Boston Red Sox: 3 keys to taking down the Tampa Bay Rays

Alex Verdugo #99, Enrique Hernandez #5, Hunter Renfroe #10 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Alex Verdugo #99, Enrique Hernandez #5, Hunter Renfroe #10 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
Hansel Robles #56 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

No. 1: Keep the walks to a minimum

In the wild card game, the Red Sox pitchers issued a total of zero walks. It was huge, because it allowed them to avoid working around unnecessary traffic on the basepaths. Conversely, the Yankees administered seven walks, four of which ended up coming around to score.

This was the biggest difference between the Sox and the Yankees. Boston was patient at the plate and earned a free pass seven times. The Yankees were much more aggressive, and ended up making things way to easy for the Red Sox pitching staff.

Boston shouldn’t expect the Rays to take a similar approach in this series, especially after how poorly it went for New York. They will have to grind out at-bats at times, but it’s important that they find a way to get outs rather than sending people to first for free. The problem is, Boston has struggled with walks all season long, especially in the bullpen.

This is the biggest key for the Red Sox in this series. If they can limit the amount of walks they give up in these games, they probably will win the series. Boston’s pitchers seemingly always put themselves in these grave situations because they can’t get outs. They avoided that trouble at Fenway Park on Tuesday night, and they easily dispatched the Yanks as a result.

It’s no secret that some of these guys on Boston have some nasty stuff, but they’ve got to find ways to get guys out rather than letting them on base. Attacking batters won’t always work, but it worked quite well against New York, and they do have some guys who can overpower hitters with their stuff.

dark. Next. 3 stars from Red Sox Wild Card win

The Sox pitched scared for most of the second half of the season, and it cost them the top spot in the AL East. With the season on the line, the time to pitch scared is over. Attack these hitters and get some outs, otherwise the only out this team will get is out of the playoffs.