The Boston Red Sox had a bit of hit-parade on Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies as they notched a season-high 20 hits on their way to an 11-4 victory. Every Red Sox batter recorded a hit and only Jarrod Saltalamacchia and David Ortiz failed to earn two hits, though Big Papi was walked in three of his five plate appearances.
The Red Sox continue to enjoy fantastic seasons from Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Daniel Nava and it’s hard to beat them when all of their bats are working like they were on Tuesday. One bat that has really come alive in the month of June, though, is that of their leadoff man, the speedy Jacoby Ellsbury.
Through the first two months of the season, Ellsbury definitely didn’t look like a player in a contract year. He was hitting just .268, had scored just 30 runs and had already struck out an uncharacteristic 33 times. He seemed to be pressing and his play was reflecting that.
In June, though, Ellsbury has found a jolt of new life in the batter’s box. Ellsbury finished Tuesday night going 3-5 with a walk and three runs scored. For the month, he’s hitting .367, has already scored 18 runs and has struck out only nine times. Moreover, with his seventh double in the month of June on Tuesday night, he already has more doubles this month than in either of the two previous months of the season.
Boston is truly at their best and most dangerous when Ellsbury is getting on base at an effective rate. Not only is he one of the biggest threats to steal in the MLB, already having notched 32 stolen bases, but his speed also allows him to score on most balls that get put in play when he’s on base.
The Red Sox have found a new identity with their offense this season where they aren’t putting up particularly great power numbers, but are doing a fantastic job of manufacturing runs. When Ellsbury is on base, manufacturing runs becomes just a little bit easier. If Ellsbury continues to play at this level for the rest of the season in Boston, it’s hard to see the Red Sox falling out of the top of the American League East.