At the hypothetical halfway point of the MLB season, the Boston Red Sox sits at (55-36). A team that has vastly improved since last year’s pandemic season. The offense has been tearing the cover off the ball and the bullpen, which we all thought would be a problem has been stellar in the first half.
Quick Recap of the First Half
A team who was projected to not even sniff playoffs, let alone have a shot at the AL East. The Boston Red Sox are once again proving their doubters wrong in the first half of the season. The team who could not catch a break last season is now back to being a power-hitting offense, with some lights-out pitching performances.
The team started out 0-3. They then ripped off NINE straight wins putting them back on track.
From there, it all started clicking. Bats were on fire and pitching performances were shocking fans left and right. Then came the Spider Tack Crackdown, that’s where fans found out about the real Garrett Richards.
A grueling June came to fruition, but the Sox overcame it by impressing after a tough series against the Astros, the team would go on and once again rip off a series of wins (8 in a row) before losing a heartbreaker on the West Coast. Which lands us at today, where they finished off the hypothetical first half with three games against the Phillies.
The Bats absolutely POPPED OFF in the First Half
Individual-wise, the most impressive player offensively has been Rafael Devers. Devers who is known for a slow first half has come out scorching hot. Hitting .283 with 72 RBI, and 22 Homeruns. A true turnaround for a so-called, lackluster pandemic season. Devers earned himself a spot as the starter on the All-Star team along with fellow infielder, Xander Bogaerts.
Then you have one, Julio Daniel Martinez. Fans saw the Designated Hitter struggle mightily last year for multiple reasons, the main one being having no video to look at after his at-bats. Well, this year is different as he has turned it around big time in the first half. Hitting .300 with 62 RBI, and 18 Homeruns. He also earned a nod in the all-star game as the 2nd Designated Hitter behind Shohei Ohtani.
Biggest Surprises in the First Half
There were two big surprises that have jumped out the most in the first half of this season for the Red Sox.
The biggest surprise starts with Christian Arroyo. A once highly touted prospect jumped from the Giants to the Rays and then the Indians before arriving in Boston in 2020. He has since been tearing the cover off the ball, coming up in clutch situations, and helping the team immensely on infield defense. A player no one really thought about has broken through in a big way.
Garrett Whitlock, a former Yankee, and a Rule 5 draft selection has been highly impressed, all while quickly become a fan favorite. Currently boasting an ERA of 1.50 while striking out 46 for the youngster, Whitlock has become a big piece to the Sox bullpen, he will look to keep up the impressive work in the second half of the season.
Closing Out the First Half and My Thoughts
It was a surprising and very successful first half for the Boston Red Sox, once again proving their doubters wrong. It has made for a fun start to the summer for Sox fans and has given them something to look forward to. I hope you are all ready, cause the Boston Red Sox are back, and are poised to have a fantastic push to the postseason.
Jeff Hoak (@JeffHoak1 on Twitter)
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Featured image courtesy of The Boston Globe (bostonglobe.com)