Red Sox Split Doubleheader with Orioles
Boston, MA - The Boston Red Sox have once again broken their franchise record for regular season wins in a single season. The Red Sox are now 107-52 in the 2018 season and they can boast a sixty and a half game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East, not to mention their nine and a half game lead over the New York Yankees, which was large enough to clinch. Of course, this is all just gravy for a Red Sox season that has been beyond fans' wildest dreams. And the doubleheader will be another moment that fans will never forget from 2018.
The second game of the doubleheader was forgettable as Boston fell 10-3 with their B-team lineup, featuring the likes of Sam Travis and Brandon Phillips. The major concern coming out of the game was Chris Sale. Before either matchup yesterday, it was announced that Sale would be the starting pitcher for Boston's first game of the ALDS.
But he looked a little shaky yesterday, especially early on. He gave up two runs in the first inning, walking players and giving up triples. It was highly uncharacteristic of Sale and it was thanks in large part to reduced velocity on his pitches. Manager Alex Cora waved off concerns about Sale, saying he's still getting back into it, but Boston can't afford to wait. Getting into an early hole against Oakland or New York in the ALDS could be a death sentence. And I, for one, am worried about Sale for the first time all season.
The first game was much more joyous, though, as Boston clobbered Baltimore 19-3 on the heels of a solid David Price performance and a barrage of offense. Mookie Betts walked and hit a single and a double, en route to stealing a base to become Boston's second player in franchise history to hit thirty home runs and steal thirty bases in a single year.
Xander Bogaerts joined the 100 RBI club for the season, as well, with four RBIs, including a two-run home run. J.D. Martinez and Blake Swihart also went deep and Rafael Devers actually clobbered two home runs on a six RBI day. The entire offense gelled and that seems like one aspect Boston won't have to worry about when the post-season begins next week.