Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wild West

I’ve said it before. Road losses don’t bother me too much. I still only ask for a .500 record on the road. I’m aware that the Sox are currently well below that, but I expect that to even out eventually. There are still several series against the likes of KC and Chicago to come. My only issue with the weekend sweep is the team it was against. It’s possible that the Sox could be facing the Angels in the playoffs. We saw last year that head-to-head victories can be important. If the Sox hadn’t won the season series against the Indians, who knows what would have happened. I don’t imagine they would have advanced to the Series, let alone win it. So, it’s discouraging to see them drop three in LA that they should/could have won. It certainly exposed a glaring weakness the Sox have in the middle relief. I can’t think of anyone that I’m comfortable with entering the game every time. I know that everyone can’t be a Papelbon. But, it’d be nice to have some arms that I at least expect to hold leads. At this point, I’m hoping the bullpen can hold leads. I assume this is something that Theo will address before the deadline. I don’t know what is out there, and I imagine they’ll have to overpay for any of it. There are certainly the prospects in the system to get something done. It could be an interesting week or so.

I could discuss concerns with the offense, but I’m hoping that all that will be fixed when Papi returns at the end of the week. I certainly hope that Theo’s not thinking about any major acquisitions of a bat (aka Teixeira). The line-up will be just fine. The struggles of Ellsbury as of late concern me a bit, but that’s really a minor issue. It’s not like he was ever expected to provide the meat of the production. Pedroia and Youkilis at the top should get on base plenty in front of the fully recharged middle. Hopefully Ellsbury hasn’t lost confidence in his running game. That was a nice weapon to pull out in key times. I’m guessing though, that now teams know they have to pick up the pace a bit when he’s around. He’ll have to adjust to account for that.
Hopefully the Sox stay focused in Seattle. It must be hard to stop looking forward to a big weekend with NY and LA coming to Fenway.

Those are a couple big series, at home, that could shift the power in the AL. I can’t wait to see what happens.

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