Sox Have a Season to Remember
by James Maguire on Monday, September 30th, 2013
Nobody expected this big a turnaround from the Boston Red Sox. Last year, the Sox closed their season with an eight-game losing streak, which landed the team in last place with a record of 69 wins and 93 losses. During the off-season after the brutal 2012 season, the Red Sox’ front office was very busy trying to get the team back on track.
Right off the bat, the Boston Red Sox fired manager Bobby Valentine and hired their former pitching coach and previous Toronto Blue Jay manager John Farrell. The Sox also signed free agents Shane Victorino, Koji Uehara, Ryan Dempster, Stephen Drew, and Mike Napoli and re-signed free agent David Ortiz. Another addition to the team this season is closer Joel Hanrahan, whom the Red Sox traded for, but got hurt early in the season. A common thread with these acquisitions is that these players are not superstars, but they are gritty, hard-working utility ballplayers, as some would say, ‘good clubhouse guys’.
Without a doubt, the busy off-season has greatly benefited the Red Sox. The team has the best record in baseball: 98 wins and 64 losses, and, as the season comes to a close, the Sox have clinched their division, putting Boston in the playoffs for the first time in four years.
Much of this success can be attributed to Sox’ offense. The team has the best offense in baseball history with 805 total runs and a team batting average of .276. To complement its great hitting, the team is also ranked 11th in pitching by earned run average (ERA). The Sox also have three aces in, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and John Lackey, backed by a strong end of rotation of new acquisition Jake Peavy, Ryan Dempster, and Felix Doubront.
One of the most exciting parts of the Red Sox season was the emergence of relief pitchers Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara. These two were not expected to be the centerpiece of the Boston bullpen, but they have emerged as one of the most deadly 8th inning-9th inning combos in the league. Tazawa, Uehara’s setup man, has 25 holds and an ERA of 2.96. Uehara, Boston’s closer, has 20 saves, 13 holds, and an ERA of 1.14. Uehara broke the Red Sox team record for consecutive out’s in a row with 37.
With such an amazing offense, starting pitching rotation, and bullpen, the Boston Red Sox will be a very formidable team in the upcoming playoffs. Right now, Sox are the best team in baseball and the top seeded team in the American league. Though anything could happen in the next month, the city of Boston is on the verge of a third ring this century.
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