It didn’t take long for Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch to realize the Boston Red Sox were going to be a problem in 2018.
Hinch picked up on it all the way back in spring training during a pair of Grapefruit League games. He noticed how, even back then, the Red Sox didn’t give away at-bats and would be tough outs all season.
Well, the Red Sox went on to win 108 games and have now pushed Hinch’s Astros to the brink of elimination, winning Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead in the American League Championship Series.
That’s thanks in large part to a never-ending offensive attack that now has scored at least seven runs in each of the last three games — all wins for Boston.
“Their offense is relentless. It’s been relentless since March, since we first saw them in spring training,” Hinch said. “Getting through them, getting through the at-bats, you watch them hang in there. They draw walks when you shy away from the zone. They get two-out hits. They’re a full offense to deal with on a nightly basis. That’s what’s going on.”
The numbers bear all that, too. The Red Sox are hitting a .333 with runners in scoring position in the ALCS, and they’re a ridiculous .438 with runners in scoring position and two outs. Eighteen of their 25 runs in the series have come with two outs, and two of Boston’s five run-scoring hits in Game 4 came with two strikes.
When the Red Sox are going like this — getting contributions from the entire batting order — they’re almost impossible to defeat, and if the trends keep going that way, Hinch and the Astros will soon see their hope of a World Series repeat disappear.
Thumbnail photo via Thomas B. Shea/USA TODAY Sports Images
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