The Boston Red Sox haven’t seen the same Mitch Moreland from the beginning of the season as of late – what happened to Mitchy-Two-Bags?
Mitch Moreland started off slow in Boston. What didn’t take long to accumulate was his doubles count. He had a streak of seven straight games with at least one double, totaling eight during those games. Moreland finished the month of April with 12 doubles and a .273/2/11 slash. Each month after that, the doubles numbers have dropped.
May saw better success with the home run ball slashing .279/4/17 with just four doubles, just a third from the prior month. Still, Mitchy-Two-Bags was on a healthy pace to get over 40 doubles during the course of the season. June again saw more pop as the home runs number went up but the overall average dipped. His slash was .242/6/13 in June with just two doubles. July has been an absolute nightmare. Perhaps pitchers caught on.
During the month of July, Moreland has had just 11 hits in 74 at bats. Last night’s performance actually brought his batting average up from .129 to .149. Prior to tonight’s action, Mitchy-Two-Bags only had one double. He finally hit his 20th on the season. It’s the 5th time in his career that he’s hit the 20 mark and the third consecutive season. With four more doubles it will tie for the 2nd most in his career.
Still, we ask, was he just getting lucky with just missing home runs and just managing doubles instead? Or, could it be that pitchers have finally figured out how to pitch to him. Last season, Moreland slashed .233/22/60/1 over 147 games. So far in 2017, he’s slashed .239/12/45. While Moreland will probably break the 60 RBI total, the 20+ home run mark seems to be a long shot. The Sox first baseman had hit 20+ in both 2015 and 2016.
Moreland has a couple of months left to turn it around. A nice .300/4/15 month would certainly take away some pressure and would cheer up fans that at this point need the pick me up. The Sox just lost their first place hold over the Yankees. They are also currently last in the American League in home runs with 104 and Moreland is definitely one of the players the team is counting on going forward to hit them out of the park.
With the Royals series now over, the Sox will play the Indians for three games and then finish up their lengthy ten game home stand with a four game series against the south siders from Chicago.
Photo Credit – Hannah Foslien – Getty Images