Sox offensive through two games, hard to ignore the numbers

There has been plenty to high-five about in the Red Sox dugout.
(Photo courtesy of USA Today)
Ben Whitehead
Contributing Writer

When the Tampa Bay Rays won the American League Wild Card and the pitching matchups were announced, many pundits across the country, including most of us here at Red Sox Life, were worried about the Boston Red Sox.

It's just in our nature, so forgive us.

Despite the fact that the Red Sox were the best offensive team in five of the seven major categories, the Rays pitching staff has been a thorn in Boston’s side. Ace lefties Matt Moore and David Price had dominated the Sox in recent memory, particularly at Fenway Park. With those two pairing up to pitch the first two games, the term “manufacturing runs” became a hot commodity among the media types.

After two games, the question now becomes, “Can the Sox continue their offensive barrage and sweep the Rays?”

Boston pounded out 12 runs on 14 hits in Game 1, most of the damage coming against Moore. Every Red Sox starter had at least one hit and one run, only the third time in postseason history that had happened (1936 Yankees the last to do so). Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in three, Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino added two RBI apiece, and five Sox players hit doubles.

In Game 2 against Price, the Red Sox totaled seven runs on 11 hits. Once again, every Sox player reached base (all had a hit except Mike Napoli, who walked twice). Jacoby Ellsbury sparked the team with a 3-for-4 night and three runs scored, while David Ortiz unloaded on two massive homers and Dustin Pedroia added three RBI.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said his team was “out-Fenwayed” because of the way the ball bounced a few times and perhaps that a few of the Sox gap/home run hits wouldn’t have been such in other parks.

How about your team got out-played, out-hit and out-pitched, Maddon?

Nineteen runs on 25 hits in two games is not getting “out-Fenwayed.” The Rays scored six runs on 12 hits, had two defensive errors and countless defensive lapses – MYYYYY-ERRRRRRS, MYYYYY-ERRRRRS!

It should be no surprise as the Red Sox led MLB in OBP, SLG, OPS, R and RBI, while finishing second in batting average with a .277 clip (Detroit - .283). The offense has been there all season. The surprise was that the outbursts came against two of the games elite pitchers, Moore and Price.

David Ortiz and the Red Sox have taken it to Rays pitching,
including David Price, through two games in the ALDS.
(Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Times)
There’s a reason the Sox won 97 games and finished tied for the best record in baseball with St. Louis.

Here’s a tip of the cap to Big Papi, who blasted two home runs in a postseason game for the first time in his illustrious playoff career. Here’s a round of applause to the Sox offense for not getting rusty over a five day lay-off between the end of the regular season and the first game of the ALDS.

And here’s hoping it continues for the next few weeks. Because we all know, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over!

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