Not sure if anyone noticed, but the Boston Red Sox are now officially in a tie for first place in the American League East. After their God-awful start, there they are. Right in the thick of it. Whomever saw this coming? Oh right: everybody.
The Red Sox are the proud owners of a 17-7 record in May, the best in baseball. They also own the best run differential, thanks in no small part to a string of blowouts over the “best” teams in the American League Central division. They’re scoring runs in buckets, just as all their off-season acquisitions suggested they would.
The Red Sox line – AS A TEAM – in May: 8.2% BB Rate, .298/.360/.481/.841 slash line and a tidy .370 wOBA. Basically, they’ve been 2011 Rickie Weeks for an entire month. The lot of them. Jason Varitek counts and everything. That’s pretty good. Good enough to put them 30 points of the next best team. Carl Crawford is heating up. Adrian Gonzalez cannot get any hotter. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is even heating up
The pitchers haven’t been as good but with that much offense, who needs it? The Sox hurlers are merely performing, as a staff, at normal Matt Cain levels. As a staff – Wakefield included. Nothing serious. But seriously, the rotation is basically chewing gum and used staples at this point. Ugh.
Is this the real Red Sox team we expected to see. Not quite. Consider this quote from the great Red Sox Beacon:
Boston is 26-12 since the 2-10 start, for a .684 win percentage. That is 110 wins over a full season. Now, just like the 2-10 start wasn’t the Red Sox, this pace may not be either, but it’s sure closer to the truth of this team’s talent than their .167 win percentage was.
Are they a 110 win team? I don’t think so. The pitching staff still needs to patch some holes but a little addition by subtraction never hurt anybody.
Except the Red Sox opponents. They’re riding a hot streak and putting the hurt on any and all in their paths. Hopefully we all enjoyed the schadenfreude pie in April, it’s turning a little humble as the temperature heats up. I just wonder where all the “teams who start X for Y have never won the World Series!!!!!” quotes are now? Anybody got a line on teams who score 14+ runs three times in a week?