Does the name Harry Truman mean anything to you? He was President of the United States the last time that the Red Sox scored 11+ runs in four consecutive games. In 1950.
Actually, the 2016 Red Sox are only one of four teams to score 11+ runs in four consecutive games in the last 100 years, and they’re the first since the 2000 Seattle Mariners to accomplish the feat. What the Red Sox are doing right now offensively is stupid. They now lead the majors in runs scored with 207 runs in 35 games. That’s an average of 5.9 runs per game. They also lead the majors in hits (367), doubles (90), total bases (603), batting average (.295), slugging percentage (.485), and OPS (.841). They don’t lead the majors in on-base percentage (.355), but they lead the American League, so I guess that’s a consolation.
Also, Fenway Park. I’m sure you’re familiar with it. It’s been around for a decent amount of time. 1912, I believe. Thursday night marked the first time in the history of the 104-year-old ballpark that the Red Sox have scored 8+ runs while also collecting 12+ hits in six consecutive games. That obviously extends past the home stand that the Red Sox are currently in the middle of, but let’s talk about this current home stand for a second. In the first four games of this home stand, the Red Sox have scored FIFTY-ONE RUNS. That’s an average of 1.6 runs PER INNING.
I know. You don’t like small sample sizes. Let’s use some larger samples then. How about the whole season to this point? Remember how Royals fans tried to vote their entire team into the All Star Game last year, even the ones who were hitting .220? Yeah, the Red Sox might not have to stuff the ballots in order for that to happen this year. Coming into Friday, there are 17 players in the American League who are hitting .306 or higher this season, and six of them are Red Sox players. That’s 35% of the pack. From bottom to top, you’ve got Dustin Pedroia (.306), Hanley Ramirez (.313), David Ortiz (.319), Travis Shaw (.320), Jackie Bradley Jr. (.328), and Xander Bogaerts (.331). No other team in the American League has more than two hitters in the top 20 in batting average. The Red Sox have six in the top 17.
As a team, the Red Sox have hit 29 home runs over their last 17 games, and that’s on top of hitting 43 doubles and 5 triples. They’ve homered in each of their last 13 games, and they’re 10-3 in that span. The team’s home run streak is also the longest active streak in the majors.
Now, I’ll say the same thing that I said yesterday after the Red Sox stomped on the Oakland A’s. The ridiculous pace in which the Red Sox are scoring runs is drawing attention away from how good the pitching has been. Rick Porcello still pitched one hell of a game on Wednesday, despite the fact that he could’ve given up 12 earned runs and still not gotten charged with a loss. He gave you 6.2 innings of three-run ball. Well, all eyes were on David Price in this one, after Dustin Pedroia noticed a flaw in his mechanics following his most recent start against the Yankees, and Price called it an “easy fix”. Roger Clemens was in the NESN broadcast booth for Price’s start, and his breakdown of the changes that Price made in his delivery was fantastic.
That’s great that there was a noticeable difference in his delivery, but was there a noticeable difference in his results?
Velocity was up, the highest that it’s been all season. In addition to that, Price punched out 12 batters, and allowed just one earned run over 6.2 innings. Yes, the Astros have greatly underachieved this year — they’re 14-22 — but they came into that game against Price as the team with the 7th best OPS against left-handed pitching in the majors. Now, is he fixed? Time will tell. I’m not sold after one good start. I need to see it more, and I need to see it consistently. After his 14-strikeout start against the Braves at the end of April, he gave up six earned runs against the Yankees his next time out. It’s a step in the right direction, no doubt. But I need to see more of this before I declare the old David Price is back from the dead.
The Red Sox have now won five straight games to move to nine games over .500. Boston could go .500 the rest of the season and still win 85 games. The Red Sox +58 run differential is the best mark in the American League, and second to only the Chicago Cubs (+99) for the best run differential in baseball. They’ve won 14 of their last 18 games, and are just one win shy of having the most wins in the American League, and have just three fewer wins than the MLB-leading Chicago Cubs.
Final score: Red Sox 11, Astros 1