Red Sox: Bottom of the order finally shows up in Boston’s blowout win
The Red Sox offense has been on fire in Arlington
I don’t know how to feel today, Red Sox Nation. If you’re also a fan of the Bruins and Celtics it’s already been a long weekend with possibly more of a bummer coming this afternoon. But if your only focus is on the Sox, you have to be grinning from ear to ear. We finally saw something this weekend that we’ve been waiting nearly two months for, offense.
For much of the season, the Red Sox offense has been propelled by three guys: Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez. There have been a few good nights from other players sprinkled in here and there but it’s basically been those three all year long. However, for the first two games in Texas, we’ve seen the entire lineup contribute and throw runs up on the board.
Not everybody has been adding hits to the box score but the walks have been up and we’ve also seen some small ball with steals and sac flys in order to keep the scoring up. One thing has really stood out for me though and that’s the bottom of the batting order finally showing up to play. On Friday, the bottom four slots in the lineup counted for three of the ten hits and knocked in three of the seven runs scored. I’ll gladly take that.
Last night, however, they put on one hell of a show in Arlington. As we know the Red Sox cruised to an 11-3 win behind a stellar outing from Rich Hill, but the bats made his night easier as well. The 6-9 hitters in the lineup last night accounted for 8 hits, 7 runs, and 4 RBI. It was a night that I think we all were hoping would be coming soon and it felt like we were back in May of 2021, when the Sox were carving up the league on a nightly basis.
For weeks, we’ve been told by front office members, coaches, Alex Cora, and numerous members of the team that this squad would eventually wake up and start hitting. Apparently, all it took was a trip to Globe Life Field and some good Texas cooking to get things into the next gear. The best part of last night’s win for me was seeing guys like Bobby Dalbec, Christian Vázquez, and Jackie Bradley Jr. driving this offense.
Those three have been beaten down this season for their lack of production and it sure seems like they may have had enough. In Dalbec’s case, it’s very clear that his new mustache has some sort of magic powers because it showed up on Saturday and so did 11 runs. While Cora had to shave his facial hair it’s very clear that Big Bob needs to keep growing his.
What brought the Red Sox so close to another World Series berth last season was a full effort from the entire order. If one guy was off it always felt like someone else would pick up the slack and that’s been seriously lacking in 2022. Both Friday and Saturday’s wins echoed that style of play from last year and it’s something Boston will desperately need down this stretch.
The schedule is relatively friendly for the Sox to finish off May and through most of June, with a few tough matchups mixed in. If they can continue to play ball the way they have been up to this point in Texas we may have to have some conversations. They won’t be able to erase their 11-game deficit in the blink of an eye but they can sure as hell chip away at it over the next few weeks.
Obviously, we all know today could be an absolute stinker as the Sox are taking on a former face in Martín Pérez. I think our fanbase knows more than any other that on any given day Pérez could look like a Cy Young candidate or a beer league reliever. Hopefully today we get the latter and not the former. As much as I would champion Pérez Day in the past, I’m going to need today’s to be a bad one for the former Boston southpaw.
The Red Sox won’t win every night and surely not in blowout fashion. For me, that’s fine. What I need and want to see is the bottom of the order continuing to contribute to the efforts. The last two wins have shown what this squad is capable of when everyone is clicking. If the bottom of the lineup is hitting then that takes the pressure off of the Big-3 and will allow them to be more comfortable at the plate. That means big trouble for everyone else and big things for the Sox.
Patience, plate discipline, and capitalizing on mistakes, that’s what it’ll take. The Sox have already won the series, which is a big feat in 2022, and they need to keep their foot on the gas and get the sweep. I don’t need a sweep in every series but getting one today and heading home to face the Astros definitely gives off a different vibe than losing on a get-away day. Today’s outcome will all come down to what those last names on the lineup card do at the plate.