Since the trade deadline (July 31, 2017), the Boston Red Sox seem unstoppable. Since then, they stand 12-2 and have outscored their opponents 85-52 (+33 run differential). They have the highest runs scored per game in the league at 6.15.
Three of those 12 wins have resulted from a walk off. Christian Vazquez hit a three run homer on August 1st against the Cleveland Indians, possibly the greatest game this season. Mitch Moreland hit a solo shot against the Chicago White Sox on August 4th, and Mookie Betts blasted a two RBI double against the Green Monster on August 16th against interleague rival, the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Sox have definitely undergone a facelift. With the addition of Eduardo Nunez from the San Francisco Giants and the calling up of Rafael Devers, the lineup has been impressive.
In just 17 games with the Red Sox, Nunez is batting .372 with four big home runs, 13 RBI’s, six doubles and only striking out 12 times in 78 at bats. Since joining the Red Sox on July 28th, they have a 14-4 record. In the previous 18 games, the Red Sox were 7-11.
Rafael Devers, A.K.A. The Prophecy, has been my favorite player this year and he’s only played in 18 games. At the age of 20, he’s posting ridiculous numbers, currently batting .348 with six home runs, 13 RBI’s, four doubles, and an OPS of 1.082. Also, he’s currently on a six game hitting streak, going 9 for 24 (.409) with three home runs and six RBI’s.
Andrew Benintendi has been on fire this month. In 12 games, he’s batting .413 with five home runs, 13 RBI’s, three doubles, and has scored 13 times. He also has the best flow in the game. *Cough. Rookie of the year! Cough *
The starting rotation has also been a huge factor in the recent success. Since July 31st, Red Sox starting pitchers have pitched a combined 69.0 innings and have struck out 78 batters (Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Doug Fister).
Chris Sale is 3-0 during that span posting a 3.60 ERA (high because he let up seven earned runs against the Indians), struck out 30 and has only allowed 14 hits in 20 innings. Opponents’ batting average — just .187 in three games.
Drew Pomeranz has really proved to Red Sox Nation what he can do. Since July 31st, he’s 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA and has struck out 13 in 13.0 innings. Opponents’ batting average is a little high at .264 but he’s only allowed four earned runs.
Other than the big bats and the resurgence of our starting pitchers, the bullpen has been WOWZA. Lights out. Amazing. Couldn’t ask for anything more. This season the Red Sox bullpen is 22-13 with a 3.01 ERA (3rd best in the MLB). Craig Kimbrel and Matt Barnes have really caught my attention.
In his past seven games, Kimbrel has gone 3-0 with 14 strikeouts in 7.1 innings, and allowed two earned runs against the Indians on August 1st (nothing since then). It’s pretty much a guaranteed win/save every time he pitches. He’s 5-0 on the season with a 1.41 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 51.0 innings.
In the month of August, Matt Barnes has pitched 8.1 innings, striking out eight and only allowing one run on just two hits. Opponents’ batting average this month is just 0.080. During that span, he has faced 30 batters and 22% of outs have been line drives, 11% pop ups, and 27% have been strikeouts. He’s allowed two inherited scores this season (both on April 3rd) and hasn’t allowed any in August and has only allowed three inherited runners on base. Barnes has also lowered his ERA from 3.60 to 3.24 in eight games.
Hopefully this resurgence continues all throughout August and into the Fall Classic. With the heavy bats now in our lineup and the solidity of our starting pitchers and bullpen, I believe this team can go very far, if not all the way.