Good teams have high peaks and low valleys. When things go wrong, a good team can quickly turn the page and get back on track. The Boston Red Sox are beginning to prove that they are a powerful club in 2021.
Boston started the season with three losses to the Baltimore Orioles, a team that was not projected to win 70 games. The Red Sox stayed calm and proceeded to win nine straight contests before losing one game to the Twins.
The Red Sox started their series against Chicago with a victory, but they were swept in a Sunday doubleheader. A valley was beginning to form, but the Red Sox began climbing the mountain again with a dominant 11-4 win on Patriots’ Day.
Nathan Eovaldi and the Pitching
Nathan Eovaldi is establishing himself as the legit ace in Boston without Chris Sale. Eovaldi was fantastic once again on Monday, going 6.1 innings with ten strikeouts. He did allow four runs, but he kept the ball in the yard and did not have any multi-run innings.
Eovaldi departed in the seventh inning, and Alex Cora gave Garrett Whitlock the nod. Whitlock was selected in the 18thround of the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft by the New York Yankees. The pitcher was taken from New York by Boston in the Rule 5 Draft.
He made his debut on April 4th, and he has been fantastic on the hill. Whitlock threw 2.2 innings, striking out two batters and not allowing a hit or a run.
In 2021, Whitlock has thrown 6.1 innings with zero earned runs and nine strikeouts. The 24-year-old has been a pleasant surprise for Boston thus far.
The Patriots’ Day Laser Show
The laser show was in full effect on Patriots’ Day for the Red Sox. The Red Sox jumped on Lucas Giolito from the first pitch of the morning.
The initial six batters in Boston’s lineup hit safely off the All-Star pitcher. Giolito had allowed five runs in his three 2021 starts, but that was not the case today in Fenway Park.
Giolito gave up seven runs and only pitched one complete inning. He returned to the bump in the second inning, but he could not record an out before Tony La Russa pointed to the bullpen and made the short strut to the mound.
Boston generated 17 hits on Patriots’ Day. Every hitter in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit, except for Bobby Dalbec.
J.D. Martinez, Enrique Hernandez, and Alex Verdugo all hit home runs on Monday. Martinez has led this team, and it does not seem like he has any intention of stopping. The Silver Slugger is slashing .364/.426/.764 and leading the league in doubles with seven.
The Red Sox offense made it difficult to choose an MVP because of the dominant performances from top to bottom of the order. The Red Sox scored 11 runs, and they left 11 runners on base, so they could have been even more prevailing with a few more timely hits.
The Red Sox will continue their 11-game homestand with two games against the Toronto Blue Jays and four contests versus the Seattle Mariners.
Boston is in first place in the East, and they have the best record in the American League at 11-6. The Sox have outscored their opponents 96-68, giving them the second-best run differential in baseball. Do not expect the Red Sox to cool down anytime soon because Boston is blazing.
Tanner Kern is a writer for Knup Sports and the Sports 2.0 Network. He is the host of Between the Lines, the official show of Baseball Spotlight, and the main contributor for the website. Connect with Tanner on IG @tannerkern and Twitter @tannerkern_.