Just what has shocked and awed this Red Sox fan for the first 30+ game segment of the season? Enough is in the books to get a feel for just what may be shaping up for the long term.
The baseball season is a marathon and not a sprint. A player in a wretched slump can suddenly go on an epic hot streak the same applies to the team. The Red Sox started the season as though they were targeting 130+ wins and the Yankees were at .500. Amazing how a few weeks can change the narrative.
The Red Sox will make the playoffs this season. Of that I am confident and so should every Red Sox fan. The 93 wins of last season will be exceeded – you heard it here! I guarantee it! A new manager, a new attitude, a new Big Bat, and some pitching that appears solid – rotation and bullpen.
There were or have been some surprises on the positive and the negative side. The good regarding the negative is another 130 games can change that. But that can also be a two way street with those who have sparkled suddenly lose their luster.
Awe: The Red Sox start has been historic. You could not ask for a more favorable beginning with both the home and road victories presenting a nice balance. The team can win both home and road.
Shock: Is Jackie Bradley that awful? JBJ’s bat has been neuter and his defense has been, well – ordinary.
Awe: J.D. Martinez is better than advertised. This guy is a very good hitter despite the high K total. And for defense? Not as bad as I thought. A few bonehead plays, but using Manny Ramirez as a defensive template JDM is just fine.
Shock: Rick Porcello has surprised, shocked, and managed to have me looking up crow recipes. Back to 2016 form? Looks that way.
Shock: What did they do to get Rafael Devers play like at least an average defensive third baseman? So far he’s made the plays and has been outstanding on slow rollers.
Awe: Mookie Betts. Fill in all the positive descriptive adjectives as possible.
Shock: Where are the home runs and batting average from Andrew Benintendi? Benintendi muscled-up with the intent of joining the 30/30 club. Just one lone home run and a sub .250 average.
Awe: Looks like .273 in 2017 was all about the wrist as Xander Bogaerts is just ripping the ball. Bogaerts is now becoming more of a pull hitter and that could mean 25+ in the home run department.
Shock: The lost Blake Swihart. Where is he? Swihart waits while the catching duo sinks further and further.
Awe: I thought Hector Velazquez would be good, but this good? I’d be tempted to somehow work him into the rotation.
Shock: I really thought Brock Holt was toast but this season Holt has cleared the concussion cobwebs and hit – really hit! Too bad the hammy put him on the DL.
Awe: Manager Alex Cora and his mix and match lineup approach. It’s working without any grousing surfacing. Be interesting to see what happens if they lose six in a row.
Shock: Hanley Ramirez will get his option unless the DL intervenes. So far, Ramirez has been very solid with the bat and respectable enough defensively.
The season has ups and downs and that will only continue throughout the season.