McAdam: Red Sox have hit their stride on the road
What we learned from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the Orioles
BALTIMORE -- What we learned last night from the Red Sox’ 5-2 win over the Orioles at Camden Yards.
The Red Sox have emerged as a very good road team
Earlier in the season, much was made of the Red Sox' second-half schedule and its demands, with almost two-thirds of their final two months on the road.
But with nine road games left in the season -- and 12 overall -- the Red Sox have more than handled the challenge.
The Sox have won five of their last six on the road and since the All-Star break, have gone a league-best 21-14 (.600) away from home.
They've won their past three road series and you'd have to go back to the first week of August to find the last road they lost (to the Dodgers). They've also won the first game in four of their last five road series.
No American League team has won more games on the road this than the Sox.
It's possible the Red Sox could have numerous players receiving MVP votes
Mookie Betts may well be the favorite at this point, given the sort of breakout season he's enjoyed. David Ortiz, though limited to DH duties, nonetheless leads the A.L. in extra-base hits and doubles and is among the leaders in RBI, OPS and slugging percentage.
Then there's Dustin Pedroia, who's enjoying a season similar to his MVP year of 2009 and has helped lead the offense for the past six weeks from the leadoff spot as he chases Jose Altuve for the league batting title.
Finally, there's Hanley Ramirez, who leads all of baseball in RBI in the second half, seems poised to become Player of the Month for September and has been on a power tear for the last month.
Betts and Ortiz will almost certainly be among the Top 5 vote-getters, but expect some down-ballot support for Pedroia and perhaps Ramirez, too.
Something's happened to the Orioles' fan base
Monday night should have featured a huge crowd at Camden Yards, still one of the best places to watch a game in all of Major League Baseball.
The Orioles went into the game just three games out of first, playing the Red Sox, the only team ahead of them in the A.L. East standings.
Warm night, battle for first place, September pennant chase...
But there were fewer than 19,000 on hand for this one.
It was the same situation when division rivals New York and Toronto -- also contenders, battling for a playoff spot -- came to town in recent weeks. Most weeknight crowds have been in the area of 20,000 -- give or take.
Fully half of the crowd Monday night were cheering for the Red Sox.
The Orioles were non-contenders for a long time, but have been in the race more often than not in the last four years. They boast a good team with a young superstar in Manny Machado.
So, where are the fans?