Boston Red Sox

Trevor Story’s first season with the Red Sox is becoming quite the series of highs and lows.

Story went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts on Thursday night at Fenway Park, as the Red Sox came up short in their bid to sweep the Oakland A’s in a 4-3 loss. Story is now 2-for-17 at the plate with six strikeouts in his last four games, and just a .284 OPS. He has yet to homer in the month of June, posting a .588 OPS over that span.

Contrast that with a seven-game stretch in mid-May, when Story batted .345 with seven homers, 21 RBIs, and a 1.463 OPS. He has no homers, five RBIs, and a .558 OPS in 18 games since that ridiculous stretch, which previously earned him AL Player of the Week honors.

Overall, Story is batting .218 with nine homers and a .707 OPS. Those numbers are certainly below the expectations that came with Story’s six-year, $140 million deal in free agency. The extreme highs and lows of his streaky hitting has become his … story of the season.

If this is how his 2022 is going to ebb and flow, Red Sox fans are in for a hell of a roller coaster ride with their high-priced second baseman.

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.

PHOTOS: Red Sox cruise to 6-1 win over A's at Fenway

Mazz: Good morning, the Red Sox have awoken

  • Jun 7, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Boston Red Sox bullpen coach Kevin Walker (55) celebrates the victory against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Jun 7, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Boston Red Sox bullpen coach Kevin Walker (55) celebrates the victory against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    While you were sleeping … or sweating the NBA Finals … or lamenting the firing of Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy … be advised:

    The Red Sox – while still troublingly flawed – seem to have awoken.

    After all, in defeating the freefalling Los Angeles Angels by a 6-5 score in extra innings last night, the Red Sox won for the very first time this season when trailing after six innings, improving to 1-18 in such circumstances. The win was Boston’s sixth straight and made then 19-8 since a gruesome 10-19 start, which has done more than erase such a dreadful beginning. It has thrust the Sox back into playoff contention – incredibly, the Sox own the newly-created, third American League Wild Card spot – and breathed life into a season that was, well, gasping for air.

    For now, at least, they’re back in it.

    In no particular order, here’s why:

    Starting pitching

    ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 06: Michael Wacha #52 and Christian Vazquez #7 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate a 1-0 win against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 06, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 06: Michael Wacha #52 and Christian Vazquez #7 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate a 1-0 win against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 06, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Sounds crazy, right? But it’s true. While the Garrett Whitlock debate rages on – starter or reliever? – Sox starters entered last night ranked fourth in the AL in ERA. Monday’s complete game by Michael Wacha (now 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA) was the Sox’ third complete game of the season, easily the most in the majors. Manager Alex Cora has leaned more on his starters of late, a necessity given the volatility of the Boston bullpen.

  • Rafael Devers

    Jun 4, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) hits a two run RBI single against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

    Jun 4, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) hits a two run
    RBI single against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

    Let’s put it this way: at the moment, his numbers stack up quite well with those of Mike Trout, the Angels outfielder generally regarded as the best player in baseball. Devers is batting .342 with a .977 OPS, 12 home runs, 31 RBI and 43 runs scored, spearheading a Red Sox offense that now leads the American League in runs scored and batting average while ranking third in OPS.

  • Balance in the lineup

    Jun 7, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story (10) celebrates the victory against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Jun 7, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Trevor Story (10) celebrates the victory against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Don’t misunderstand. J.D Martinez (second), Devers (fourth) and Xander Bogaerts (sixth) all rank among the American League leaders in batting average, but the Sox have been getting contributions all over the place. Trevor Story has a .957 OPS with 30 RBI over the last 25 games. Over the same period of time, Christian Vazquez is batting .333. Franchy Cordero – yes, that one – has 17 RBI has a .795 OPS at Fenway Park. Most everybody has done something, which is how it was supposed to be from the beginning.

  • Tanner Houck anchoring the bullpen

    Jun 7, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Tanner Houck (89) reacts after striking out Los Angeles Angels left fielder Jo Adell (7) to end the ninth inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Jun 7, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Tanner Houck (89) reacts after striking out Los Angeles Angels left fielder Jo Adell (7) to end the ninth inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    It sure took a while, but it feels like the Sox are starting to settle into some effective roles in the bullpen. Tanner Houck pitched two innings last night – the eighth and the ninth – before handing it off to left-hander Matt Strahm, who recorded the save. The Sox still need help out there, but Houck appears to have at least given Cora someone to help replace Whitlock.

  • The schedule has been favorable – and will continue to be

    Jun 6, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Michael Wacha (52) celebrates with manager Alex Cora after the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Jun 6, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Michael Wacha (52) celebrates with manager Alex Cora after the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Have the Sox hit a soft spot in the schedule? Hell yes. But there was a time when we fairly wondered if they could beat anyone, so just swallow your pride for now. The Sox have two more games with the spiraling Angels and three with the Mariners before returning home for three more with the dreadful Oakland A’s. If they just take care of business and keep winning series, they could fortify their place as buyers at the annual trading deadline.

    Of course, we cannot guarantee that the Sox will make a major move when they get there, but let’s cross that bridge when we get to it.

NEXT: Rafael Devers Stays Hot In Red Sox Win Over Oakland