No one was more relieved to leave April 2022 behind than the Red Sox, and their turnaround has been quite noticeable.
Boston finished April 10-12, struggling mightily on offense while the bullpen couldn’t hold close leads.
Manager Alex Cora sported a new beard prior to the 2022 Major League Baseball season and it became a joke that his facial hair was the reason for the Red Sox being unable to get much going. Cora shaved his beard May 10 — something his girlfriend, Angelica, advised him to do much sooner — and the Red Sox have played much better since.
Everything seems to be clicking for Boston from the starting pitching (including three complete games in three weeks) to the offense. But if you ask Cora, it goes beyond shaving his beard.
“Like I said, if we depend on my facial hair then we really suck. We’re not good,” Cora told reporters prior to Thursday’s finale against the Los Angeles Angels, per MassLive.
Even though the Angels halted Boston’s win streak at seven with a 5-2 win that ended LA’s 14-game losing streak, Cora believes the turnaround is as simple as players getting into a groove.
“One of the things baseball players do is fall into their routine,” Cora said. “And it felt like when we got to Atlanta for the first time the whole season, we were able to do stuff outside with good weather. … But that (Atlanta) was the first time since spring training that we were able to actually move around and start doing things on the field. You start feeling your hands. The weather is great. The ball starts flying and you start feeling good about yourself.
“Little by little, we?ve been able to do our routine and start feeling good about ourselves. I think it’s more that than actually my facial hair.”
Whether it’s facial hair, newfound plate patience from the players or the confidence the starting pitchers have shown, the Red Sox are a better team now than they were in April.
Boston looks to start a new win streak as it continues its road trip out west Friday night against the Seattle Mariners. First pitch is set for 10:10 p.m. ET and you can catch all the action beginning at 9 p.m. on NESN.