The Red Sox are peaking as we inch closer to the MLB playoffs as they were a phenomenal 9-1 heading into Monday night’s make-up game against the Indians.
The outstanding start to the month has been highlighted by a relative offensive explosion as in five of those wins the Sox have scored five runs or more. Sure, there have been signs that they’re still not entirely an offensive juggernaut – like the Sunday night game against the Yankees in which they only had one run heading into the ninth inning – but for a club that has ranked dead last in the American League in home runs for the majority of the year, this power surge is a welcomed sign.
The Sox began the month, on Aug. 1 at Fenway, by outslugging the Indians in a 12-10 victory. Eduardo Nunez had four RBIs in that one and Christian Vazquez won it with a walk-off, three-run homer.
This past Saturday, the Sox racked up 10 runs against the Yankees in the Bronx – highlighted by two three-run blasts by Andrew Benintendi.
Benintendi was at it again the next night against the Yanks, singling home the eventual game-winning run in the 10th inning. That was preceded by the biggest moment of the Red Sox’ 2017 season so far – the game-tying homer by Rafael Devers off of Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman.
“An incredible swing,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said about Devers’ blast. “He doesn’t fear the moment. He’s jumped feet first into this rivalry. It couldn’t have come at a better time.”
The pitch from Chapman that Devers deposited into the Yankee Stadium cheap seats was 103 miles per hour. According to MLB.com, it was the hardest pitch any MLB player has hit for a homer since the league began tracking pitch velocity in 2008.
“I’ve seen 100 before, but never 103,” Devers said.
The magic lineup for the Sox during this hot streak has included Nunez, Benintendi and Mookie Betts in the top three spots – in no particular order. Devers has typically hit out of the seven hole (or pinch hit), with Hanley Ramirez batting cleanup and Mitch Moreland batting fifth. It will be interesting to see how Farrell shuffles the lineup when Dustin Pedroia returns to the lineup from the 10-day disabled list (left knee inflammation). Pedroia has the best batting average of any Red Sox player with over 200 at-bats this season at .303.