Red Sox rising star Mookie Betts catching fire at the right time

BOSTON, MA - JULY 18: Mookie Betts
BOSTON, MA - JULY 18: Mookie Betts /

Mookie Betts led the Boston Red Sox offense with two home runs and a triple while knocking in 6 runs to help beat the A’s 11-1.

Mookie learned how to hit! Uh-oh! Okay, now that I’ve gotten my mandatory Happy Gilmore reference out of the way I can talk to you about the heat wave that is taking Boston by storm. Its Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts.

We here at Chowder & Champions are no strangers to what Mookie is capable of. Unfortunately, he’s been under-performing as of late.

Coming into last night’s game, Mookie was hitting .261 with an OPS of .777 to go along with 19 home runs and 24 stolen bases. These numbers aren’t awful, but they’re a far cry from Mookie’s MVP caliber 2016 campaign, in which he hit .318 with 31 home runs, 26 stolen bases, and a .897 OPS.

It seems, however, as though Mookie is just now hitting his stride. At the perfect time I might add. In his last 6 games, Mookie is hitting .360 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, and 3 home runs.

The Chili effect

The Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis is more of a diagnostician if you ask me. He’s no less of a miracle worker than Miracle Max in The Princess Bride.

BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 09: Mookie Betts
BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 09: Mookie Betts /

In an article from The MetroWest Daily News, Tim Britton speaks of Davis’ efforts to remedy Mookie’s swing. He says that “Davis had been kept up at night by the question”.

Finally, Chili Davis came up with a solution and I can only imagine charged into the batting cages like George Costanza figuring out the roommate-switch. “I GOT IT!”

"Tim Britton quotes Chili Davis as saying “His body was going away from the ball, and he couldn’t catch up to the slider that’s running away from him. Because his body was going away from the ball, his swing got long, and then he couldn’t get to the ball inside. When we stopped looking for stride length and started looking for stride direction, he regained balance.”"

Boston salutes you, Chili Davis, and all that you do for the Red Sox offense.

More from Chowder and Champions

You Betts Believe

It’s a small sample size, but I do believe that Mookie has turned a corner. His balance is back and his confidence has been renewed. There’s no more dangerous a hitter than a confident one.

If his production at the plate continues, Mookie can do more of what he does best: wreak havoc on the basepaths. With 24 stolen bases, Mookie will surpass last year’s total (26), and has a chance to swipe 30 bags.

The Sox offense has always had potential to explode in any given game. Consistency has eluded them for the entire season. With Dustin Pedroia back in the lineup and Mookie finding himself, the Red Sox are in good shape heading into the season’s home stretch.

Next: Three thoughts on the Boston Red Sox sign-stealing scandal

If their most dangerous weapon can peak towards the end of the season, the Red Sox will be a fearsome opponent.