The Boston Red Sox only got to play 2 of 3 games this weekend after rain forced the Sunday matinee to be postponed, but it was a big weekend for the Sox nonetheless. For the first time since September of 2019, full capacity was allowed at Fenway Park, and man did it make a difference. The stadium felt alive for the first time in a long time, and it was certainly helped by the fact that the Red Sox are putting out an exciting brand of baseball. Fans were given a couple of good games to watch this weekend too as the Sox swept Miami in their mini two game set.
In what was a rain shortened game, the Boston Red Sox defeated the Miami Marlins in 6 innings Friday night. Martin Perez pitched a solid game for the Sox, giving the team five innings while allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, ultimately pitching almost the entirety of the game. This effort, along with a huge three-run homer from Alex Verdugo in the bottom of the 5th led the Sox to a game one 5-2 victory. Another notable performance from the game Friday evening included J.D. Martinez who was 2-3 with a two-run double that got the Sox on the board early on. The Sox definitely benefited from the game being cut in the sixth as they were able to limit the use of their bullpen. They would’ve needed the pen to go four innings as Perez was pulled in the fifth, so they were saved from using a few guys in the late innings.
Saturday afternoon saw a mostly full Fenway Park with a ton of energy coming from the crowd. Nate Eovaldi got the start and was very effective in his time on the mound, going 5.1 innings, giving up no runs on 4 hits with 7 strikeouts. Although he didn’t make it through the 6th inning, Eovaldi was more than effective enough to put the Sox in a position to win. The bottom of the lineup provided the bulk of the offense in the game as the 6,7, 8 hitters, Hunter Renfroe, Bobby Dalbec, and Kevin Plawecki each had an RBI on the day, which were all essential to the Red Sox winning the battle.
The biggest moment of the day occurred in the top of the 7th when Adam Ottavino was on the mound with the bases loaded and one out, protecting a 2 run lead. He got 2 strikeouts and after the second, he came off the mound fired up with the crowd erupting with noise all around him. It was a victorious moment not only in the game, but for the Red Sox and professional sports as a whole. It showed just how exciting and breathtaking sports can be, and how much we’ve missed the atmosphere of full crowds especially in Boston over the past year-plus.
As the Red Sox move into June, they have completed about a third of the season. With the summer quickly approaching, it will be vitally important that they stay healthy as a team, especially in the bullpen. The middle of the season is where teams either begin to pull away in the standings or lose ground and skid. The bullpen is an area where the Red Sox have been decent this season, but has also been prone to struggles at times as well. Keeping the bullpen healthy will determine a lot about this team because the offense has been there all year, as has the starting pitching for the most part.
The next seven days will be a huge test for the Sox as they will take on two very good teams in the Houston Astros and New York Yankees. Their series with the Astros will begin tomorrow at 4 PM as they look to prove that they can hang with one of the best teams in the show.