The year began with high hopes for the defending World Series champions, who retained nearly every part of that championship roster from a year ago. However, it became evident right from the get-go that while the pitching was stellar the majority of games, the offense was flat. At first it just seemed like a slow start, but as April turned to May and May to June, the offensive struggles weren’t going away. Something needed to change.
That change came at the trade deadline and since then the offense has obviously picked up some steam. In 23 games, Yeonis Cespedes has driven in 20 runs. Dustin Pedroia is starting to swing the bat much better and has 13 RBIs of his own to show for it in the month of August. Last night’s 11-7 extra innings win over the Toronto Blue Jays, however, was the biggest moment for the revamped offense so far this month. In the win, every Boston batter recorded at least one hit, and although it took a huge seven-run 10th inning to down the Blue Jays, it was a breakthrough.
Pedroia hit a home run in the game. Will Middlebrooks drove in an RBI with a double in the second. Cespedes contributed once again with an RBI single. Allen Craig hit his first home run in a Red Sox uniform. Mike Napoli hit a mammoth of a home run into the upper deck down the left field line. Everything seemed to finally click last night, and it made clear that the rest of the season is about offensive production.
The Red Sox aren’t going to defend their title; that’s been obvious for some time now. The season is a lost cause, but be that as it may, there is still so much to prove. It is so important that new additions continue to build relationships with their new teammates and that together the lineup as a whole continues to produces runs from top to bottom. With a little over a month remaining, it is so valuable that the offense gets things figured out now so that when April 2015 rolls around they are in sync. They need to pick apart their swings, stay alive at the plate with two strikes, drive in runners in scoring position and the list goes on and on.
I would obviously assume that Boston understands its need for pitching this offseason, so that will be taken care of. With a fresh rotation and a prepared batting order, the Red Sox will be ready to contend once again.