Red Sox homers fail to impress

October 4, 2007 at 3:54 pm 3 comments

It’s great that the Boston Red Sox won their playoff opener against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but they way they did it suggests that their offense is more one-dimensional than that of their World Series squad of 2004.
The Red Sox defeated the Angels, 4-0, Wednesday night at Fenway Park, behind a solo homer from Kevin Youkilis and a two-run shot from David Ortiz. Home runs accounted for three of the Red Sox runs and for two of the team’s nine hits.
Home runs impress when they are infrequent and unexpected, not when hit at a Mark McGwire- or Barry Bonds-like pace as they are today. Their frequency suggests that those who run major-league baseball teams are too impatient to enjoy a slower-paced, more nuanced offense of slap hits, bunts, steals, and sacrifices. Alas, by doing so, they make offenses predictable and dilute the achievement of hitting a pitch 400 feet and out of a ballpark.
Perhaps Julio Lugo can become the 2007 version of Johnny Damon or Dave Roberts, or perhaps the Sox can get more solid pitching performances like the one submitted by Josh Beckett Wednesday night to camouflage any offensive shortcomings. For it’s a combination of power and speed that wins championships, and right now the Sox seem overstocked in the first category and deficient in the second.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. firedannyainge  |  October 5, 2007 at 1:02 am

    I am not sure if I read this correctly so excuse me if I am wrong on this part but are you saying the Red Sox have no speed?

    This is what you wrote. Power being first and speed being second.
    We have plenty of speed. Jacoby Ellsbury, Coco, Lugo. Heck even Drew can steal a base. If anything we are lacking the power after Ortiz and Manny.

    “For it’s a combination of power and speed that wins championships, and right now the Sox seem overstocked in the first category and deficient in the second.”

    I agree with you that I am not impressed with out hitting. In fact all year long that has been out downfall but 4 runs should be good enough to win any game if the pitcher is doing his job.

  • 2. Close Encounters of the Red Sox Kind « Opposite Fields  |  October 25, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    […] Series in four seasons, and their batting and pitching both seem to be peaking (even if, as I mentioned when they began their playoff quest, they seem overly dependent on home runs). If they can win 2-1 […]

  • 3. Richard Tenorio  |  October 25, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    To commenter #1, I am sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I agree that Crisp, Ellsbury, and Lugo (and even Drew) all present good base-stealing options for the Sox. I hope the team doesn’t overlook these options in considering how to add runs to the scoreboard. Red Sox management has rarely brought base-stealing to the portfolio. I was happy when Otis Nixon joined the team in 1994, and when Lee Tinsley and Dwayne Hosey brought a bit of speed in 1995. None of it lasted, but it helped make the Sox a little less one-dimensional and a little more challenging for opposing pitchers, something that Terry Francona should keep in mind.

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