To put it simply, Jackie Bradley Jr. is a streaky hitter.
We’ve seen flashes of the ability the Boston Red Sox center fielder has at the dish, but while he perhaps is the most reliable defensive outfielder in baseball, he does not bring the same kind of consistency to the plate.
Over his last 30 games, Bradley Jr. is batting .192, but there have been signs of life lately. Bradley Jr. launched a mammoth home run as the Red Sox went on to top the Colorado Rockies 10-6 on Tuesday night at Coors Field.
It was JBJ’s third home run in his last five games, and his fifth over his last 10 as he comes back to life after a brutal start to August.
The home run in the series opener was no wall-scrapper, either, going down as the longest Red Sox home run in the Statcast era (since 2015), measuring at 478 feet to right field.
“It felt good, I saw a good pitch that I felt like I could handle and I put a good swing on it and you know everything kind of lined up — the trajectory, the speed off the bat, I mean … it was a good swing,” Bradley Jr. said on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage.
He went on to explain why he’s seen an uptick in production at the plate.
“Make more solid contact. That’s all there is to it,” Bradley said. “Continue to hit the ball hard. Anytime you hit the ball hard, but anytime you put it in the air, good things happen.”
Manager Alex Cora also noted that when Bradley Jr. puts the ball in play, he has success.
“With him, we all know it starts with one swing. … There’s a few things he needs to do better, he knows it. Keep cutting down on the strikeouts and control the strike zone,” Cora said. “When he makes contact, it’s loud and he gives himself a chance.”
He’s not wrong. Bradley Jr. entered Tuesday with a .273 batting average on balls in play. His batting average now sits a .222 for the season.
Here are some other notes from Tuesday’s Red Sox-Rockies game:
— Rick Porcello was not lights out, but did well to work efficiently around a potent Rockies lineup.
He allowed eight hits, but struck out five and needed just 79 pitches to get through five innings while allowing just two runs in a very hitter-friendly park.
“He did an outstanding job, that’s not an easy place to pitch. He worked for everything he got today,” Cora said. “It was five innings but that was enough. The conditions here are conducive to a lot of runs and he did an outstanding job using his fastball, his offspeed pitches and keeping an offensive team in check.”
Porcello has improved in August since a pretty brutal July.
— We’ve seen a lot of Josh Taylor this summer.
The southpaw has been burning a path from the bullpen to the mound, pitching in more than half of Boston’s games since June 16. In those 33 appearances, he has a 1.62 ERA with 44 strikeouts and 11 walks. He recorded the last two outs to close things out Tuesday.
— Boston now has homered in 17 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in franchise history, per The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham.
— Christian Vazquez clubbed his 19th home run of the season.
He now is one shy of becoming the first Red Sox catcher with 20 home runs since Jarrod Saltalamacchia in 2012.
Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images