Thursday, May 27, 2010


Wow. Even I would have had a hard time predicting that. The Sox just finished a rough stretch of division contenders, most of it on the road. They went to Detroit and New York. Hosted the Twins, and went into Philadelphia and Tampa Bay. Yikes. Just holding their own would have been a great stretch. The Sox didn’t do that, though. They flexed some muscle and kicked some butt.

They took one from Detroit, one from New York, swept the Twins, won the Phillies series, and swept the Rays. What’s that? Really? A 9-4 stretch? Anyone else not quite call that one? So, that performance really begs the question. What does it mean? Before this stretch, all the so-called experts said this was the important stretch. This is where we’d see what the Sox were made of. When they played these good teams and fell even farther back, they could finally declare the season done. That still must be the case. When you go stomping through other playoff caliber teams, doesn’t that make you a playoff caliber team? Instead of struggling because of injuries, are they now playing well in spite of them? That’s a much better sign.

Even though the personnel isn’t all there, this was the team Theo expected. The pitching has been amazing as of late. Starters have been going deep into games, and pitching well while doing it. The bullpen has almost been underworked. When the starters are going seven and eight innings, it’s hard to find time to use the middle relief. What a wonderful problem to have! The defense has been astounding as well. Just the plays made during Dice-K’s no-hit bid were enough to fill a highlight reel. It’s exactly the run prevention that was supposed to be happening. The offense hasn’t hidden either. They’ve been scoring runs when needed. They’ve been putting the pressure on the opposing pitchers. I’m almost giddy for the point when the entire starting lineup is back at the same time. And, speaking of line-ups, did you see Ortiz back in the 3-spot? How much has his season turned around? The fact that he practically carried them to the Rays sweep was a sight for sore eyes. Frankly, I’m fresh out of cliché’s for the description of this team.

Of course, it only means anything if they keep it up. It doesn’t help anyone to sweep the Rays and then loose three of four to the Royals. This will be another huge stretch for the Sox. Well, as huge as a May series can be. But, after thumping the elite teams in baseball, you need to go out and demolish the bottom dwellers. If you don’t it just makes you yet another inconsistent team. If, however, the Sox can win the homestand, they’ll be in great shape.

And I’ll be ready for the ride.

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