Boston is still celebrating Hanley’s Thursday night homer. His 3-run blast in the bottom of the 9th lifted the Red Sox over the New York Yankees. For many, it signaled the renewal of the Red Sox and Yankee rivalry. That rivalry isn’t as intense anymore. Boston’s lead in the AL East, however, sets up another potential showdown for the division title. While Hanley Ramirez HRs protect Red Sox lead in the A.L.East, other players on the team are contributing to Boston’s success, too.
The Red Sox are finally getting into that groove they lost in June. Back then, their pitching staff dominated the American League, their hitting imitated other teams, and their tight grip on first place left other teams feeling hopeless. But then we fell out of first place and didn’t regain it until recently. But that’s all changed. David Price, while not pitching exactly the way we expected, now has over 200 strikeouts this season. Rick Porcello has emerged as perhaps the Red Sox best pitcher in the rotation. Ortiz is maintaining his hitting. Mookie Betts is in the running for an MVP. And last, but not least, Hanley Ramirez has hit 17 home runs with 52 RBI since the All-Star break. Ramirez has not only redeemed himself after a dismal 2015 season, but he’s emerged as the likely successor to David Ortiz.
Hanley Ramirez HRs protect the Red Sox, But For How Long?
While Boston is on their hottest streak so far this season, now isn’t the time to coast. If anything, now’s the time to buckle down. Porcello, despite his setback last Wednesday, is still an ace. However, if he’s going to get the run support he needs, the team has to learn how to stop leaving so many runners on base. The Red Sox still tend to get stick in mid-game ruts where it seems like they give up on a possible victory. That needs to stop.
As the Red Sox go into the final weeks of the season, they have to closely study their opponents to find weaknesses they can take advantage of. Not only for the sake of the team, but for the sake of grabbing another World Series Championship.