Fans have been trying to decipher the Boston Red Sox (13-12) all April, but have been left dumbfounded many times during this young MLB season. Whatever weaknesses they may have, however, it is becoming increasingly clear this team’s offense can stand next to anyone else in the league. History might reflect that notion, too, following their 8-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday night.
“The Red Sox 144 runs this season are their most in the first 25 games of a season since they scored 147 in the first 25 games of the 2003 season,” ESPN Stats & Info Tweeted.
That could be the type of foreshadowing that makes Sox Nation grin ear to ear, finally delivering them from their fixed state of skepticism and uneasiness. The 2003 team finished the season first in runs scored and almost every other major offensive category to solidify itself among the best the game has seen.
As most know, that story had an agonizing end, but fans would probably risk further anguish if they were told this team would be competing in the American League Championship Series. Currently, this group ranks third in the MLB in total runs behind the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers. No one knew what to expect with Xander Bogaerts gone and Trevor Story sidelined. The Boston bats have been a pleasant surprise.
Rafael Devers continues to launch the ball, blasting an AL-leading nine home runs to go with 24 RBIs. Alex Verdugo is putting together his early application for an All Star nod with a .313 batting average, .465 slugging percentage and multiple clutch hits. And in what has been an improbable one-year turnaround, center fielder Jarren Duran (.387 BA, 10 RBIs in nine games) has mashed the baseball since he was called back up to the big leagues this season. He was the hero Tuesday night, going 3-for-4 with a grand slam.
Pitching remains a concern- Kaleb Ort gave up a grand slam late- and could be what ultimately prevents Boston from reaching the same heights the franchise did 20 years ago.
But that might just mean plenty of thrilling slugfests in this enigmatic season.