This 2017 Boston Red Sox team has been an absolute roller coaster. One series they are giving their pitching staff zero run support and losing low scoring one-run games, and the next they are walking off at home two out of three nights.
It’s hard to figure this team out, but for the immediate future, they look very hard to beat.
The Red Sox are currently on a six game winning streak, have won eight of their last ten and have given up three runs or less in their last three games.
They have a 3.68 ERA, good enough for third in the MLB. Their starting pitchers have turned in 64 quality starts, which is enough for second.
The problem has been that consistent bat in the lineup that can impact the game in a big way and what seemed like no offensive production from third base.
The Sox continued to struggle as the platoon of third basemen hit under .250, but then, enters Rafael Devers.
Then comes the trade deadline and many Sox fans being upset about the lack of a deal for current Yankee third baseman, Todd Frazier. Instead, a third baseman from the San Francisco Giants named Eduardo Nunez finds his way to Boston.
Nunez and Devers:
I don’t think it’s possible to put into words what these two have done from the moment they stepped onto Yawkey way.
In Nunez’s 40 at bats (9 games) as a member of the Red Sox he has 16 hits, eight of them extra bases, 12 runs batted in, four homeruns and three stolen bases. To put that into perspective, Pablo Sandoval had 99 Red Sox at bats and had four homeruns and 12 runs batted in.
Quite a few people thought bringing Rafael Devers to the Majors was a bad idea. He has continued to prove he’s more than ready.
In 43 at bats (11 games), Devers has 15 hits, five of them extra bases, three homeruns and six runs batted in. They have also played incredible defense to combine with great offense.
It’s no secret that since Devers has been on the team the Sox are 8-3 and since both Devers and Nunez have been on the team they are 7-2. These two bats have been a surge to a Red Sox lineup that has been much needed.
Putting it Together:
If the offense continues to pick up, this team should be very hard to beat. The pitching staff has been very solid all year and Addison Reed helps nail down an eighth inning that has been a problem for the bullpen.
The bullpen has been relatively consistent from top to bottom. Fernando Abad as a primarily lefty specialist, Heath Hembree and Brian Boyer constantly being thrown into tough situations but finding a way to prevail.
Brandon Workman has proved that he has improved almost all of his stuff, Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes throwing hard but mixing in great off speed pitches and Kimbrel slamming the door. The bullpen can throw a little bit of everything at you.
The Red Sox do have a good problem however, Dustin Pedroia, David Price and Joe Kelly are all hurt currently. Players that are playing everyday would have to give way to three very important pieces in the near future.
Fitting Pedroia in the lineup might mean that a guy like Mitch Moreland, Hanley Ramirez or Rafael Devers might be on the outside looking in depending on John Farrell’s managing. Obviously this is a good problem to have but something to be on the lookout as Pedroia is close to making his return.
Well first off Red Sox fans should thank the Yankees for trading for Todd Frazier. If he were a member of the Red Sox, Devers would probably be playing Triple-A ball and would have never had this opportunity.
This Red Sox team was seemingly in a tailspin when they fell out of first place at the end of July. Now they sit comfortably atop the A.L. East and are playing some of their best baseball in the last two weeks.
If this is a sign of things to come for the Boston Red Sox, they will be a tough out come playoff time.
Featured Photo Courtesy of TheBostonHerald.com.
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