Michael Pellegrino Staff Writer
One-hundred and eight wins. That is the new benchmark set by the 2018 Boston Red Sox. They have A franchise record for wins, home-field advantage through the playoffs, a fantastic lineup and a rotation that at its best, can be lights out. Overall, this has been a fantastic regular season for Boston, and whether they get it done in October and win the title should not take away from this fact.
Starting the season 17-2, Boston’s only losses came on opening day in Tampa and at home against the Yankees. Through this stretch, Rick Porcello started his season 4-0. The lineup was explosive, never being shut out during this span, scoring at least seven runs in 11 of those 19 games.
Big success in the first half of the season came in interleague play, taking two out of three from Atlanta, and sweeping Washington. This success led to a cohesive team that started to find their groove throughout the first half. Mookie Betts before the all-star break hit an absurd .359, with 23 home runs and 51 RBIs, complimented by his partner in crime J.D. Martinez, who had a .328 average and 29 home runs before the all-star break.
Things started to slow down after the all-star break for the Red Sox, and while they maintained their overall status as top of the league by winning, the bats seemed to go a little quiet after the break. The first half saw an outstanding 134 home runs hit by the Sox, to only 74 home runs hit in the second half.
What is most concerning for the Red Sox heading into October is the bullpen. There can be a solid rotation with Sale, Price and Porcello being the confirmed games 1-3 starters in the ALDS, it’s what comes after that should worry Boston. Eduardo Rodriguez has looked good coming out of the bullpen recently, but the struggles of players such as Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel towards the back-half of the season is where the problem really lies.
The offense should wake up come October, and if the bullpen can come back to form, the Red Sox will look to continue their regular season success in the postseason.