Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Buchholz, Bowden Better Birds

Ok, that’s the last alliteration for a bit. Promise.

Last night’s game was much better. I get that it’s against the Orioles. But, doing exactly what you’re supposed to do is never a bad thing. If the Sox won 2-1 or 5-4, I could be worried about just beating a bad team. But, they didn’t eek out a victory. The demolished the visitors, and that’s great.

Clay Buchholz’s performance should not get lost. Sure, he had a huge lead right from the start. But, he didn’t use it. It previous starts, with previous leads, he’s struggled. I remember a similar game with a similar lead; he couldn’t even go long enough to qualify for the win. So, staying in the game for seven shutout innings is a tremendous plus for the Sox. They need him to remember he can pitch if he’s going to be the third starter in a playoff series.

It’s nice for the bats to come alive as well. Once again, I need to consider the opponent. But, any change the line-up can get to feel comfortable has to help going forward. Pedroia was in an annoying little slump. So, at the very least he can go into tonight’s game having hit two home runs the night before. His stats on the scoreboard look a little better than they did. That can’t hurt, right?
The Red Sox record stands at 80-58. They’re currently on pace for 94 wins. After 138 games last year, the Sox were 81-57, finishing with 95 wins. The annoying part is that after those 138 games last year, the Sox were only 4 games back. So, it’s not so much that the Sox have been struggling…even after the rough series in Chicago. It’s that the other teams keep winning. The Yankees won again last night. The Rangers swept a double header. So, the Sox won and not only didn’t gain in the division, but they lost a half-game in the wild card. That’s just rotten luck.

The Sox desperately need tonight’s game in the bag. That way, when the big boys come into town, the pressure won’t be as crazy. If the Sox do what I ask the rest of the way and play .500 on the road, and win the series at home they’ll finish with 95 wins.

Can’t ask for much more than that.

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