It was a fun month to be a Red Sox fan. It’s only April, but our 2018 Boston Red Sox are already in the record books. In the month, the Sox went 19-6, which is a new franchise record. The public criticized the Red Sox for their lack of changes in the offseason, but one would like to believe that they silenced those critics. Let’s go in-depth on the 2018 Red Sox’s performance.
Photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
Alex Cora went into this season as a rookie manager, and no one knew what to expect of him. Many of his decisions heading into the beginning of the season were controversial, but these decisions have paid off so far. Cora has done a tremendous job of making his mistakes public, and admitting when the team is not meeting his standards. On April 8, after a game they came back to win after being down 7-2 in the eighth inning against they Rays, he admitted to forgetting to bring in Jackie Bradley Jr. as a defensive replacement. It is not just criticisms from Cora, for he also gives his players their due. After a four hit game on April 29, Alex Cora said about J.D. Martinez, “We didn’t only get a slugger, but we got one of the best hitters in the big leagues”.
The Red Sox played extremely well this month, scoring 151 runs in April, which leads the majors. The Sox also lead the majors in batting average as a team (.278), team hits (248), team slugging percentage (.457), and team OPS (.802) in April. They are also second in the majors in slugging percentage (.451) and OPS (.790) as a team. They averaged 6.04 runs per game in April, which is remarkable. From April 7 to April 14, The Red Sox didn’t score under six runs in any game. This offense also hit the long ball. The Red Sox hit six grand slams as a team before May 1, tying a record set by the 1996 Montreal Expos. The Sox were not able to hit one grand slam in all of 2017, so that is a big improvement.
Our pitching also excelled in the first full month of the season. The Red Sox are second in the American League in team ERA (3.40) and are fourth in the league in team batting average against (1.16). The starting pitching has gone deep in to games, and has been able to give the bullpen leads late in the game. This has paid dividends. The rotation should be getting back 2016 All Star knuckle-baller Steven Wright, and the bullpen should be getting back Tyler Thornburg this month. This should mean that our pitching is only going to get better in the coming weeks.
Best Players in April
- Mookie Betts – lead the majors in batting average (.367), runs (29), slugging percentage (.797), and OPS (1.255) in April.
- Xander Bogaerts – although he missed time in April, he still hit .333/.357/.564/.921 in 39 at-bats, all while hitting 2 grand slams.
- JD Martinez & Hanley Ramirez – they have made for a great middle of the lineup, driving in 39 runs combined of the team’s 151 runs in April.
- Hector Velazquez – this is a surprise, but he was under-the-radar good in April. He posted a 2.05 ERA in 22.0 innings pitching in 2 starts and 5 relief appearances.
- Rick Porcello – he was excellent in April, going 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 35.0 innings pitched.
- Joe Kelly – he did not give up a run in 11.1 innings pitched in 10 relief appearances in April.