The Red Sox offense is still humming as it is right behind the Yankees for the MLB lead in total runs scored this season with 223. Even in the power department, which was the Sox’ Achilles heel last season, they rank No. 3 in all of baseball with 56 dingers.
Mookie Betts owns one of the best bats in baseball in the early going of this year, JD Martinez already has 34 RBIs on the season, and Hanley Ramirez, Rafael Devers and Andrew Benintendi are all producing at the plate.
In other words, don’t blame the Sox’ offense for this recent stretch in which they’ve played just above .500 ball (7-6 so far in May). The offense is putting up an impressive 4.9 runs per game so far in May, but the Sox’ pitching staff is allowing 4.69 runs per game in the month.
Right now, they need their top two pitchers to shut down the opposition and get the staff back on track.
Chris Sale was phenomenal against the Blue Jays last Friday night, matching a career-high in strike outs in a single game with 15. That said, he did give up three earned runs in the Sox’ 5-3 extra innings loss. That’s a good outing for most pitchers, but Sale obviously has higher expectations for himself.
Blame it on bad luck if you’d like, but the Sox have lost three of the last five times Sale has started. The flame-throwing lefty has just three wins on the year.
The struggles of David Price (3-4, 4.89 ERA) this season have been well-chronicled, but Price did turn in a sharp performance in Toronto last Saturday – working 5.1 innings and giving up just two earned runs on five hits in a 5-2 Red Sox victory.
This past weekend in Toronto was the first time in a long time in which Sale and Price had strong outings in back-to-back games. They’ll get to opportunity to do it in front of a home crowd at Fenway this week as Sale will see the A’s on Wednesday, and Price will face the Orioles on Thursday. Both Oakland and Baltimore look like non-factors this season, so two Sox victories should be the expectation.