The Red Sox have finally taken over sole possession of second place in the AL East. After winning 8-1 in a weather shortened game on Wednesday night, the Sox have officially won 6 straight and remain just one game back of Toronto in the division. The Red Sox 8 run performance was highlighted by a 443 foot home run by Sandy Leon, and a 4 RBI night from Jackie Bradley Jr.. This was a very lopsided victory over a team who is known for their offense. Here’s what the fans can take away from the Red Sox 6.5 inning win over Baltimore:
David Price pitched finally with some balls. He attacked the inside part of the plate against Baltimore’s right handed hitters all night long. We saw him attack the zone as opposed to nibbling at the corners as we’ve seen him do so many times this year. This allowed Price to pitch more efficiently and get through 6 innings on just 84 pitches. David’s lone mistake came in the 2nd inning when he left a changeup up in the zone that Orioles slugger Chris Davis promptly crushed onto Eutaw street. Other than this, Price looked sharp and did his job as he got the win for the Sox to keep their winning streak alive. Price’s next start will come against Tampa Bay. He’s had some very mixed results against his former team so hopefully this is the same kind of start we’ll see from him next time out.
Jackie Bradley Jr. showed off his power tonight with a 400+ foot two-run home run to center field in the 3rd inning, and a 2 RBI double in the 6th. Bradley has now homered in 3 of his 4 games since returning to the lineup following a day off on Saturday. In August of 2015, JBJ was able to basically turn his career around. If he can keep up the pace he’s been on in the last couple of games, August of 2016 could be just as successful. Jackie’s defense has always been considered the strongest part of his game, but when he can be a gold glove candidate and hit 20+ home runs, you know you’re getting something special. It’s nice to see Jackie finally be able to put it all together at the Major League level and give the Red Sox some stability in center field for the next few years.
The Red Sox now have to make a quick recovery and prepare for a 4 game series in Detroit. With the Tigers sitting 3.5 games back of Baltimore in the Wild Card Standings, this could be Boston’s chance to just them in the standings. As if the Red Sox needed any extra motivation right now, the Tigers denied Boston’s requested to push back Thursday’s 1:10 pm start time. I bet Dave Dombrowski is down in the clubhouse telling the players to give it a little extra this series. After all, you’d think pushing the game back is the least they could do for firing Dombrowski last season. Clay Buchholz takes the ball in place of the injured Steven Wright. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Clay’s performances since he adjusted the height of his release point. My prediction for tomorrow’s start is 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 4 K’s. Depending on whether or not Clay can pitch efficiently, he may be able to go a little longer or he may have to be pulled earlier. I would say that 5 innings is around what Clay is able to give us at this point. Maybe I’m asking for too much. After all, this is Clay Buchholz we’re talking about. Hopefully, he can continue to be effective. As long as the bullpen can do their job after a night where they weren’t needed, I have faith that the offense can stay hot and continue their push to the top of the AL East.