Prior to the 2013 MLB season getting underway, the majority of people suspected that this season would hold a tight race in the American League East. Most pundits and experts surmised that the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays would be shuffling for the division crown and a Wild Card spot. After a 69-93 season in 2012, not many people were expecting much success from the Boston Red Sox, though.
Those people have turned out to be wrong over the first half of this season.
On Sunday afternoon against the Blue Jays, the Red Sox captured a 5-4 victory, their 50th win of the season. Boston’s 50th win comes just on the heels of the Pittsburgh Pirates becoming the first team in the majors to win 50 games.
The Red Sox put up three runs in the second inning and added another in the fifth but allowed the Blue Jays to climb back into the game and tie it in the top of the ninth off of a Jose Bautista home run. However, with runners on first and second, Shane Victorino reached on an error in the bottom of the ninth to give the Sox the win.
Boston’s success this season is largely due to how proficient they’ve been at the plate. They haven’t hit for a great deal of power, though they are ninth in the majors in home runs, but they have been terrific in terms of producing runs. They lead the league in runs scored (426), hits (789), doubles (181) and on-base percentage (.349). They are also second in triples and batting average.
However, one of the things that is underrated about this Red Sox team is how much their pitching has improved from 2012. Last season, the Sox had the 27th ranked team ERA at 4.70. This year they have improved to 13th in terms of ERA at 3.91.
It’s clear through the first 84 games of this season that the Red Sox aren’t the same team as they were last season. They are currently atop the division and have the best record in the AL. This Red Sox team is ready to contend in the postseason, despite what anyone thought before the season began.