How Red Sox Have Impressed Alex Cora So Far This Season

'It's not the rah-rah stuff'


May 3, 2023

If you haven’t been paying much attention to the Red Sox so far, you just may want to start.

Boston has quietly racked up 17 wins, winners in 12 of its last 18 game, and how they have won games is not just with one pitcher or player stepping up. Red Sox manager Alex Cora told WEEI’s Andy Gresh and Christian Fauria that’s what has been impressed with so far this season.

“With our team, obviously, everybody has noticed they don’t quit,” Cora told the sports radio hosts. “And this is not just offensively.”

Cora didn’t have to go back far in his memories for the perfect analogy to describe what he meant, using the example of Tuesday night’s win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

“Tanner (Houck) had that bad (fifth) inning — they scored six,” Cora explained. “And he knew we needed six (innings) because where we were in the bullpen, and he dominated the sixth inning. Then (John) Schreiber came in, dominated the seventh. (Richard) Bleier did the same thing in the eighth and (Josh) Winckowski did it in the ninth.”

Offensively, many may be shocked to learn the Red Sox lead all teams with 68 doubles and are ranked second in extra-base hits with 114.

“I think offensively, we’ve got a good group,” Cora said. “A group from the first pitch all the way to the last one. We’re going to grind at-bats. It’s a different way of scoring runs although we’re hitting home runs, right? But it’s more athletic in a sense with longer at-bats.”

Cora noted Red Sox hitters have been getting to the opposing starting pitchers and not allowing them to go deep into games, which gives Boston a chance to exploit relievers.

“It’s just one of those things. It’s not the rah-rah stuff,” Cora said. “Just a bunch of players that grind. … And they are earning their playing time at the big league level.”

In just over a month into the season, the Red Sox are 6-3-0 in series play, something that could be overshadowed by the losses to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” Cora said. “Two tough series against Pittsburgh and Rays, but besides that, we’ve been very competitive. … We expect to compete and keep winning series.”

If the Red Sox can win at least one of the two games remaining in the Toronto series, they will improve to 5-1-0 in series played at home.

The finale against the Blue Jays from Fenway Park on Thursday night has first pitch scheduled for 6:10 p.m. ET. You can catch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, on NESN.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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