The Red Sox have started off the month of July like a team on a mission. The team is 10-3 this month and have won 7 of their last 8 games, moving them just a half game behind the Orioles for the division lead. However, Red Sox fans are beginning to see something they haven't seen all season long; great pitching. Surprisingly, it's been the pitching that has stepped it up the past few games, while the offense has taken a minor step back.
Since the Red Sox have returned from the All-Star game, Wright, Rodriguez, Price and Porcello have had the opportunity to pitch. They have combined to allow only 7 runs on 22 hits with an ERA of 2.64. So while the offense has dipped a little bit, the pitching has turned it on and the winning continues.
This season especially, people notice when the offense is struggling; just see any recent David Price start. However, it is being overlooked a tiny bit because the Sox have a .769 win percentage in the month of July, and are on the verge of surpassing the Orioles for first place. While the offense as a whole is still producing, scoring 21 runs in the last 5 games, the heart of the order is struggling.
Even with Ortiz' massive 3-run home run against Peavy last night, Sox hitters 3 through 5 are stuck in a rut at the moment. Dating back to the Rays series on July 8th, Bogaerts, Ortiz and Ramirez are a combined 12-for-71. Good enough for a .169 average.
Bogaerts: 4-28 (.143)
Ortiz: 5-24 (.208)
Ramirez: 3-19 (.158)
I'm not sitting here telling you to freak out, that the offense has fallen off a cliff. It's actually a very good sign that these 3 hitters are struggling, but the team isn't. It shows just how good, and how deep this offense is, and also that the starters have stepped it up. It is only a matter of time before these 3 snap out of their funk and hopefully Pomeranz can continue the trend of great pitching in his Red Sox debut tonight.
By Matt Watts