The Boston Red Sox have been a team fueled by billboard material this postseason. Whether it’s Aaron Judge walking through Fenway park blasting “New York, New York” or Alex Bregman’s instagram story, the Red Sox have had fuel to push them through the postseason. Whether it affects their play or not really is shown in the results of the four games that followed the taunting. The Red Sox are 4-0 in those games and have outscored their opponents 36-12.
The guys that the Red Sox expected to lean on were Chris Sale, David Price, J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts. The Sox who have stepped up are Brock Holt, Rafael Devers, Nathan Eovaldi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez. The Red Sox continue to move in the right direction and they are doing so with all 25 guys on their postseason roster.
Red Sox fans have been patiently waiting and they are being rewarded. The bullpen for the Red Sox has been very good through nine postseason games. In fact, if you take Craig Kimbrel and his heart rate raising 9th innings out of it, the Red Sox bullpen has been very good. Kimbrel has given up five runs in 5.1 innings and has yet to have a low-stress inning. All the other relievers combined for 29 innings and have given up nine earned runs.
The reliable arms have bridged the gap from the starters and made sure they get the ball to Kimbrel with the same score that they received it. The combination of Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier have pitched 18 innings and have given up just eight hits and one earned run. The three late-inning guys who all have very important roles have shown up so far this postseason.
Well, its been tough for most of the Red Sox starters this postseason. Chris Sale is currently recovering from an illness and will have his Game 5 start pushed back to Game 6. He has yet to look like his dominant self since he pitched out of the bullpen in Game 4 of the Yankees series. David Price has started two postseason games and has given up more runs than he has pitched innings (6.1 innings and seven earned runs).
Nathan Eovaldi, who was acquired late in the regular season, has turned in the only two quality starts that the Red Sox have this postseason. He has pitched in perhaps the two most important games and has held down both the Yankees and Astros lineups when he has needed to most. Eovaldi has pitched 13 innings and given up just three earned runs. He has started both Game 3s that were pivotal for the direction the each series. Eovaldi has provided the spark in the lineup that the Red Sox needed and has provided stability in a rotation that has needed it.
One of the biggest surprises for the Red Sox has to be the bottom of the lineup and their production. Despite Jackie Bradley Jr. hitting just .208 in the postseason he is leading the team in both home runs and runs batted in at two and nine respectively. He has driven in all of his runs with two outs and has obviously had a significant impact on the ending of ALCS games.
Rafael Devers has relieved Eduardo Nunez of the third baseman role for the most part. Devers is 6-for-16 from the plate with four runs batted in. He has played a solid defensive third baseman as well and has looked like one of the most important bats this postseason to go along with Jackie Bradley Jr. Brock Holt has been used as a utility bat in most of the postseason, however, against right-handed starters has found a starting spot. Holt is hitting .357 this postseason in 14 at-bats with one home run and six runs batted in.
Some of the Red Sox bats have been off and on. But the struggling bottom of the order has provided a postseason spark that the lineup desperately needed to move them from a contender to a front runner that has the potential to go deep into October.
Featured image from MassLive.com.
“From Our Haus to Yours”