Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com (May 3, 2018 – Source: Rick Yeatts/Getty Images North America)
The New York Yankees get closer and closer, but the Boston Red Sox still reign supreme atop the AL East. While the Sox aren’t dominating opponents like they were midway through April, they’re still finding ways to win, and ultimately that’s all that matters. Here is the Boston Red Sox week six recap.
Boston Red Sox Week Six Recap – The Good
Thank the baseball gods in heaven that Mookie Betts is a member of the Red Sox. Mookie’s having a season to remember and has been the best player in all of baseball. This past week only added to the legend, as he hit .389 with five home runs. His best game came Wednesday when he knocked three solo shots and basically won the game on his own.
Mookie also demonstrated that he’s arguably the best baserunner in baseball, on top of everything else. In Saturday’s game against the Texas Rangers, Mookie scored all the way from first base on a bloop double by Andrew Benintendi. It looked like Betts would be stuck at third, but he Magee to score thanks to his incredible speed and baseball IQ.
Mookie is playing like the best player in baseball and would be league MVP if the season ended today. He suffered a minor injury in Sunday’s game, but it’s not expected to be serious. It’s crazy to think that had Senquez Golson not decided to pursue football in 2011, Mookie Betts might not be a Red Sox.
In 2011, the #RedSox drafted Senquez Golson in the 11th round. He didn't sign, as he opted to pursue a career in football (currently on the Raiders). The Sox used that extra money to convince their fifth-round pick, Mookie Betts, to sign.
Thank you, Senquez Golson
— Dave Latham (@DLPatsThoughts) April 26, 2018
What a wild season it’s been for Jim Buchanan Joe Kelly. After blowing a four-run lead in the season opener, Kelly has been nothing but lights out. He’s made twelve straight scoreless appearances since Opening Day and has established himself as the second-best reliever in the Boston bullpen. Based on the effect it had on Kelly, beating up Yankees should be mandatory.
Kelly went above and beyond the call of duty last Saturday, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. After Heath Hembree loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, manager Alex Cora called on the faux-reporter to save the day.
It game was tied, 5-5, and Kelly had no margin for error. Even allowing a fly ball to the outfield likely would have led to defeat. Nonetheless, Kelly was up to the challenge. The Boston folk hero fanned two straight batters, including a grueling 11-pitch strikeout to end the inning. It was nothing short of a heroic effort, and the Sox don’t win that game without him.
The ace of the staff is becoming a regular installment on this list, and for good reason. Porcello took the mound Friday against the Rangers, and once again delivered a phenomenal performance. The right-hander went six innings, striking out eight while allowing just one walk and one run. This sterling performance lowered his ERA to 2.14 on the season.
Everyone expected Porcello to improve on his lackluster 2017, but not many expected this. Porcello has been one of the best pitchers in baseball, if not the best. He’s been on another level ever since the start of the season and is even better now than he was in his Cy Young campaign. It’s hard to be the ace when you share a roster with Chris Sale, but that’s exactly what Porcello’s done.
David Price started the season looking like the best ace on a team stack full of them. However, his good fortune has turned as of late, as he’s severely struggled in four of his past five starts. Price took the ball in the series opener against the Texas Rangers, hoping to turn his season around. Texas has one of the weakest rosters in the league and were missing several of their best players.
Despite that, the Rangers absolutely crushed Price. The lefty only went 3.2 innings, allowing seven earned runs and striking out just four batters en while taking the loss. Price has struggled with velocity, as his fastball and changeup only sit about three miles per hour apart. Something is wrong with Price, and he’ll need to make some major adjustments moving forward.
While he hasn’t struggled as mightily as Price, the past two turns through the rotation have not been kind for Eduardo Rodriguez. The long ball has plagued Eddie throughout his major league career, and those issues were on display in Saturday’s matchup against the Rangers.
Rodriguez went six innings and allowed five runs, all of which came from the long ball. He’s had some good starts this season, but consistency has once again plagued the young lefty. As of this posting, Rodriguez has an ugly 5.29 ERA. His FIP is just 4.56, which suggests Rodriguez has been slightly unlucky. However, a 4.56 FIP still isn’t good, and E-Rod will need to improve moving forward.