The Boston Red Sox had several questions coming into the season. Their lineup was not expected to be a concern.
Yes, there were potential problems. Trevor Story being out for the first half of the season caused a domino effect in the lineup. However, Rafael Devers was back, Masataka Yoshida was expected to help ignite the offense, and Justin Turner signed as a free agent. The Red Sox lineup had potential but also had a lot of question marks.
Heart and hustle making difference for Boston Red Sox
Most of those question marks are being answered for now. Unheralded players such as Connor Wong and Alex Verdugo are making an impact. Jarren Duran is beginning to look like the player that the Red Sox had envisioned. This has led to the Red Sox knocking out the opposing starter before the end of the fourth inning ten times this year, forcing those teams to go through their bullpen quicker. As Alex Speier of the Boston Globe pointed out, the next closest team has done so just six times.
The Red Sox are not just battering those starters. They have 195 runs on the year, the second most in the majors. Their lineup ranked second in homers, batting average, on base percentage, and slugging heading into Thursday’s action. At this point, the Red Sox just need the pitching staff to live up to their end of the bargain.
That may be the key. Some of these hot starts are likely to end, but they will be getting pieces back. Struggling players will heat up as well. As long as the Red Sox continue to show the same heart and hustle that they have to begin the season, they will continue to be another dangerous team in an impressive AL East.
The Boston Red Sox offense has been carrying the team this year. Opposing starters have taken the brunt of that onslaught throughout 2023.