BOSTON -- You have to consider the cast, the group of players who have been powering the Red Sox lately.
Two players in particular have hit home run after home run for a club that was devoid of the long ball for so much of the season.
“It's been [Rafael] Devers and Benny [Andrew Benintendi],” manager John Farrell said. “Those two guys of late have supplied the power for us. So it's good to see the ball travel as it's been. What we're seeing the last two days from Rafael Devers is nothing short of impressive.”
Great talents. But they need some help.
Consider who else has been contributing as the Red Sox rattled off win after win -- or rather, who hasn’t.
Doug Fister, who walked four in a disappointing outing, has taken over for David Price. Farrell said Price would throw pregame on Tuesday.
Brock Holt, hitting .197 now, was at second base on Monday in place of Dustin Pedroia. (Eduardo Nunez, who is an unstoppable typhoon, did have another three hits as the DH.)
There’s no significant update on Pedroia at this point. He's getting treatment and strengthening his left knee.
It’s kind of incredible that even without Price and Pedroia, the Red Sox have won 10 of 12 entering Tuesday. You can argue the Sox have done so without several other guys too.
The strong play in absence of Price and Pedroia is a testament to a deep and capable roster, a team that was projected to be neck and neck with the Indians as the best in the American League this year.
But it’s also an indication there’s a bubble that might burst -- unless some of the standards get going.
In August, Mookie Betts has a .220/.319/.341 line.
“Last night he chased a couple sliders off the plate,” Farrell said. “For periods of time, Mookie, I think, has gotten back into that approach that he had a year ago for the vast majority of the season that was driving balls into right field or right center field on pitches away from him, reacting and turning on balls that were in.
“Then there’s been times where it looks like he gets a little pull happy and there’s some ball in the air. I can’t say that he’s expanding the strike zone wholesale, that’s not the case. Because he’s still taking his walks. We’re just still trying -- he and a couple other guys, we’re still trying to have them hit stride which they haven’t yet for a lengthy period of time.”
Jackie Bradley Jr.’s in that group. He has a .179/.273/.256 line this month. Hanley Ramirez, who said his shoulders are feeling good with treatment every day, is at .214/.333/.393 this month.
"Yeah [I feel comfortable], three games in New York, first game: homer, double,” Ramirez said. “Second game, one hit. Third game, four strikeouts."