Through 13 games, Red Sox have already proven to be different than 2016 team in one big way
|04.17.17 at 4:06 pm ET|
Even though it has only been 13 games, the 2017 Red Sox have already shown they are different in one key way than last year’s team.
The 2017 Red Sox can come back in games when they are down.
Last year, it seemed every time the Red Sox trailed in the late innings, or at any point at all really, they were done. Even though it is only two weeks into the season, the 2017 Red Sox have proven they are different.
Of the eight wins so far this season, four have been of the comeback variety, including Monday’s 4-3 win over the Rays.
It’s something that has stood out to manager John Farrell in the early going this season.
“The one thing that’s starting to show is that we’ve come from behind a number of games already,” he said. “To tack on some runs late, to take some leads. And that goes hand in hand with a bullpen that has pitched very well, but we haven’t abandoned our approach at the plate. Guys haven’t come out of their approach. They haven’t had the one game with the one swing of the bat. We’ve built innings. We’ve faced very good pitching from a number of teams. I think it’s that relentless that we’ve been trying to preach and continue to have it filter over from the trust in that lineup from top to bottom.”
Starter Steven Wright had a tough first inning by allowing two runs before the Red Sox even stepped to the plate, but the offense got a run back in the bottom half and then scored three runs in the bottom of the second to take a 4-2 lead and wouldn’t look back.
The Red Sox actually caught a break in the second inning when Rays second baseman Brad Miller dropped a ball, which would have ended the inning on a force play. Andrew Benintendi (two RBIs) and Mookie Betts (RBI) made Tampa Bay pay with back-to-back singles to give the Sox a 4-2 lead.
“Huge break,” Farrell said. “It was almost like blood was in the water and we took advantage of it. It caused Snell probably an additional 15 pitches in the inning. We were able to bunch some base hits together right after that. We caught a break, but as we’ve seen many times you give a big league team an extra out sometime a crooked number can happen.”
Sunday’s 7-5 win was another of the comeback variety.
A poor first inning from Drew Pomeranz had the Sox trailing 3-0 before they got to bat in the first, but once again the offense responded by scoring two runs to cut into the deficit. After the Rays scored another in the top of fourth, the offense responded in the bottom half with two runs to tie the game at four.
Trailing 5-4 in the seventh, the Red Sox took the lead for good with two runs to take a 6-5 lead and tacked on another in the eighth for the 7-5 win.
While this may not seem like a big deal to some, showing the ability to come back in games can do wonders for a team’s confidence, especially after the lack of comeback wins in 2016. Just look at the 2013 team, every time the team was down, they were never counted out.
This isn’t to say the Red Sox will win the World Series because of four comeback wins early in the season, but it is showing the team has fight when down, which could go a long way as the season rolls along.
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