Red Sox head to Philly
The Red Sox stand alone in first place by one game. Since April 10, The Red Sox have remained in first place while the Rays, Blue Jays, and Yankees change places in the standings. Thankfully enough, JD Martinez was able to hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the ninth inning Thursday night to give the Red Sox the lead over the Blue Jays and Matt Barnes to save it in a 8-7 win. The Red Sox took 2 out of three games against the Blue jays but there are still some concerns in their active roster.
The Red Sox are batting a .266, second in MLB behind the Houston Astros. They are third in Home Runs and RBIs. They are first in total bases. It seems as though the strike outs are reasonable since they rank 16th in the league. But, the red sox do strike out alot. 17 games resulted in double digit strikeouts. But the most important play in baseball is what you do when their are runners in scoring positions. The Red Sox are batting a .248 with runners in scoring positions. That is when the team has runners combined or either in 2B or 3B, the Red Sox seem to fail in bringing in runs to support their starting pitchers.
Only Xander Bogaerts and JD Martinez are hitting over .300. But Franchy Cordero is still struggling, batting a .170. There is so much expectation for Cordero that he might find himself in a rehab assignment. Danny Santana may receive the call to be activated and play in the Phillies series. Santana is another utility player that can play any position. He is also a switch hitter. But where does Alex Cora and the administration deal with players that are struggling at bat. Four players, including Cordero, are batting below .250. Despite being in first place, the organization must look at a possibility to make some trades by July if they want to stay contenders for the playoffs.
On the mound, the Red Sox are 13th in ERA with a 3.90. They are sixth in strikeouts, and have given up the fewest bombers in the league. But when you look closely, the starting pitchers look fabulous and perform well. Once Chris Sale returns to the ball club, it would be a hard decision for Alex Cora to decide how he will place Sale in the rotation. In the bullpen, the pitchers are being utilized a lot. Pitchers Austin Brice, Matt Andriese, and Josh Taylor have made it difficult to shut down their opponents. In the last seven games, Andriese has a 9.00 ERA. Andriese and Taylor have allowed opposing batters collectively bat over .300.
The AL East is now the most competitive division by having four teams above .500. The race is tight as you have the Rays behind 1 game, Yankees 1.5, and the Blue Jays 2.5 games behind the Red Sox. The Orioles have slipped away as their only glory came in the opening series, sweeping the Red Sox. Since then, the Orioles have struggled winning only 2 of their last 10 games.
The Red Sox are going on 41 days in first place. There is plenty of room for improvement. The schedule is about to get tougher as they will finish their road trip this weekend against the Philadelphia Phillies. Then they will have the Braves, Marlins, and then start the month of June against Houston Astros and the New York Yankees.
The Red Sox will try to extend their two game winning streak against Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins and the Phillies in Philadelphia. The Red Sox have the best away record with 14-6 while the Phillies are 14-8 at home. The Phillies have lost 6 of their last 10 games.