I did not think I would be this happy writing another Red Sox weekly observation recap. But man oh man, has the last week been a TON of fun! When I wrote last week, the Red Sox had been swept by the Baltimore Orioles, at Fenway Park, to open the season 0-3. Now? They’re 6-3 after two sweeps of the Rays (at Fenway) and the Orioles (at Camden Yards). No, that isn’t an exaggeration either. So without further adieu, let’s break this down a bit more.
A Sweep of the Rays
— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 7, 2021
I mean, where do I begin with this series? If you told me after the Baltimore series that the Red Sox would sweep the A.L. champion Tampa Bay Rays, I would’ve laughed right in your face. But this series was dominant from the first inning of game one. The Red Sox outscored the Rays 26-9 in this series. The starting pitching was extremely good. Offensively, 26 runs speaks for itself. This was a flat out demolition by the Red Sox in this series. It was much needed too. If they went into the Baltimore series in Baltimore under .500, that could’ve been a big time problem. But alas, a sweep is a sweep. They couldn’t possibly keep this level of productivity up, right?
A Sweep of the Orioles
For the second straight series…
RED SOX SWEEP! pic.twitter.com/Gv3Z7ff8lq
— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 11, 2021
Wrong! The Red Sox followed up with ANOTHER sweep, this time, at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles. Once again, this was a series that the Red Sox needed to take at least two out of three from. They didn’t take two, they took three of three! Once again, the pitching did its job. Eduardo Rodriguez, Garrett Richards and Nick Pivetta gave the Red Sox chances to win. That was unheard of by Red Sox starters in 2020 not named Nathan Eovaldi and occasionally Martin Perez. The offense continued to show out by scoring 27 runs in this series. The bullpen has looked good at times and mediocre in others. But right now, the Red Sox look like a legitimately good baseball team after a sweep of the Orioles.
J.D. Martinez Blazing Hot Start
J.D. Martinez’s MLB rankings:
16 RBI – 1st
12 XBH – 1st
7 doubles – 1st
39 total bases – 1st
17 hits – T1st
5 HR – T1st
1.083 SLG – 2nd
1.583 OPS – 2nd
10 runs – T2nd
.472 AVG – 3rd
— Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes) April 12, 2021
Shoutout to JD Martinez. I mean honestly, look at the numbers on JD right now. A three homerun game in the series finale after sitting out the day before? The guy is a hitting machine. He is showing that 2020 was an absolute fluke. First in homeruns, RBIs, doubles, and tied for first in homeruns and hits? Yeah, that’s the JD Martinez in Boston that we know and love. Do I expect him to stay THIS hot throughout the WHOLE season? No, that’s unfair to JD. But that’s the type of productive hitter JD can be in a given season. He is giving the Red Sox a middle of the lineup presence that other teams are fearing and don’t know how to pitch to, period.
The Red Sox are looking GOOD! 53 runs in the last six games? Yeah, that gives you plenty of opportunities to win baseball games. But now, they have a tough stretch to see how good they really are. A four game set in Minnesota with the Twins followed by a four game set at Fenway against the Chicago White Sox? That isn’t easy by any means! Those two teams are competing for the American League Central. But with the way the Red Sox are playing right now, a 5-3 stretch or better with those two series will show me this team is legit. Man, is it fun to watch the Red Sox again!
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-Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793)
Feat. image courtesy of bostonglobe.com/