I call it the Miracle of Yawkey Way. On August 13, the Red Sox were in last place, 13 games out of first with a record of 50 wins and 64 losses. Today they are still in last place, and now 14 games out of first but their record is 64 wins and 72 losses.
How is that a miracle? They are a game further behind than they were on August 13. Do the math!! Since August 13, they have won 14 and lost just 8, a .636 won loss percentage. The only team in baseball with a won loss percentage better than that for the season is the St. Louis Cardinals.
On August 14, Torey Lovullo took over as Red Sox interim Manager and the world, at least the Red Sox portion of it, turned! Since then, some amazing things have happened.
Jackie Bradley’s average went from .174 to .292 as he had 28 hits in 68 at bats, a .412 average. The starting pitchers, Joe Kelly, Wade Miley, Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez had a combined ERA of 2.13. Blake Swihart hit .477 with 21 hits in 44 at bats. Mookie Betts hit .348, Xander Bogaerts hit .348 and raised his average for the year to .320 third best in the league. Brock Holt’s average went from .276 to .282, Betts from .266 to .282, Swihart’s from .243 to .288, Rusney Castillo from .268 to .279.
During this period, Joe Kelly, whose ERA was 5.96 on August 13, had an ERA of 1.68, Rick Porcello, whose ERA was 5.83 on August 13, had a .60 ERA, Eduardo Rodriguez, whose ERA was 4.83 on August 13, had an ERA of 1.73 and Wade Miley, whose ERA was 4.68 on August 13, had an ERA of 3.50.
The bullpen does not seem to have been affected by the Miracle of Yawkey Way, posting a 4.01 ERA in this period but I’m sure the new President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski will work some miracle there.
Something happened in Boston that made an absolutely terrible team into a very good team at least for this short period of time. What will happen the rest of the season remains to be seen but Torey Lovullo has brought out the best in his young players.
With only 26 games left the Sox are certainly not going to make the playoffs. They have, however, shown that the young talent that they already have can be the foundation for a winning team.
As you may know, I am a Yankee fan who recently published a book ‘From Beer To Beards, Boston Baseball’s 2011-2013 Roller Coaster Ride’. If I were to write a new book about the Red Sox today the title would be ‘Red Sox Fans Can’t Wait Until Next Year’.