Operation Clean Sweep: Takeaways from the Blue Jays Series
Red Sox sweep the Toronto Blue Jays to move to 39-17 on the season.
Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com: (May 29, 2018 – Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America)
Boston completed a three-game sweep of their divisional foe, while their best player was out of the lineup for the series, moving to 5-1 on the homestead and 22 games over .500 on the year. Everything seems to be great for the Red Sox right now. Well… maybe not everything, but a lot seems to be going really well for the Sox.
First things first: Mookie Betts is the best player in baseball without a question. However, he was gracious enough to take the entire series off so that the spotlight could be on some of the other players. The lineup seemed to have no problem generating offense without him this series, as they scored at least 6 runs in all 3 games. This means we don’t even need Mookie for the team to be successful right? WRONG. We are playing the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros next. They’re pretty good at baseball (3rd best record in the AL). So come on, Mook. We need your ass back in the lineup ASAP.
Alright, enough about Mookie, Let’s get to players that actually played in the series. How about Andrew Benintendi? He went 6 for 14 in the series with a homerun, a triple, a double and 5 RBIs while taking over the leadoff spot. After an abysmal start to the season, he has really turned it on in his past 30 games, batting .336 with 6 home runs and an OPS of 1.006 during that time. Benny seems to have gotten his sweet swing back.
Jackie Bradley Jr. also seems to have broken out of his slump. He went 4 for 9 in this series with 2 doubles and an RBI in each of the 3 games. He also made one of the best catches of the year so far with an incredible over the shoulder grab in game 1. Also, he has been driving the ball to the opposite field which is a great sign for him, since he often is very pull happy at the plate.
JD Martinez. What is there to say about this guy? His production has been incredible the whole year so far and this series was no different. He went 4 for 11 with 2 more dingers bringing his season total to 18 tying Mike Trout for the MLB lead. He also had 5 RBIs which brings his season total to 47, which is currently the most in the MLB. If it weren’t for his teammate Mookie Betts, I would say he is up there for front runner for the AL MVP so far. It’s pretty cool that two of the best players in the world are on the same team.
Mitch Moreland, Eduardo Rodriguez, Xander Bogaerts, and Sandy Leon all made key contributions at the plate this series as well. Up and down the Sox lineup there were sparks, no matter who was in there, which is good to see leading into such an important series.
All 3 of the starters picked up wins in the series. David Price, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez all pitched great games with only 2 earned runs allowed each. That’s going to get it done almost every time and it certainly did this series.
Other than their inability to get Craig Kimbrel a day off, the bullpen actually pitched pretty well in the series too, only allowing 3 runs. Theoretically, Kimbrel should not have had to be used this entire series, but in games 2 and 3, the relievers originally put in in the 9th (Hector Velazquez and Brian Johnson) could not get the job done and Dirty Craig had to come in and put out the fire, which he did successfully both times.
Overall, it was an awesome series to watch. Going into the Astros series with the momentum of a sweep is huge and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the next few days have in store for us.