The Red Sox started the series 3-1 while the Marlins were 2-2. The first game saw Trevor Richards face off against Brian Johnson. The second and final game saw Chris Sale square off José Ureña. The Red Sox’ bats came in quiet, only scoring ten runs in the first four games. The pitching staff has been great, as the starters gave up two runs in 24 innings. Miami was inconsistent in their opening series, with scores ranging from 10-6 to 2-1. On paper, the Red Sox should have had no trouble sweeping the rebuilding Marlins. The Red Sox swept the series, and here’s how that happened:
Improved Hitting and Consistent Pitching
The Sox scored seven runs in game one, the most so far this season. They got twelve hits, and home runs by Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez put the game away in the seventh. In the second game, they only got four runs, but the hitting was timely. Andrew Benintendi gave the Sox a 2-1 lead in the 11th with a single that knocked in Eduardo Nunez. After the Marlins, Hanley Ramirez hit a go-ahead double in the 13th that made it 4-2. The Red Sox hung on to win by the score of 4-2.
The pitching staff has been amazing through the first six games of the season. In the first game, Brian Johnson tossed six innings of one-run ball. Johnson has been a 4-A player for a few years now. He is out of options, so he will be in the major leagues for a long time if he can keep this up. In the second game, Chris Sale threw five innings of one-run ball. This is mediocre for Chris Sale standards, but good enough to give the Sox a chance. The bullpen threw eight innings, only giving up one run to get the win. Heath Hembree ended up with the save, making him the third Sox pitcher to get a save this season.
This staff has been great and should get even better. Drew Pomeranz, Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Wright, and Tyler Thornburg should help the rotation when they return from their respective injuries. Drew Pomeranz has been good ever since he was traded to the Sox, and was great last year posting a 17-6 record. Eduardo Rodriguez has tons of potential, but his various injuries have shunned that potential. If he can live up to said potential, he will be a very good starter. Steven Wright had a great first half of 2016, and the knuckleballer could be a help if he can get his 2016 magic back. Tyler Thornburg has not pitched in 18 months because of injuries, but he could be a great late inning reliever when he comes back.
Andrew Benintendi is hitting .158, and JD Martinez is hitting .200. No need to overreact six games into the season, but they are two key guys in the lineup.
Gabe Kapler is the biggest idiot on the planet. Aaron Boone is a close second.
Alex Cora has been conservative with his starters as he said he was going to. Sale could have gone more than five innings, but no need to wear him out.