Before the 2010 season, the Red Sox’ offense was a big question mark. It was the talk of the town that Red Sox pitching would have to be stellar for the team to win games. But with 97 games to go, the Red Sox have one of the best offenses in baseball, and are in the hunt in the AL East.
Despite a loss to the Phillies on Sunday at Fenway Park, the Red Sox won the series. In fact, they have won or split 14 of their last 17 series.
Entering play Tuesday, the Red Sox are four games back in the division, and their offensive numbers are going strong. They lead the majors in OPS (.817) and RBIs (tied with the Yankees at 338), and are second in runs (353) and on-base percentage (.352) to the Yankees. Boston’s team batting average ranks fifth at .276.
The Red Sox have found a way to win games with offense despite being marred by injuries. Outfielders Jeremy Hermida and Jacoby Ellsbury are on the DL. Outfielder Mike Cameron is playing with an abdominal tear. First baseman Kevin Youkilis suffered back spasms last week, and second baseman Dustin Pedroia continues to play with a sore right knee.
Even with all of that, the scrappy Sox are still alive in the East.
The lineup gets shuffled almost daily, and the team’s reserves have really stepped up. Outfielder Daniel Nava was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket and hit a grand slam on the first pitch of his first major league at-bat to help Boston in a 10-2 victory over the Phillies.
Slugger David Ortiz is in a small slump but has proven that he’s not dead yet, and can get hot at any time. Third baseman Adrian Beltre has been phenomenal this year, with a current batting average of .335, much higher than his career .273 average. Catcher Victor Martinez started off with a slow April and May, but is riding a hot streak in June, batting .476.
Leading the lineup is Youkilis, who’s batting .316 with 12 home runs and 40 RBIs and and is on pace for career numbers in multiple categories.
An assortment of players have stepped up when necessary, to keep the offense in good shape. Pedroia came out of the box hot, but got cold in May. Big Papi got into a rhythm and then struggled again, just in time for Martinez and Youkilis to pick up the slack.
This Red Sox’ lineup has surprised everyone with how much they’re able to do. If they can keep it up, they just might give the division leaders a run for their money.
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