Sox Pitching Was Bad, But JD Was Good

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Boston’s opening series against the Seattle Mariners didn’t go as planned.  Unfortunately Red Sox Nation watched their team lose three out of their first four games.  The season has just begun, so losing the opening series isn’t the end of the world.  However, it still stinks to lose three out of four games to a supposed rebuilding organization.  But hey, at least they didn’t drop their opening series at home against the Baltimore Orioles.

Photo courtesy of chowderandchampions.com
Boston’s starting pitchers weren’t all that good, and their defense didn’t do them any favors either.  It is never a good thing to commit six errors in four games.  For a more in depth look into the Red Sox starting pitching staff, check out our Editor in Chief’s write up.

Boston Red Sox 2018 World Series ChampsIt all wasn’t bad.  J.D. Martinez has picked up in 2019 right where he left off.  He has started this season with an absolute bang.  Martinez has continuously shown why he is the anchor of one of the league’s most feared offenses, and why he deserved the contract Boston gave him last February.

The Red Sox’ best hitter recorded seven hits in the opening series for a batting average over .400.  That also included two home runs.  He hit one to dead center that was absolutely smashed. It isn’t easy to hit the ball out of that part of Seattle’s home ball park.  Martinez also drove in seven runs and walked twice.  It is good to see Martinez impacting the game right away.

The stats are obviously great, but J.D.’s swing looks every bit as good as it has over the last few seasons.  Let’s dive into the Statcast data a little bit.  Martinez averaged an exit velocity of around 96 mph.  That mark is considered above league average.  That number is even more impressive because of how often J.D. makes contact.   Martinez has an incredible ability to put the barrel on the baseball.  Matter of fact, he has been amongst the best in the MLB when it comes to barrel percentage over the last few years.

What is with all the Statcast stuff?  Well, I just finished the book titled Astroball and it speaks extensively in the benefits from using Statcast type data.  It actually has a section dedicated to J.D. Martinez and how he used these tools to develop his swing.  I would highly recommend checking it out if you are a baseball fan. 


Flaco got things started off by driving in Mookie Betts with a line drive single on Opening Day.  J.D. Martinez also almost sparked the offense with a three run home run in the series finale.  That homer got the team right back into what was looking like a blowout loss.  He was dangerous from the beginning to the end of the set, and I think that will be a common theme again in 2019, as it was for Boston in 2018.

Watching Martinez at the plate is a thing of beauty.  He has turned himself into one of the best hitters in the entire league.  He can drive the ball to all fields.  In a day and age where power hitters just swing for the fences every at bat, J.D.’s ability to hit for average is an outlier.

The Red Sox pitching wasn’t good to start the season, but the offense was solid, so there are reasons to be positive.  Led by J.D. Martinez and company, this Sox team should compete for another title.  Let’s hope the pitching staff can get right quickly so Boston can rattle off some wins as they continue on their West Coast trip.


Follow me on Twitter @Matty_wests1de

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Sox Pitching Was Bad, But JD Was Good
Sox Pitching Was Bad, But JD Was Good
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