Sunday’s exciting Red Sox 8-7 win over the Yankees combined with the Orioles loss to the White Sox put Boston in sole possession of 1st place in the American League East. In handing New York their fifth straight loss, the Sox improved to five games over .500 for the first time since 2013.
The Sox woke up to Monday’s off day leading the AL in average runs scored per game (5.36), total runs scored (134), hits (252), triples (9), RBI (127), batting average (.285), on-base percentage (.347), total bases (400), and OPS (.799).
The Sox lead all teams in doubles (67) and (are you sitting down?) stolen bases (22). Along with the 2013 World Championship team, the 2016 crew are just the second Red Sox team in the last 20 years to steal as many as 22 bases in their first 25 games.
Early and Often
The hit parade continued Sunday with 14 Boston hits. To date, the Red Sox have had 10 or more hits in 15 games this season, more than any other major league team.
Moreover, Red Sox runs have come quickly so far this season, forestalling the maddening prospect, played out so frequently in 2015, of having to come from behind early in the game. With 30 each, the Red Sox and Nationals are tied for the major league lead in first inning runs. No other team in baseball has more than 21. The Sox lead MLB with 63 runs over the first three innings of the game.
On the season, Red Sox pitchers own a 4.26 ERA collectively, third highest in the American League after the Astros (4.80) and Yankees (4.79). But there’s reason for hope. Team ERA looks more reasonable when viewed over the past 14 days, shrinking to 3.82, or 8th lowest in the AL.
Overall, Boston pitching has struck out 236 opponents, the second most in any first month of Red Sox play since at least 1913. Only the 2013 club had more SO (255).
Still, David Price has yet to fully find his groove, and is tied for having allowed the most earned runs (25) in baseball. Compounding matters, Clay Buchholz appears third on that same list for the AL having allowed 20 earned runs already this season.
Price, who hit three batters in all of 2015, has plunked four already this season, tied for second most among AL hurlers.
Meanwhile, Steven Wright, who likely wouldn’t have had a starters role with the Sox had it not been for the unfortunate injury to Eduardo Rodriguez, continues to impress with a 1.37 ERA after 4 starts this season, the second lowest in the AL. New closer Craig Kimbrel is tied for the AL lead in saves (8).
Talking About Hanley
You may have thought we would be talking a lot about Hanley Ramirez by this point in the season—and we are, but for all the right reasons.
Reborn as the Sox first baseman, Ramirez appears fired up, having fun, and most importantly, producing on the field.
Ramirez has driven in nine runs over his last 10 games, including a game tying two run single with the bases loaded Sunday before being thrown out at third to end the inning. Ramirez remains one of four error-free AL first basemen.