This Red Sox team is playing well. In May, the Sox had a 18-11 record, putting them in first place in the AL East. This month was not overflowing with equal competition, but that should not matter. While May did not measure up to the 19-6 record the Red Sox had in April, it was still a very exciting month. Let’s go in depth.
Courtesy Matthew J. Lee/Globe
If Red Sox fans are going to get excited about one thing, it has to be this lineup. This lineup features a dynamic duo, who both should compete for the triple crown. J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts both have been tearing the cover off the ball.
In May, J.D. Martinez hit .308 with 13 homers and 25 RBIs in 104 at-bats. No Red Sox player has hit 13 home runs in a month since David Ortiz in 2006. By the way, that was the season where Ortiz finished with 54 home runs. Martinez is on pace to finish the season with 52 home runs. At the point in time, J.D. is in a four-way tie for the major league lead in home runs with 18. This tie includes Mike Trout of the Angels, Bryce Harper of the Nationals, and Jose Ramirez of the Indians.
Mookie Betts also had a great month. He hit .372/.434/.766/1.200 with nine home runs and 19 RBIs in May. Those stats are great, but Mookie is also scoring a lot of runs. He scored 23 runs in May, and has already scored 52 runs this season. That means he is on pace to score 147 runs, which is absurd. That would be an insane pace to keep, as that would fall three short of the all-time Red Sox record held by Ted Williams. Mookie Betts also leads the league in hitting with a .359 batting average.
Also, watch out for Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. Both are on hot streaks as of late, and should become big contributors to the lineup. It’s also impossible to forget about the release of Hanley Ramirez, but the lineup does not appear to be affected by it, so I wouldn’t worry about it.
May Starting Pitching
If there is something to worry about, it’s the rotation. Sure, Chris Sale put up solid numbers this month, going 3-1 with a 3.15 ERA. Also, Eduardo Rodriguez turned some heads this month with a 3-1 record and 3.18 ERA. The other three starters were just not good enough.
Drew Pomeranz has been awful. In May, he had a 6.56 ERA in 23.1 innings. Since the quality start he had against the Yankees on May 8, he has not been able to go more than five innings without giving up at least three runs. His start against the Braves on May 26 sums up Pomeranz’s May perfectly. He went 3.1 innings, giving up five runs on 89 pitches. Drew has just been inefficient, and he has not had any confidence in his stuff, which led to a couple bad outings. I personally recommend a bullpen stint.
David Price and Rick Porcello also weren’t too sharp. Price had a 4.34 ERA in 29 innings and Porcello had a 5.35 ERA in 33 innings in May. I wouldn’t worry too much about either. Porcello ended his month with a 6.2 inning start against the Blue Jays giving up only two runs. Price recovered after a come-backer to the chest going five innings and giving up two runs also against the Jays. These starters are on the up and should give the Sox quality innings.
The bullpen has been pitching extremely well. We already know Craig Kimbrel is really reliable in the ninth inning, so I’d like to focus on two other pitchers. These pitchers are Joe Kelly and Steven Wright.
Joe Kelly only gave up one run in 14.1 innings in May. He has only given up five runs in 26 innings pitched all season. Look for him to become the eighth inning man and become the bridge to Kimbrel. Steven Wright has also been pitching well, only giving up four runs in 13 innings in May. Wright hasn’t given up a run in his last nine innings pitched. He has been a great long-relief option out of the ‘pen, but if a rotation spot opens up, don’t be surprised if Wright gets a shot.
P.S. The Alumni game was a lot of fun, and I sincerely hope it comes back next year.