Monday, June 21, 2010
HELLO, RED SOX
After starting the season 19-20 (.487), the Red Sox have won 24 of their last 32 games (.750), and have just completed an impressive 8-1 homestand. They've risen from 4th place into a tie for 2nd, only 1 game behind the Yankees. This also makes them tied for the 2nd best record in all of baseball.
Who do we have to thank for this turnabout? Clay Buchholz for one. Last night he gutted through his 10th win of the season, struggling early, but working through it, settling down, and getting the ball to Bard-Papelbon.
The resurgence of Dustin Pedroia is also a key reason behind the recent success. He was 3/4 last night with a triple, a run, and some heads-up baserunning. The Laser Show is back on as he's gone 23 for his last 64 (.359), and 20 for his last 40 (.500).
There's been the steady offensive performance of Marco Scutaro, filling in for Ellsbury atop the Sox lineup. There's been the surprising contributions of Daniel Nava, who's 10 for 27 since being called up.
In short, everything's going right for the Sox. In those first 40 games, they found ways to lose. Now they're finding ways to win.
But as I said, the Sox started 19-20, and are 24-8 since then. Reality lies somewhere in between. The Sox are not a below .500 team. Nor are they a .750 team. I'll be the wet blanket and try to temper some exuberance. The Sox have had a juicy schedule to feast on the last few weeks.
Not only do the Diamondbacks suck, they were cold when they came to Fenway. They'd lost 16 of 20. The Dodgers are your token NL "contender." And the Phillies are in the midst of an 11-19 stretch.
So while the Red Sox have gotten hot and soared up the standings again, let's not lose our minds here. Daniel Nava is not going to finish the season with a .370 average.
Then again, it's still enjoyable to watch the overrated Rays (I'll admit to overrating them myself) fall to Earth. But this season looks like it will be a turbulent roller coaster ride, and not for the faint of heart. And whoever's on their way up come October will get the jewelry.
Sox go to Denver to play the Rockies. Lester vs. Jhoulys Chacin Tuesday night.