Almanac Baseball: Sox Soar

 

My beloved Red Sox are off to their best ever start to a season. The 2018 team can look back over their fabled history and stake a claim. At the time of writing they are 17-4 with their last 2 games in the L column. Considering they lost their opening game they went 17 from 18 with just the one hiccup against the old enemy, the Yankees. Naturally, pundits everywhere are ruminating on this streak, identifying various factors for their success. So let me weigh in.

 

The great maxim in baseball is that pitching is the key. There is no doubt the Sox have a great rotation with Chris Sale and Rick Porcello in particular racking up great figures across most of the key metrics. But there are downsides too. David Price is looking shaky again, just like he did last year; Drew Pomeranz is only just coming back and is an unknown quantity at this stage. So while Sox fans can take comfort from our starters getting the job done most of the time it is not yet certain if that will continue all season.

 

What is certain at the moment is that we have the best lead-off hitter in the majors. The numbers for Mookie Betts are incredible. No other Red Sox hitter in history has more multiple homer games as lead-off at the tender age of 25. He has a batting average of 0.366 and looks dangerous every time he goes to the plate. Behind him we have guys like Ramirez and Moreland with averages over 0.300 and the new recruit, JD Martinez, showing he is no slouch either. After a slow start to the season, he is hitting his straps. All three of them are genuine designated hitters, giving Alex Cora so much flexibility with the lineup.

 

Further down the order we are getting valuable contributions from guys like Leon and Vazquez as well. Added to this, the bullpen is producing impressive figures with low ERA returns from most pitchers. In short, the picture is pretty damn rosy at the moment but there are 29 other teams. A case could be made that the Astros, Diamondbacks and Mets are as impressive as the Red Sox. Even the Phillies are having a purple patch.

 

It’s only April so a lot can happen from here but it is really heartwarming to see the Red Sox play with such conviction. Clearly their rookie manager has instilled belief in them and they play with such verve and abandon. That approach fits well with my disposition in life. The joy may be fleeting but it is unbridled and intense at the moment. I feel privileged to be a citizen of the Red Sox Nation.

 

 

 

About

Grew up playing the rugby codes in suburban Sydney. Moved to Melbourne during the Carey era so becoming a Shinboner was the natural call. Still love the game they play in heaven. Took an interest in MLB a few years back and have become infatuated with America's pastime.

Comments

  1. Yvette Wroby says:

    Good to read that Red Sox are doing well. Look forward to you keeping us up to date.

  2. george smith says:

    One of those rules of unintended consequences – I hoped against hope that the Cleveland Indians could win the World Series in 2016, because I had a sense of foreboding…

    Sure enough they lost the final in heartbreaking circumstances in true Collingwood style.

    But worse was to come. Cleveland and Ohio vented their spleen at the ballot box soon after by voting for the outsider, Trump, and becoming a key swing state. The winner, Chicago, stayed safely in the Clinton camp. Such are the vagaries of history…

  3. Red Sox to 20 today after another victory I see. My Giants are 14-14 to start the season with some convincing wins but also some heavy defeats coupled with a stack of key injuries has been interesting to say the least. Marathon not a sprint etc etc..

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