It’s Week-In-Review time! Here’s what was happening in Red Sox Nation, 8/29/22 - 9/4/22.
The Sox are hot! They dropped their first two games on Monday and Tuesday to the Twins but responded by rattling off five straight against those same Twins and the Texas Rangers. 67-68 with 27 games left. 23-4 the rest of the way gets you to 90 wins. Why not us?
Boston is on the upswing, their run differential reflects as much and, if not for a 10-run evening from the Twins on Tuesday, it would look even better. The Red Sox scored five or more runs in all seven games they played last week
Player of the Week
Xander Bogaerts was a menace all week long for the Twins and Rangers. He entered Sunday’s game with a .536/.563/.786 slash line and a .813 win probability added for the week. That’s before he went 3-4 with a run scored and two RBI in the series finale against Texas. Xander finished the week 18-31 (.580) with five doubles, a homer, 10 RBI, eight runs scored and three walks to just three strikeouts.
Someone’s going to pay him a lot of money to play baseball and I think it should continue to be the Red Sox.
I want to honorably mention Kaleb Ort here for his 4.2 innings of scoreless relief this past week. Good week, just not good enough to overshadow the monster one that Xander had.
Play of the Week
Connor Wong has been up and down the Red Sox system over the past two years and had been serviceable through limited action. But Christian Vazquez is no longer in the picture and Wong, one of this season’s September call-ups, will probably have plenty of opportunities to audition for the 2023 team a little early.
He took a step in the right direction on Friday by slamming his first career home run in a 9-1 win over the Rangers.
Connor Wong's 1st career home run was DESTROYED. pic.twitter.com/6OhDzrQhLK— Red Sox (@RedSox) September 3, 2022
Nemesis of the Week
It was a good week for the Sox so picking this one is hard, but we’ll give the nod to Gio Urshela — a former Yankee that went 4-10 with three RBIs and a walk and three games this week as his Twins took two of three from the Sox.
Favorite Red Sox Content
Jonathan Papelbon hung out with the Savannah Bananas this week and is making Tik Toks! Check back next week when, lord willing, Jonny Damon is doing the same.
Bold Prediction for Next Week
I think Brayan Bello comes through with another big night in his next time out. Talking 6+ innings, no runs, 7+ strikeouts and less than a couple of walks. I think he’ll ride a hot streak through the middle innings and hand off a clean slate to the bullpen. Can’t say I have any other reasoning than I just love his stuff and think he’s going to be a big part of this franchise’s rotation for a while. He’s never gone more than six innings in the big leagues and I think that changes this week.
Favorite Thing I Ate While Watching/Listening to a Game
If you’re ever in Pittsburgh, I’d encourage you to visit Benny Fierro’s in the Southside for a very large slice of very good pizza. I enjoyed one while watching the Red Sox win on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Sox kick off a stretch of eight straight against division opponents with three-game sets on the road against the Rays and Orioles. They’ll be back home for two games against the Yankees after that.
This Week in Red Sox History
On September 1, 1939, the Red Sox traded future Hall of Famer Pee Wee Reese to the Brooklyn Dodgers for $35,000 and two players to be named later. Reese went on to play in 10 All-Star games over his 18-year career for the dynastic Brooklyn Dodgers, who won seven National League Pennants during his tenure and won the 1955 World Series.
Reese’s finest moment came off the field, however. He was an active supporter of Jackie Robinson, who was breaking into the Major Leagues while Reese was the Dodgers’ star shortstop. He refused to sign a petition created by his teammates that protested Robinson’s promotion and when asked if he was afraid of Robinson taking his position said “If he can take my job, he’s entitled to it”.
You can read more about “baseball’s finest moment” between Reese and Robinson in this fine column by Bob Herbert from 2005.
The Red Sox lost a really good player and better person that day.