Feaured image courtesy of Zimbio.com (May 26, 2018 – Source: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America)
The Boston Red Sox are back in first place and life is good. After losing the division lead to the rival New York Yankees, Boston reclaimed the top spot this past week en route to claiming the best record in major league baseball. This team is firing on all cylinders, but in case you missed any of the action, here is the Boston Red Sox Week Nine Recap.
Boston Red Sox Week Nine Recap – The Good
After rotting on the bench for the first two months of the season, it looks as though Blake Swihart is set to see more playing time. Following the shocking Hanley Ramirez trade, Swihart is now the primary backup at first base. Since manager Alex Cora believes in resting players, that likely means that Swihart will start at first at least once a week.
Additionally, it looks as though Swihart might end up starting a few games at catcher. Last week, Swihart pinch-ran and ended up catching Steven Wright for an inning. Swihart’s work with the knuckleballer impressed Cora, and Cora said that he will get work behind the plate.
Swihart went 1-3 in his first start of the post-Hanley era, walking once and driving in a run. While he was held hitless the next day, he earned consecutive starts for the first time all year. Everyone in Red Sox Nation who’s been begging for more Swihart is about to get their wish. The Red Sox clearly believe in his ability, and now he’ll finally have the chance to get regular playing time.
After missing the first two months of the season, the longest-tenured member of the Red Sox is finally back in Boston. Dustin Pedroia, the longtime second baseman, made his season debut against the Atlanta Braves to thunderous applause.
While he was held hitless, Pedroia drew a walk and scored a run in his season debut. That being said, he’s on this list because he finally made it back to the major league roster. Nobody works harder than Pedroia, and it’s inspiring to watch him work his way back from injury after injury. His defense is as good as its’ ever been, and his bat should be an upgrade on Eduardo Nunez.
As discussed on the Red Sox Unfiltered Podcast, Drew Pomeranz is running out of time to prove himself. His ceiling is higher than Steven Wright, Hector Velazquez, and Brian Johnson, but he’s been a huge liability in the rotation. In his most recent outing, Pomeranz went just 3.1 innings, allowing five runs, walking three batters, and recording just three strikeouts.
This start was just another ugly addition to Pomeranz’ 2018. Through seven starts, Pomeranz owns a 6.75 ERA and has never gone deeper than six innings in a game. He’s been the clear weak link in an otherwise strong rotation, and the Sox could soon turn to other options.
It’s worth mentioning just how good Pomeranz was in 2017. The southpaw finished his 2017 as the teams #2 starter, posting a 3.32 ERA and striking out 174 batters. He has the potential to be a great top of the rotation arm, and last year it took him seven starts before finding his form. Friday’s start was Pomeranz seventh of the season. He’s earned the right for one last start against the Houston Astros, but if he can’t get it together, the Sox need to think about turning to Wright, Velazquez, or Johnson.