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By the numbers: Red Sox continue their offensive explosion in ALCS Game 3 rout against Astros

It’s a tough time to be a pitcher against the Red Sox.

Boston scored the Astros for huge point totals in back-to-back ALCS wins, first beating Houston 9-5 in Game 2 at Minute Maid Park to tie the series in one game each, then s ‘flee to a 12-3 Match 3 win on Monday at Fenway Park.

There were a lot of shocking numbers, especially the early inning totals, that make Boston an all-time attacking powerhouse.

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Sporting News takes a look at some of those stats behind the team’s recent impressive departures.

Early release

The Red Sox make sure they establish themselves as the favorites early to win.

In eight playoff games, the Red Sox have scored 35 runs in innings 1-3. Boston threw 11 home runs in those early gusts.

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That homerun tally is already tied for the fifth most homerun count in the first three innings of a single playoff series in MLB history, according to data from Stathead. Other teams that have scored pitchers for double-digit homers early in the playoffs:

Team Year HR
Rays 2008 15
Food 2015 12
Rays 2020 12
Dodgers 2020 12
Astros 2004 11
Red Sox 2021 11
Cardinals 2004 ten
Cardinals 2011 ten

The scary part is that the Red Sox have at least three more games to go in their 2021 playoffs. They’ll be on their way to a record if they can keep up what they’ve done.

History of home runs

Can’t get enough of the long ball? The Red Sox can’t either, at least not in these playoffs. Let’s just say the laundry cart is already racking up mileage.

Halfway through Game 3, ESPN’s Marly Rivera tweeted that the Red Sox were nearing the franchise record for most home runs in a single season, which they set in 2003 with 20. A few innings and explosions from JD Martinez and Rafael Devers later, Boston had tied the game, needing only eight games to do so.

As Rivera noted, the 2004 Astros also hit 20 home runs in their first eight playoff games to set the MLB record. The 2021 Red Sox set the American League record on Monday. The 2004 Astros lost in the NLCS to the Cardinals, who were then swept in four games by the Red Sox in the World Series.

The scary swing of Kiké Hernandez

There might not be a better bat in Boston’s roster right now than Hernandez’s.

With two more hits on Monday, Hernandez increased his playoff total to 18 in eight games, tying him to Hideki Matsui (2004) and Thurman Munson (1976) for the most hits in eight games since 1903, according to Stathead.

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Plus, Hernandez consistently puts the ball in play. He’s only hit four times in the playoffs. He scored five times. In other words, he ran around the bases more times than he returned to the shelter.

He left Monday’s game with a batting average of 2.027 OPS and 0.615 in the ALCS.

And it’s not all luck. Even by Baseball Savant’s expected numbers, he was one of the best in the playoff game. His xBA is .388, his xOBP is .414, and his xSLG is .817.

OK, so maybe there is a bit of luck, but a slash of 0.388 / 0.414 / 0.817 would probably be enough on its own to earn him the ALCS MVP award.

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