Five takeaways from Red Sox series sweep over A’s

Five takeaways from Red Sox series sweep over A’s Originally appeared in NBC Sports Boston

Two series down, Boston has one series remaining red sox‘2024 begins with a West Coast road trip.

back Decide in four-game opener series in Seattlered sox travel to Auckland And swept the underdog A team in three sets. This gave them a record of 5 wins and 2 losses in the new season, half a game behind Team A. new york yankees First place in the American League East.

Next up is a three-game series Los Angeles Angels First, here’s Boston’s biggest takeaway from the East Bay outbreak.

Jaren DuranThe speed of

Duran enjoyed a breakout year in 2023 but suffered a toe injury in August that required season-ending surgery. Boston’s former top outfield prospect had 34 doubles, two triples and eight home runs with an .828 OPS in 102 games. He succeeded in 26 of his stolen base attempts in 24 games.

red sox There has yet to be a player as capable of wreaking havoc on the base path as Duran since Jacoby EllsburyHis impact has been felt in seven games this season, as he’s caught an MLB-leading six bases, including a triple in the series opener against Oakland.

Duran became the first Red Sox player and first major leaguer in the expansion era to allow a hit and steal a base in each of the first three innings of a game, according to JP Long (@SoxNotes on X) players.

Duran went 9-for-12 in the series with two RBIs and four steals. In seven games, he is now hitting .393.

While pitching was the No. 1 reason for the Red Sox’s failure last season, their poor defense also deserves a lot of the blame. Rookie Sedan Rafaela is doing his part to fix the problem.

Raphaela, who made an amazing catch In Seattle, he shined with a game-saving catch in Game 2 of the series against Oakland. He made an over-the-shoulder grab 92 feet over midfield to prevent the Athletics from tying the game in the 11th inning.

The fourth-ranked Red Sox prospect has no shortage of confidence in his defensive talents.

“I jumped pretty good … I think that’s why I caught the ball,” he told reporters after Boston’s 5-4 win. “In my mind, everything in the park I have to catch.”

Rafaela did it again in the series finale, jumping up and grabbing onto a wall to rob Brent Rooker Extra base and save a run. This proved to be the key to the 1-0 victory.

To be fair, there wouldn’t have been a game like this last season.This year, Boston showed up Able to win games with defenseand Rafaela is a big part of that, as he’s probably Boston’s best defensive outfielder since Jackie Bradley Jr..

Bullpen still dominates

The Red Sox’s new bullpen was a highlight of the first-round series against Seattle and continues to dominate in Oakland.

In the opening match, Chase Anderson followed the glory tanner hawk He allowed one hit and struck out three in three scoreless innings in a 9-0 victory.

Game 2 was a bullpen masterclass. Brian Bello Four runs were allowed in five innings, but Boston’s relievers allowed no runs from the sixth to the 11th. Greg Weissert, Isaiah Campbell, Chris Martin, Kenley Johnsonand Josh Winkowski In six innings, they allowed just two hits, walked three, and struck out eight, helping the Red Sox win 5-4 in the extra round.

In the final game of the series, which the Red Sox defeated 1-0, the team found its footing again. Nick Pivetta After pitching five scoreless innings, Rodriguez and Slatten kept Oakland off the scoreboard with just one hit over the next two innings. Martin pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Kenley Jansen struck out despite two walks in the ninth.

Pitching has remained a surprising strength for Boston through the first two series of the year. We’ll see if this holds up against a stronger Anaheim offense.

There is a story Bad start to regular season After a stellar spring home plate workout, the two-time All-Star went 3-for-17 (.176) with five strikeouts in Seattle.

Story began to find his groove against Oakland, going 4-for-12 with three doubles and four RBIs, including a game-tying single in the seventh inning of Game 2. Hits.

Story cooled off with an 0-3 performance in the series finale, but it was encouraging to see his bat revive in Games 1 and 2. The Red Sox will need this version of the story to come up often if they have any chance of competing in 2024.

A’s fans deserve better

Oakland is currently 1-6 on the season, which isn’t surprising after posting a league-worst 50-112 record in 2023. With another 100+ loss season coming up and a woeful roster, management unsurprisingly didn’t do the same. Work hard on improving in the off season.

For now, A’s owner John Fisher and company are concerned only with the impending move to Las Vegas, which may not be completed until 2028 at the earliest. Fans responded by abandoning the Oakland Coliseum, and rightly so. Average attendance for A’s games in 2023 is 10,276. This year after seven games the attendance was 6,437.

To put that staggering number into perspective, the Triple-A Worcester Red Sox averaged 7,424 fans at Polar Park in 2023. The Double-A Portland Sea Dogs average 6,121 fans at Hadlock Field.

One of the only reasons A’s fans are coming to games this season is the speedy outfielders ruiz estuary, stole an AL-leading 67 bases as a rookie last year. He hit .429 in three games before management made the bizarre decision to demote him to Triple-A. He did not play in the series against Boston.

At this point, ownership is spitting in the face of those who have been loyal through the organization’s highs and lows. A’s fans deserve better, but sadly, they won’t be getting it anytime soon.

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