Boston Breaks Out Bats in Clean Sweep

The Red Sox offense has been on fire lately, torching the Oakland A’s for 40 runs in a clean sweep this past week and racking up 17 more in the first two games of this weekend’s four-game set against the Houston Astros. Boston now leads all of baseball in runs, hits, doubles, slugging, total bases, and OPS while hitting .296 as a team, looking like the murderer’s row that made three straight playoff appearances from 2003-2005.

Boston Breaks Out Bats in Clean Sweep

Monday marked the unofficial start of spring in Boston as temperatures in the city pushedClean Sweep 70 degrees, which, along with a return to Fenway’s cozy confines, seemed to help the Olde Towne Team break out of their mini-slump. After scoring just nine runs in their Mother’s Day weekend series at Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox kicked off their home stand in grand fashion, pummeling the A’s 14-7.

That set the tone for the rest of the series, which saw Boston batter Oakland for 13 runs and 16 hits in the middle game, followed by 13 more runs and 17 hits in the series finale as they put the finishing touches on their clean sweep.

Though every Red Sox player contributed in some form or fashion, Jackie Bradley, Jr. was the star of the series with a pair of six-RBI games, continuing his recent breakthrough at the plate.

New Opponent, Similar Results

Boston’s bats didn’t cool off when Oakland left town. The Red Sox greeted the Houston Astros with another offensive outburst on Thursday, pounding last year’s AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel for eight runs on 10 hits in six innings. They later added three more runs to their ledger against Houston’s bullpen, breaking double digits for the fourth night in a row. Every Sox starter notched at least one hit, which had been the case the previous night as well.

Boston’s streak finally came to an end Friday night, as the Sox lost (there will be no clean sweep of Houston) after scoring “only” six runs on 11 hits. It looked like they might reach double digits again after getting halfway there in the second inning, but they scored only once more the rest of the way. Perhaps the evening’s rain dampened their bats as well as the field.

But with warm weather and plenty of sunshine forecast for the weekend, Boston looks to finish its home stand with a flourish. With thumpers such as Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Colby Rasmus, and Carlos Gomez, among others, the Astros have a thunderous lineup that rivals Boston’s, so the Sox will need to keep up the pace to continue winning. Seeing as how Houston’s pitching staff ranks last in the AL in hits allowed and second-to-last in runs allowed, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

Jackie Bradley Jr. Hitting Cannonballs!

Anyone who went to the three-game series between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics this week no doubt saw Jackie Bradley Jr. hitting cannonballs all over Fenway Park, including a grand slam on Monday and a multiple home run game on Wednesday. This wasn’t always the case, though. Back in 2014 when Jackie Bradley Jr. started Jackie Bradley Jr. Hitting Cannonballs!making consistent appearances with the Red Sox, many worried about his hitting. While there was no question at all back then about Bradley Jr.’s defensive skills; he was a Gold Glove nominee in his first year, he was barely hitting over .200 for most of the season. But now that Jackie Bradley Jr. is finally beginning to turn power into runs for the Red Sox this season, his offensive abilities are no longer in question.

Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 17 games as of May 11th in the series against Oakland. Bradley Jr.’s performance included hitting .571 with eight hits, three home runs (including a grand slam in the 6th inning in the first game of the series), and 13 RBIs, including two home runs in the last game of the series as the Sox outscored the A’s 40-15 during the three game series. What’s most amazingly awesome about this series, though, is that it finally proves that Bradley Jr. is now a consistent and competent hitter, something he struggled with for the last two seasons. As I watched Jackie Bradley Jr. hitting cannonballs over the Green Monster, as well as into the Sox bullpen, I smiled as I realized he’d finally found his groove as a hitter.

I felt bad for Bradley Jr. last season when he got sent down to Pawtucket. After having been with the Sox for as long as he had, to be sent down must have been a real blow to his ego. But he didn’t let it get the best of him, as Bradley Jr. could now very well be possibly turning into a future Hall of Famer. Bill “Spaceman” Lee, the Sox ace in the 1970s, told me last summer that he was already then Willie Mays from the waist town given his speed.

As of this season, we’re finally seeing Willie Mays from the waist up.