The Boston Red Sox have been playing some of their best baseball over the last month or so and are finally putting some distance between them and the Tampa Bay Rays who had been nipping at their heels almost all year. Boston looks like they will make the postseason and could be champions of their division for the first time since 2007.
One big reason that Boston has really caught fire recently is the offense. Mike Napoli has been crushing the ball in the month of September to the tune of a .476 batting average, .577 on base percentage and five home runs within one week. Napoli has always hit very well during this month and this couldn’t have come at a better time for the Red Sox.
Another reason that Boston has started to pull away from the rest of the division is the play of Will Middlebrooks. Also, one week he batted .464 with four home runs and nine RBIs. Most of the time, that production has been while batting ninth. He has been a great addition to Boston since he was called back up. Both him and Napoli were recently named AL Co-Players of the Week.
Getting Clay Buchholz back was also a great help and seeing him pitch quality innings against Tampa was a huge lift for the Red Sox. Combine his performance and the recent roll of Jon Lester, who is starting to look like the ace that many fans have expected to see, and they are a quality one-two punch that is as good as any other contending team.
Finally, how can anyone overlook the performance of Koji Uehara, the closer? Quite simply, he has been on a historic roll and right now, he may be the most dominating closer in the MLB. One could not ask for a much better time for your closer to be on a hot streak and he has been performing like this since after the All-Star Break. He has finished off a lot of wins that over the last few years would have been gut-wrenching losses.
These are some of the reasons why Boston has been doing so well lately. Here’s to hoping these players stay hot and can continue the ride deep into the postseason.