Through forty three games the Boston Red Sox have proven that they have one of the deepest if not deepest and potent offenses in all of baseball. That’s without outfielder Mookie Betts who is considered one of the best young outfielders in baseball having hit his stride. The offense is a big reason why entering play on Sunday they are a game behind Baltimore for the division lead. However if this team is going to win a championship in 2016 the rotation must step up.
On Saturday Joe Kelly retuned to the rotation from the disabled list to throw 6 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball while allowing only one hit in his first start in a month. Cleveland came into the game having won five straight and was the hottest team in baseball but proved no match for Kelly. So far this season the Red Sox pitching has been very inconsistent besides starters Steven Wright and Rick Porcello. David Price, the Sox new ace who received a contract over two hundred million has looked like his old self his last two starts however his ERA still sits at 5.53. Clay Bucholz the Sox number two starter’s ERA sits at 5.92 and he’s in danger of losing his job. Kelly however gave people a reason to forget about that as in his return he showed a control of his fastball and off-speed pitches that have had people raving about his potential since the Red Sox acquired him and Allen Craig at the 2014 trade deadline for John Lackey.
If Kelly can keep pitching to his potential the Red Sox would have a formidable front four to match any other team in the American League. In spring training last year Kelly predicted he would win the AL Cy Young and even though that didn’t go as planned on Saturday he showed why he made that claim shutting down the hottest team in baseball with ease. If Kelly can stay healthy and consistent the rotation looks formidable with a lineup that makes other teams starting pitchers cringe.
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