Alex Verdugo has been a bright spot in a tough Red Sox August
It’s been no secret around baseball that the second half of the season hasn’t been kind to the Boston Red Sox. In the 31 games after the All-Star break, Boston has limped to a 14-17 record, and relinquished their hold on the AL East to the Tampa Bay Rays, falling five full games behind. Since the start of August, and after the book was closed on yesterday’s doubleheader sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees, Boston sits at 6-10 for the month and it appears the biggest fears of Red Sox Nation are coming true.
While consistency seemingly continues to be out of reach for the Red Sox, one player has found their groove — Alex Verdugo.
After a two month up and down stretch in June and July where he combined for a .254 batting average, three home runs, and a .689 OPS, Verdugo has come out swinging in August, slashing .381/.449/.548. He has raised his overall average from .271 to .282 in his 12 games so far this month.
In those 12 games, Verdugo has collected five multi-hit games, highlighted by games on August 7th against the Toronto Blue Jays (three hits and a game tying home run) and on August 14th against the Baltimore Orioles (four hits and three runs scored).
Verdugo is obviously one of the players the Red Sox need to count on the most in the last 40-plus games of the season. When the Red Sox go, so does Verdugo — in Boston wins this season, he’s hitting .336/.404/.533 with 11 home runs (his entire season total), 34 RBI and a .936 OPS. In losses, Verdugo’s line takes a massive hit at .202/.270/.268 with 11 RBI, and a .538 OPS.
After tonight’s game against the Yankees, the Red Sox have a relatively forgiving schedule in the latter bulk of the season, highlighted with series against the Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, and Washington Nationals (there are tough opponents as well, such as the Rays, Chicago White Sox, and Yankees).
The Red Sox aren’t down and out just yet in 2021, but if there’s any postseason fun to be had, Verdugo is going to have to maintain his productiveness as the rest of the team finds ways to turn it around.