use him as a scapegoat for missing the playoffs if you believe there’s a chance you might still be playing in October. While there are reasons to believe they wanted new leadership to guide them into the future regardless of how this season panned out, the timing of the move sent a message that this has been a lost season. You have to wonder if that has sapped the motivation from the players.
This lineup is certainly still capable of some offensive fireworks but we may need to wait for a new season to see the consistency required to put together this type of streak.