Led by their offseason free-agent acquisition Trevor Story, the Red Sox have won nine of their last 12 games after knocking off the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. While most eyes have been on the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Celtics and the Miami Heat, the Sox have gone on an offensive barrage.
Led by Story, the Red Sox are hoping to take a page from the book of their NBA neighbors.
Trevor Story and the Red Sox are overcoming a rough start
Story is still only hitting .222 in his first season with the Sox. That just shows how poorly he started with his new team.
On May 8, the Red Sox second baseman had no home runs and had driven in 10 runs. Sox fans grew impatient after one month. In the last three weeks, Story smacked nine home runs and has upped his RBI total to 37.
“Times like this are rare,” Story said, per Joey Pollizze of MLB.com. “(It’s) a great feeling. I’m trying to just live in the moment and have good at-bats when I can.”
Story said he’s learned to make a minor adjustment which has led to his turnaroud.
“Controlling my zone has been huge and not missing my pitch when I get it,” Story said. “That’s been the key. When I get my pitch and take my swing at it, I want the at-bat to end there. I’ve done a better job at that lately.”
Story’s sudden surge has gotten the Red Sox back on track. At one point, the Red Sox were 10-19 and nothing was going right. After Sunday’s win over the Orioles, they are 23-25.
Sox manager Alex Cora said Story seems to be more relaxed at the plate and is no longer pressing.
“He’s doing his part right now,” Cora said. “And it seems like his feet are on the ground now and he’s able to relax.”
Story and the Sox hope to take a page out of the Celtics book
A tough start to the season is what nobody wants, but the Sox could certainly learn from the Celtics. The Celtics were 23-24 at one point in the season and doubt crept in.
Like Story and the Sox, there were new faces in the Celtics organization, and the struggles were real. Ime Udoka took over for Brad Stevens, and the start of his NBA head coaching career wasn’t smooth.
The Celtics blew several big leads late in games. Frustration set in with the players as Marcus Smart publicly called out Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for their selfish play. Udoka questioned Boston’s effort multiple times through the first half of the season.
Through 50 games, the Celtics went 25-25. Fans grew impatient. Many wrote them off. Now they face the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals beginning Thursday.
Story and the Sox hope they can take a page from the Celtics book.
“It’s cool to see,” Cora said of Story’s recent success. “A few weeks ago, everybody was getting on (Story) because he was struggling. This was the player that we envisioned and it’s fun to watch.”
Through 50 games, baseball and basketball wasn’t much fun to watch for Boston fans. Both teams took a lot of heat from the fans. Suddenly, those Celtics fans will be cheering all the way into June. The Red Sox hope to continue their success through October.