Initially, it would seem that the Los Angeles Dodgers have the gusto and determination to make a run at winning a World Series for the first time since 1988. Between having one of the best starting pitchers in the game in Clayton Kershaw (1.83 ERA) along with their acquisition of one the best young hitters in Yasiel Puig (.319 avg, 42 RBI’s) the Dodgers are seemingly built to wear teams down with their youth and athletic skill. Yet, even with this red hot juggernaut, there is still one team that can not only match the Dodgers tenacity, but that can also exceed their recent accolades in almost every way. The Boston Red Sox, a team that only year ago was practically abysmal in every way that mattered, has bounced back to become one of the best teams in baseball.
Whenever you talk about the Red Sox, it’s impossible to overlook the most intriguing aspect of their game; their high powered offense. In the majors, the Red sox scored the most runs in the regular season (853) while sporting the best average in the league (.277 avg.) Along with these impressive team accomplishments, the Red Sox have one of if the not the best the hitter in the game in David Ortiz who had his first career multi home run game in the Red Sox game 2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
However, Big Papi isn’t the only one who is capable of smashing home runs out of the park. Although Dustin Pedroia doesn’t necessarily have the strength of Ortiz, he has the patients and accuracy to be an effective base hitter. Throughout the regular season, Pedroia garnered over 80 RBI’s and had a batting average of .301. Mike Napoli on the other hand, is more akin to Ortiz in that his abilities are catered to power hitting rather than a well-timed finesse approach. During the regular season, Napoli had 23 home runs (only seven below Ortiz) and 92 RBI’s (only 11 short of Ortiz’s 103). Simply put, the Red Sox have one of the most dynamic offenses in the game that has given them prolific success against almost any opponent.
Although the Red Sox offense gets a large share of the limelight for their smash mouth abilities, the precision of their bullpen has also been critical in the Red Sox monumental success. While the Red Sox had a brief pitching lapse in last nights lose to the Rays in game 3 (final score 4-5), as a whole the Red Sox have proven they have consistent pitchers who rarely choke under pressure. Starting pitcher Clay Buchholz has made it clear that he is the real deal as his ERA has drastically improved from his career average of 3.60 to this seasons current average of 1.74.
The Red Sox also have a sensational relief pitcher in Koji Uehara. Despite his uncharacteristic lapse in his most recent outing against the Rays, Uehara deserves credit for being a reliable closer more often than not. His overall ERA is practically god like (1.09 ERA during the regular season) and he has proven to be consistently clutch as he garnered over 20 saves during the regular season.
While some may look at the Red Sox devastating loss last night as a chink in their nearly impervious armor, it is actually quite the opposite. Whenever the Red Sox hit a rough patch during the regular season, whether it was a poor offensive performance or their bullpen failing to hold the opposition at bay, this team has proven they are both resilient and strong willed. The reason the Red Sox have been so consistently successful is because they are not averse to making adjustments when the situation calls for it.
For the Red Sox, a failure only results in them becoming a stronger and more effective team that can and will exploit their opponent’s weaknesses when given the opportunity to do so.
Although Red Sox still have some work to do before they can be crowned World Series champions, they have a stacked roster and a patient coaching staff that is more than capable of leading them to the promised land. Between their high-octane offense and the assassin like mentality of their bullpen, the Red Sox have all the elements to win when it matters most.
Despite the competitive opposition that is still out there, the Red Sox will always find a way to win come hell or high water.