Maybe it's the proximity to Popeye's Chicken on Brookline Ave. Maybe it's the warm weather or the comfortable and familiar confines of the ballpark. Whatever it is, the Red Sox are back home, back to winning, and almost back to .500.
The offense has exploded, led by David Ortiz, who added 3 hits, a pair of doubles, an RBI and 2 runs yesterday. He's hitting at a .444 clip. And slugging .694.
The Sox have scored 31 runs in their 3 home games. This after scoring 22 in their 6 road games.
There have been some good pitching performances, too. Beckett tossed a gem on Opening Day (8 innings, 1 run), and the bullpen hasn't allowed a run since the 9th inning of Opening Day. You can feel waves of optimism emanating from Fenway Park. Beckett's back, Buchholz at least managed to go 7, Doubront did okay, and the offense is producing. Why not be positive?
Here's why not: The Sox have been scoring in bunches. Which is good. But it's been either feast or famine. The Sox have scored 53 runs as a team this year. 43 of those came in only 4 games. They've scored 10 runs in their remaining 5 games. More than 80% of their offense has come in less than half their games.
I was more impressed with yesterday's 6 runs than the 13 and 12 scored on Saturday and Friday. Because it was legitimately impressive production. Not just beating up bad pitching. This team's biggest problem last year was consistency. They could jump on subpar pitching, put up big innings, score a dozen runs, and that's great. But then they struggled to consistently score against decent pitching.
And with the rotation as unpredictable as it is, the Sox will win and lose with their bats. And with inconsistent bats, this means that the 2012 Red Sox will be just as streaky, just as inconsistent as the 2011 edition.
Bard faces James Shields this morning, in what should be a very good test for the Sox' hitters.