After defeating the Yankees last night, 14-1, the Boston Red Sox improved their record to an astounding 9-1 to start the season. It is the best record the Red Sox have ever had to begin a season, and there is clearly a lot to be thrilled about if you are a Red Sox fan.
Here are my biggest takeaways from the first 10 games of the season:
David Price is Going to Have an Amazing Year
David Price desperately needed to have a good start to the season. Not only has Price started off well, but he has been flawless. In two starts, he has pitched 14.0 innings, has not allowed a run, and has 10 strikeouts and a 0.71 WHIP.
Obviously, Price won’t be this lights-out the entire season, but the fact that he is finally starting a season like Sox fans hoped and expected is huge. It’s huge for his confidence and it is also key that he is winning back Sox nation.
Price finally looks comfortable in Boston, and I would expect nothing but great things from him this year. It is time to jump on the Price bandwagon.
Xander Bogaerts Looked Like His Old Self — But He’s Hurt Again…
Xander Bogaerts has been on fire to start the year. He is hitting .368 with two home runs and seven doubles. He is finally swinging with power again, and he looks like his old self. But just as he was hitting well, he went back on the disabled list with a cracked bone in his left ankle.
Bogaerts looks like he is going to have a big year, but he has to stay healthy.
Mookie Betts Looks Like An MVP Candidate Again
After a somewhat down year for Mookie last season, Betts has come back with a vengeance to begin the 2018 season. This year, the Sox leadoff hitter is hitting .432 with two home runs and five doubles. He is simply smashing the cover off the baseball, much like he did in 2016, when he put up 9.7 WAR and finished second in the American League MVP voting.
The Big Three Are Producing
So far this season, Price, Sale, and Porcello have been absolutely fantastic. To go along with Price’s 0.00 ERA, Sale has an ERA of 1.06 and Porcello is at 2.84. Although they have faced mainly the Marlins and the Rays, the great start from these three pitchers is definitely promising for the rest of the season.
Middle Relief is Questionable
Joe Kelly and Carson Smith have not been good to start the year. Kelly has allowed four runs in 4.1 innings, and Smith has allowed four runs in 3.2 innings. Matt Barnes and Bobby Poyner have been solid out of the pen, but the Sox need Kelly and Smith to be successful for the team to have a good bullpen this year. I have faith in Kelly, but I think there is reason to be concerned about Smith. Smith has not pitched in a long time, and there is no certainty that he will pitch like he did before he was hurt. He is someone to watch closely this season.
Hanley looks locked In
There are two types of Hanley Ramirez you will see in a season. You will see a locked-in, energized Hanley who mashes baseballs, hustles, and is engaged. In contrast, you will also see a lazier Hanley who takes massive cuts, strikes out, and is disengaged.
This year, we are seeing the first version of Hanley. That is a great and promising sign. When Hanley is engaged, he is a dangerous hitter in the lineup. This year, he is hitting .359 with one home run and a team-leading 11 RBIs. Stay engaged, Hanley!
I Am All In on This Red Sox team
If you read my article before the season about the Red Sox, I explained that there wasn’t a ton of excitement around this 2018 team. This was because the Sox had basically the same roster as last season and could, therefore, not improve very much from last year. In a way, the team appeared stuck.
In just 10 games, this team has me hooked. Sorry Celtics and Bruins, but the Red Sox are taking over Boston again (I know Bruins fans disagree).
The Sox are 9-1 despite Andrew Benintendi hitting .204, Jackie Bradley Jr. hitting .133, and Martinez hitting just .222. Dustin Pedroia has also been on the disabled list and has not played a game this season. I know the Sox have played mainly just the Rays and Marlins, but after destroying the Yankees last night, I can only conclude one thing: this team is for real.
It should be an exciting summer and fall for this Sox team. Sox Nation: get ready.