Heading into the season, the Red Sox had high hopes and expectations.
After adding Chris Sale, their pitching staff was set to be one of the best in baseball. Many different things, both positive and negative have been surprising for the Boston Red Sox this season. Here are a few of them.
Let’s start off positive. Brandon Workman had Tommy John surgery just a season ago and has been one of the more reliable arms out of the bullpen.
He is sitting at a 2.41 ERA and very few expected him to be both this consistent and this effective.
Workman will be a late inning pitcher heading into the postseason and can really contribute to this team.
Imagine at the beginning of this season if you said that Drew Pomeranz would be the probable game 2 starter in a Red Sox playoff series. He would be ahead of David Price and Rick Porcello? Yeah, most people probably didn’t say that.
Pomeranz has been fantastic this season. With Price’s injuries and Porcello’s shaky start to the season, it has been much needed for the Boston Red Sox.
Pomeranz is 16-5 with a 3.15 ERA and has given up 13 runs in his last eight starts. He is putting up career numbers and is helping catapult this Red Sox team into the postseason.
Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel
I felt like I needed to put these two together. Everyone knew these two would be good, but no one thought this good.
Kimbrel has been unbelievably automatic when slamming the door. In his 66 innings pitched, he has a 1.36 ERA and a 5-0 record.
His 5-0 record means that not only is he pitching in save situations, but he’s coming in when the games tied and giving the Red Sox late chances to win games.
In the 198 outs he’s recorded, 121 of them have been strikeouts. Seriously, read that again. That means 61 percent of his outs are strikeouts.
Now we will talk about Mr. 300. Chris Sale has a 2.75 ERA, 17-7 record and 6.2 WAR. He has been everything the Red Sox have been looking for and more. He also has struck out 1.44 batters per inning, which is high for a starting pitcher.
I did not think that Price would be bullpen bound come playoffs. In reality it probably fits him best.
The pressure of his postseason woes is now lifted. He also provides a long relief arm in a pen that doesn’t necessarily have one.
In Price’s defense, he has been hurt for a good portion of the year and has a 3.57 ERA. The bullpen decision is solely because the rotation is clicking right now, and Price could come back rusty.
Well this is the biggest surprise. The third base position and nine hole in the lineup looked like it was going to stay vacant the whole season. Rafael Devers took full control of that spot and has found a hot bat in the process.
Most teams wait a season or two to call up a prospect, but Devers hit the ground running with the Red Sox and has torched pitchers.
The Boston Red Sox are looking to win the American League East in two weeks, and all of these players mentioned are key pieces in that race.
Despite the Red Sox not having a legitimate power threat in their lineup, they have benefited from strong pitching and timely hitting.
With the postseason being all about consistent pitching, the Red Sox look to make some noise when the calendar flips and October starts.
Featured Image Courtesy of Nesn.com.
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