The Red Sox have scored 24 runs against the Texas Rangers in the last couple of days, and in their opponents' own backyard, where it has struggled mightily in recent times. This is a BIG accomplishment for a Boston squad that got swept in three games by the defending American League champions to start the season, and after having dropped game one of this four-game series that started Monday night.
Non-Fenway Fire Power
The BoSox have hit more home runs on the road than any other team in MLB. Why that is the case, I have no idea since Fenway Park is a dream for offense-minded players (and left-handed hitters especially). But after C.J. Wilson and the Rangers bullpen shut out the depleted Sox offense (4-0) on Monday night (which was missing Jacoby Ellsbury, David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis), the Sox got Ellsbury and Ortiz back on consecutive nights, and that appeared to have a major impact on Boston's fire power, which has seen first baseman Adrian Gonzalez go deep three times in the last two days, twice during Boston's 11-5 win Tuesday and once again during its 13-2 win last night. He hadn't homered at all in August until this week and did so just twice in all of July.
Instead of Marco Scutaro batting leadoff and (part-time outfielder) Darnell McDonald next up in Terry Francona's lineup card, as was the case Sunday in Kansas City and Monday in Arlington, Texas, Ellsbury came back from three days' rest from a hit by pitch injury to take back his usual leadoff slot Tuesday and Wednesday night, with the veteran Scutaro batting second. With Adrian Gonzalez and Dustin Pedroia batting third and fourth, and Ortiz batting fifth, that is the strongest 1-5 the Sox offense can be until Youk comes back from his back injury.
Carl Crawford Comes Through
And while it was great to see Gonzalez get his power stroke back against the team he made his major league debut with in 2004, it has been even sweeter to see Carl Crawford homer last night and catch fire offensively. He had a five RBI night last night for the third time in his career, and has knocked in eight runs in his last five games. After missing quite a few games due to injury, his numbers still are way under average except for the hits column, where he is now over 100 for the season.
The problem with Crawford isn't the hits. It's the lack of walks drawn, with only 17 so far in 2011. That's why his on-base percentage is a pathetic .290 as I write this. When you have one more walk than you have stolen bases (17), that's a big problem. It probably means he isn't seeing pitches well enough or isn't nearly patient enough to work the count in his favor. And whether that is due to his wide batting stance or not doesn't matter.