Photo Credit: NESN.com
A look back at the three-game series against the Blue Jays
A 3 game sweep of a divisional foe when your best player is out of the lineup for all 3 games to move to 5-1 on the homestead and 22 games over .500 on the year. Everything seems to be great in Red Sox nation right now. Well… maybe not everything, but a lot seems to be going really well for the Sox.
First things first: Mookie Betts is the best player in baseball without a question. However, he was gracious enough to take the entire series off so that the spotlight could be on some of the other players. The lineup seemed to have no problem generating offense without him this series, as they scored at least 6 runs in all 3 games. This means we don’t even need Mookie for the team to be successful right? WRONG. We are playing the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros next. They’re pretty good at baseball (3rd best record in the AL). So come on Mook. We need your ass back in the lineup ASAP.
Alright enough about Mookie, Let’s get to players that actually played in the series. How about Andrew Benintendi? He went 6 for 14 in the series with a home run, a triple, a double and 5 RBIs while taking over the leadoff spot. After an abysmal start to the season, he has really turned it on in his past 30 games, batting .336 with 6 home runs and an OPS of 1.006 during that time. Benny seems to have gotten his sweet swing back.
Jackie Bradley Jr. also seems to have broken out of his slump. He went 4 for 9 in this series with 2 doubles and an RBI in each of the 3 games. He also made one of the best catches of the year so far with an incredible over the shoulder grab in game 1. Also, he has been driving the ball to the opposite field which is a great sign for him, since he often is very pull happy at the plate.
JD Martinez. What is there to say about this guy? His production has been incredible the whole year so far and this series was no different. He went 4 for 11 with 2 more dingers bringing his season total to 18 tying Mike Trout for the MLB lead. He also had 5 RBIs which brings his season total to 47, which is currently the most in the MLB. If it weren’t for his teammate Mookie Betts I would say he is the front runner for MVP so far. It’s pretty cool that the first and second best players in the world are on the same team.
Mitch Moreland, Eduardo Rodriguez, Xander Bogaerts, and Sandy Leon all made key contributions at the plate this series as well. Up and down the Sox lineup there were sparks, no matter who was in there, which is good to see leading into such an important series.
All 3 of the starters picked up wins in the series. David Price, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez all pitched great games with only 2 earned runs allowed each. That’s going to get it done almost every time and it certainly did this series.
Other than their inability to get Craig Kimbrel a day off, the bullpen actually pitched pretty well in the series too, only allowing 3 runs. Theoretically, Kimbrel should not have had to be used this entire series, but in games 2 and 3, the relievers originally put in in the 9th (Hector Velazquez and Brian Johnson) could not get the job done and Dirty Craig had to come in and put out the fire, which he did successfully both times.
Overall, it was an awesome series to watch. Going into the Astros series with the momentum of a sweep is huge and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the next few days have in store for us.