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Mid-July Red Sox

Tuesday 7/18/23

Red Sox are on a nice little run but still two out in the loss column for the final Wild Card spot. They've gotten the Athletics twice now in a short period. All of those games must be won. Sad what's happened to that franchise. Nick Pivetta came in last night in relief (bullpen game) and went 6 and struck out 13. I feel like he shouldn't be able to do that to you unless you're a Major League team in name only. I'm not saying Pivetta can't have the occasional moment, because he can. But when anyone does anything that's of note against the A's then I'm dubious.

This team can hit. The score by stringing together hits and with doubles, more so than home runs. The weather got warmer and the offense followed accordingly. I'm truly surprised by how well Jarren Duran has played. Didn't think he had this in him. He's their catalyst. Makes things happen with his speed, jumpstarts the offense, gives the whole team a boost. He leads them in OPS+ right now. He's one of the faster players the Red Sox have ever had. Even on routine grounds insiders on the left side can't dilly-dally in getting the ball across the diamond. Duran was such an immature jackass last year that I thought it was possible he'd played himself right out of ever being a big leaguer. Speed brings an attitude, too. Fast guy aren't usually as jacked as he is either. His arms are huge.

Devers' average is going up--the power numbers were there all along--and Yashida is rounding into a very good hitter, though you'd like to see more power. Still, he's going to finish around 18 or so home runs and maybe get into the low 20s with 85 RBI and a batting average around or above .300. Justin Turner is on a hot streak at the plate, but he's bad in the field. They had him playing second base for the first time since 2015 the other night. That's not a second baseman's body. The Red Sox are a poor defensive team, though, these last several years, so it's in keeping with the theme. A big shortcoming that they don't address. Right now they're trying to compensate for that defense with offense. Can't win playoff games that way. But can it get you to the playoffs?

Bravan Bello is developing more into the guy they need him to be, which is someone ace-like. Will he get all the way there? He'll gave to be good and reliable the rest of the way if they're going to play October baseball. Chris Martin, in his age thirty-seven season, has been an unexpected and necessary bullpen asset. Same with Brennan Bernardino. The closer has a 1.355 WHIP, which says a lot more in my view than his 147 ERA+.

You have to wonder how the Red Sox have managed to beat up so much on the Yankees and Blue Jays so far, while also realizing that that's likely to level out. That they're above .500 really comes down to that. Also, what's up with those teams that they've struggled so much with the Red Sox of all teams?

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