The Boston Red Sox have quickly wiped away the horrific memories of the 2012 season and have got their avid fans to adore their baseball warriors again with a remarkable month of April. The Sox closed the opening month of the season at 18-8 , the best record in the MLB.
Virtually the entire Red Sox lineup is tearing it up, with Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino setting the pace for the offensive attack at the top of the order. Ellsbury stole a club-record 11 bases in the month of April and batted a respectable .280, scoring a team-high 11 runs. The savvy veteran Victorino hit .292 and reached base in roughly 35 percent of his at-bats.
The middle of the order has been clobbering the ball as well. Dustin Pedroia had a team-high 34 hits and an outstanding .444 on base percentage. Mike Napoli drove in 27 runs in the month, while Will Middlebrooks hit a team-high six home runs. David Ortiz came back from the disabled list in style, batting .500 (18-for-36), driving in 15 runs and hitting three home runs in just nine games.
The pitching, which was so dreadful just a season ago, has been lights-out, posting the second-lowest ERA in the American League. Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and Felix Doubront went a combined 11-0, shutting down some of the best offenses in the American League.
The bullpen has been solid too, with Andrew Bailey filling in for the injured Joel Hanrahan commendably by nailing down five saves. The middle relief and set up men have made the bridge to the ninth a smooth ride with Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara and Andrew Miller all pitching effectively.
The Red Sox started the month of May in winning fashion, with Buchholz continuing his Cy-Young like season by hurling seven scoreless innings against the Toronto Blue Jays, lowering his ERA to 1.01. Buchholz recorded his sixth win of the season, tops in the MLB, as the Red Sox pummeled the Blue Jays 10-1.
Napoli hit two of the teams’ five home runs, including a career-long 472 home run in the fourth inning.
After crushing the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, the Sox improved to 19-8 on the young season, winning their ninth contest against an AL East foe. If the Red Sox continue to play this brand of play, we can expect to see playoff baseball for the first time in Boston since 2009.