Who the hell are these guys? What have they done with the pathetic Red Sox teams from 2014 and 2015? I don’t know who they are or where they came from, but I like the way they’ve been operating over the past week or so.
2016 has been a tough year for Red Sox fans to get a read on so far. The starting pitching hasn’t been incredible, and the bullpen has shown some flaws. Even the two prized additions to the pitching staff in David Price and Craig Kimbrel have faltered.
What has been clicking for these Red Sox is the offense, and a little more surprisingly, the defense as well. The bats are alive and well, and the defense has been doing an awesome job of bailing the pitchers out of some jams.
I’ll take you back to Sunday night: the ESPN game. Henry Owens was absolutely repugnant on the mound, but the Sox put up a three-spot in the first, and eventually totaled a five run lead. The Astros clawed back, making it 5-3 in the ninth. Craig Kimbrel gets two easy outs, but then puts a runner on, and then serves up a game tying two-run homer to Jeff Bagwell…
Just kidding, it was Colby Rasmus… Yes, Colby Rasmus. WTF?! I’m pretty sure Colby Rasmus bagged my groceries last night.
If this were 2014 or 2015, the Sox would have lost that game. No doubt in my mind that going into extra innings, they would have found a way to lose in heartbreaking fashion at 2:00 in the morning, when I had to get up and go to work in four hours.
Not the 2016 Sox, though. They clawed back. They showed some of that resilience and confidence that carried them to deep playoff runs in years prior. I find it fitting that former trade bait, Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in the winning run, scored by the formerly hated Hanley Ramirez.
I think that 12 inning win was a major confidence booster for the Red Sox, and it has propelled them to three more consecutive wins. If they can beat Atlanta again tonight, they’ll be four games over .500, and if the Rays can beat the Orioles, The Red Sox will be in first place of the AL East by half a game.
I think playing a bad team like Atlanta is exactly what the Sox needed to get themselves going. Craig Kimbrel needed to slam the door in a 1-0 game on Monday, and David Price needed that 14 K performance on Tuesday. Let’s see if Clay Buchholz can redeem himself tonight after serving up a grand slam to grocery boy, Colby Rasmus on Saturday…