It’s safe to say that Trevor Story has overcome his cold start. The Red Sox second baseman was slashing .194/.276/.269 as of May 9. Two days later, he hit his first homer of the season. Four games after that, he hit his second. This past Thursday, he had one of the best games of his career.
Story was 4-for-4 with three home runs, seven RBI, and a stolen base in Boston’s 12-6 win over the Mariners. Those dingers weren’t cheap: One was to center, and the other two were over the Green Monster. In one night, he raised his season OPS by over 100 points. That dawg had returned home, and it was happy and well-fed.
That was only the first of four games against the M’s. On Friday, Story bashed a grand slam that was caught by former Red Sox rascal Jonny Gomes, sitting on the Green Monster, as Boston won, 7-3. On Saturday, he hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game in the fifth, as Boston won, 6-5. (They can’t all be homers.) On Sunday, he smacked a solo shot as Boston won in extras, 8-4. (Franchy Cordero clobbered a walkoff grand slam; they can’t all neatly fit the narrative, either.) The cure for Story’s love was a home series against a middling AL team.
One major difference in the series against Seattle: Story put the ball in play more. He struck out only twice in those four games. After Thursday’s three-homer game, the second of his career, Story hinted at how he worked on his timing to be more comfortable at the plate.
“Just very simple stuff, just trying to be more balanced and be on time,” Story said. “I think that’s about as simple as I can put it. I’m not trying to do too much and I think that works really well for me.”
After Sunday’s victory, Story is now slashing .226/.310/.438. This is what to expect from him—OK, maybe not three-homer games every week, but power and speed that compensate for how often he gets on base. The Mariners weren’t starting sadsacks out there; four of Story’s dingers were off Logan Gilbert, Robbie Ray, and promising rookie George Kirby. It’s impressive and encouraging to see a strikeout-prone hitter get the best of pitchers with solid strikeout rates. It’s also nice to see the Red Sox win six of their last seven, although they’re still under .500 and have lots of work ahead of them. The actual Trevor Story sits somewhere between his horrendous start and his torrid last week, but hopefully it’s closer to the latter.