The Texas Rangers have become a thorn in the side of the Boston Red Sox. Over the past few seasons, the Red Sox have been thoroughly dominated by this power packed lineup. Earlier this season, the Red Sox were swept in convincing fashion at the Ballpark in Arlington. If last night is any sort of indication, though, times have changed.
Fun is the only word I can think of to describe last night’s 17-5 trouncing at Fenway Park. The Red Sox got their first look at rookie Justin Grimm, and they liked what they saw. They got to him early and often, scoring eight earned runs off of him and forcing an early exit in the second inning.
The Red Sox hit four home runs from some of the unlikeliest of characters. Jackie Bradley Jr. made the injury to Jacoby Ellsbury unnoticeable by hitting his first MLB home run in the second inning. Stephen Drew hit his fifth of the year in an un-Stephen Drew like 4-for-5 performance. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Carp also connected for the Sox.
Does any of this mean anything? A 6-5 win counts just the same as a 17-5 win. The answer luckily, is yes, it means a lot. Winning by one run got a mediocre Baltimore Orioles team to the playoffs last year, but it’s not the type of team that is put together for a sustained run. It relies too much on the bullpen and timely hitting which can come and go very easily.
The Red Sox lineup isn’t just good, it’s the best in baseball. We are over two months into the season, so it’s fair to say that Daniel Nava and Mike Napoli aren’t flukes. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz will continue to hit as sure as Alex Rodriguez will continue to collect money for doing nothing. Jose Iglesias and Bradley are rookies that are quickly gaining confidence. And the pitching staff is anchored by two of the best in baseball in Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz.
Yes, Boston, the Red Sox are for real this summer, but most importantly they are likeable once again. Nothing less than an AL East Title and a strong playoff run should be expected from this crew.