Sunday, April 10, 2016

The 2016 Red Sox: Fun and Frustrating

Ron Schwane / Associated Press

Two weeks into the 2016 season and all I can really say about this iteration of the Red Sox is that they're fun to watch. Frustrating, but fun. I am actually yelling at my TV as I write this during today's game.

The offense can just put up runs whenever. They've scored at least six runs in every game so far to get to a 3-1 record. The only issue, is that they seem to need a bit of urgency to do it.

In the first game against the Blue Jays on Friday, it took the a grand slam by Josh Donaldson to get the Sox really going. Brock Holt quickly followed it up with a grand slam of his own, and the Red Sox took at 8-7 lead that inning.

The bullpen rode that lead the rest of the way and dominated the Jays scary, unrelenting lineup, eventually handing the ball off to Craig Kimbrell who made more than one hitter look silly with his filthy slider.
So apart from the Red Sox bats starting hot, the bullpen has looked great to compliment that. The biggest downfall, as we knew would happen, is the starting pitching. Clay Buchholz didn't start out well at all. Joe Kelly looked good at first, but lost the latest battle with his nemesis, the fourth inning. Rick Porcello threw six innings and allowed four hits, so not terribly awful, but there's much left to be desired.

Steven Wright is actually pitching very well today. He allowed two runs in the first and has since settled in very nicely. He embarrassed some Blue Jays sluggers by changing speeds with his knuckleball in a crafty way, too. He finished allowing two earned runs and going 6.2 innings, which is the longest start by any Sox starting pitcher so far this season.

The Sox head to Boston for a nice home-stand which David Price will lead off. Hopefully the bats can stay hot when they go back to the cold weather in Boston.