Red Sox Are Good, Patriots Draft a QB, and Other News


The Red Sox celebrate a J.D. Martinez home run in the dugout. Photo by Billie Weiss.

Another two months have gone by in Boston sports and there is a lot to cover.

  • The Red Sox season is finally underway and they are (surprisingly) good! After being the first team to 20 losses in 2020, the Red Sox were the first team to 20 wins in 2021. The team has been carried for the most part by their 2-6 hitters: Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Christian Vazquez. That combination has been a nightmare for opposing pitching and the Sox have without a doubt one of the best offenses in the league.
  • The pitching has also been solid with starting pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Richards, Nick Pivetta, and Martin Perez all giving quality starts.
  • However, the team does have some very visible weaknesses in both the bottom of the lineup and the bullpen. Outfielder Franchy Cordero has been awful, struggling to even make contact while hitting. Breakout 2020 star Bobby Dalbec has also struggled, although his three home runs have shown the potential that still exists.
  • With the bullpen, Matt Barnes has been one of the best closers in baseball and seems untouchable on the mound. Rookie Garrett Whitlock has also been excellent. After that, the bullpen is filled with a good deal of mediocrity. Adam Ottavino has not been able to have the control he needs to establish himself as a solid set up man and pitchers like Austin Brice and Josh Taylor have been borderline unwatchable.
  • Help might be on the way as the Red Sox recently signed Brandon Workman who was formerly on the team from 2013 until the 2020 season, when he was traded to the Phillies. This could end up being one of the biggest fleeces in recent memory as Boston acquired Nick Pivetta, who is 5-0 with a 3.19 ERA, and prospect Connor Seabold in exchange for Brandon Workman, who is now back on the Sox, and Heath Hembree, who is now with the Cincinnati Reds.
  • The Patriots have also made headlines, drafting quarterback Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick in the NFL draft. This pick already feels like one of the more influential in Pats history as Jones is in line to be the quarterback Bill Belichick will work around.
  • Speaking in his post-draft press conference, Jones spoke on his role with the team, saying, “Coach Belichick’s done a great job establishing that throughout his time in New England and I just got to learn how to be a great teammate and do my job and stick to what they’re telling me to do.”

    Mac Jones with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the New England Patriots as the number 15 overall pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
  • Since the draft, Belichick has reinforced that Cam Newton is still the starter, and Jones will need to earn his spot if he wants that job. While nobody wants Cam to lose, if his poor play leads to Mac Jones becoming the Patriots starter, a new era will have begun with New England football.
  • As for the Bruins, they concluded the regular season as the third place team in the Eastern Division. On Saturday they will play the first game of their first round series against the Washington Capitals where they will look to move on to play the winner of the Penguins and Islanders.
  • Two standouts from the last stretch of the season were rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman and former MVP Taylor Hall. Through ten starts, Swayman has recorded a 7-3 record with two shutouts and a .945 save percentage. His excellent play has established him as Tuukka Rask’s backup over Jaroslav Halak. As for Hall, Boston acquired him at the trade deadline from the last place Buffalo Sabres. Despite scoring just twice this year for Buffalo, Hall has turned on the jets in Boston scoring eight more times, with three goals in his final five games of the regular season. He gives David Krejci key help and will act as another important goal scorer for the Bruins in the playoffs.

    Taylor Hall has fit in very well with the Boston Bruins. Photo by Jim Davis.
  • As for the Celtics, their struggles were perfectly described by Forum writer Aristidis Armoundas, so check out his article on the Celtics season here.