Up to this point, the Red Sox 2015 season has fallen short of the enormous expectations that surrounded the team during the winter. After a 12-10 month of April and a 10-19 nose dive in May, Boston currently finds themselves pulling up the rear in the AL East standings.
But as the calender has flipped from May to June, the should-be-dead Red Sox are only 5.5 games out of first place, thanks to the mediocre play of their division rivals. With a 4 game split against the AL Central leading Minnesota Twins, and a series sweep of the Oakland Athletics, the Red Sox appear to be making a last ditch effort at a run towards the top of the standings.
Granted a 7 game sample size isn’t necessarily enough to tell us if we’ll consider June to be the turning point of the Red Sox 2015 campaign, but you certainly have to like what has transpired so far. Xander Bogaerts has continued his breakout season, hitting at a .440 clip during the first week of June, including 3 doubles and 4 RBI. Hanley Ramirez has looked more like the hitter we saw in April, as he’s started the month hitting .385 including a double and a homer. And Dustin Pedroia, perhaps the Red Sox most consistent hitter this year, has been just that this month sporting a .483 batting average and scoring 7 runs out of Boston’s leadoff spot.
As an offense this month, the Red Sox rank first in team average, batting at a .300 clip, and third in team on-base percentage with a .337 mark. Boston also touts the second lowest strike out percentage in the American league at 16.6%, and the fifth lowest walk percentage in the league at 5.7%. This certainly seems like the result of a more aggressive approach at the plate that the team has been trying to put forth. In turn, Boston ranks second in the AL in hits this month, and are tied for the league lead in doubles with 15.
With the improved play of the offense — not to mention the starting rotation’s continued success — the pieces are certainly in place for a run at the division. But Boston needs to sustain their early June efforts, and not allow them to die out as quickly as they started.
- The 2015 MLB amateur draft got underway on Monday night, which means the Red Sox drafted a guy you’ve probably never heard of with their seventh overall selection. (Andrew Benintendi — drafted No. 7 by the Red Sox — has all the tools to succeed in the big leagues)
- The Red Sox tore a page out of their 2013 season with an impressive come from behind win over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday. With timely hitting and a little bit of luck, Boston’s seven run eighth inning explosion might be the one that ends up turning their season around. (The inning that saved the Red Sox season?)
- The anthem of the summer is here, and it’s not from any artist you’ll find one the radio dial. Try listening to this song and not get it stuck in your head. You can’t. (Gronk and Big Papi summer chill hit single “Sippin'”)
- After the Red Sox cut bait with Andrew Miller in July of 2014, the Red Sox left-handed relief spot was something of a question mark. With no heir apparent to the role, southpaw Tommy Layne has enjoyed a breakout season for Boston and has put a stranglehold on the spot. (Appreciating Tommy Layne’s surprisingly effective style)
- The firing of Juan Nieves was seen by many as a knee jerk reaction to the early season struggles of the starting rotation. But since taking over Carl Willis has gotten nothing but results from basically the same group of arms. (Red Sox’ pitching change is paying off)
- Tweet of the day: One of us, one of us…
Benintendi said he grew up a Red Sox fan, looked up to Pedroia for the way he works. 'I'm extremely excited.'
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) June 9, 2015