Before the Boston Red Sox experienced this two-game offensive slump, they had been quite home run happy through the postseason.
In 10 games played between the Wild Card Game against the New York Yankees and Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, they’ve hit 22 home runs and broke Major League Baseball records in the process.
But in Games 4 and 5, the Red Sox bats have quieted down a bit, and the offense has drawn criticism for trying to do too much at the plate, swinging only to hit it out of the park, not get on first.
Manager Alex Cora gave that sentiment some push back Thursday while talking to reporters, using their most notable homers — the three grand slams blasted in two days — to back up his argument.
“Home runs have come with traffic, right, except the one yesterday,” Cora told reporters Thursday, via ASAP Sports. “So, I think we’ve done a good job getting on base. Well, early on, right? I mean, to hit three grand slams, a lot of people got on base before the swing, right?
“I always said that in the playoffs the difference between hitting .300 and .200 is one swing, right? You go 2 for 10, you hit .200. You went 3 for 10, then you had a great series. No. You got lucky with one swing, and you hit .300. I think it’s the quality of the at-bats. It’s just the grinding the at-bats.”
Boston has just one night to make these adjustments in Game 6 on Friday, facing elimination in the ALCS.
But as Cora and Xander Bogaerts noted, who better to enter a game with their backs against the wall than the Red Sox? They’ve overcome worse adversity than just offensive slumps this season, and hopefully still have much more to prove.
And with everything on the line against the Astros, proving they can get on first is a good place to start.