Monday, May 9, 2011

The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

The times, they are a changing.

From the end of last week, to the weekend, it looks like there were two different Red Sox teams on the field. As I’ve mentioned before, my attitude towards the team has certainly changed since the calendar switched over. I’m able to look at losses in their own contest. They don’t represent a greater struggle. The wins are expected now. I don’t see two victories like this weekend and see a possible change. I see them as what I expect to see. It’s a lot more fun.

And, really looking at each game in the last week or so, they all really make sense. You had the marathon last Wednesday. Those things happen. There was rain. Our starter had to leave, and the bullpens did their best. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Then, on Thursday you had a day game after an early morning game. Much like doubleheaders, it was really a coin flip game. Which beaten and depleted line-up would score more than the other? It didn’t happen to fall the Sox’s way. OK. Friday? The Sox needed their long man to make an emergency start. I love Tim Wakefield as much as the next guy. But, any time you have a guy making an emergency start against a well-rested opponent, it’s not a good feeling. So, yeah, the Sox didn’t take that one either. Teams will lose games like those all the time. The Sox just happened to have three flukes in a week. They’re past that now.

The weekend changed things around. The bats showed up in force. The pitching was there to help out. Clay Buchholz showed continued improvement this season. He really had it all working, as we’ve started to expect. The fact that he came out after the rain delay was a wonderful sight to see. He really saved the bullpen with that move. Every inning the bullpen doesn’t pitch helps them get one more inning of rest.

Even Dice-K had a good game. Coming off an injury shortened appearance followed by a poor relief stint, I had no idea what to expect. I even left him on my fantasy team bench, because I was so unsure. And, the first inning it showed. He got hit around a bit. He looked like a guy who had a few really short appearances and was just getting back into things. But, to his credit, he figured it out. You might say it was classic Daisuke. One terrible inning, and domination the rest of the time. But, he did enough to let the bats come back and do their thing. And, to prove my attitude change, I wasn’t surprised when it happened. When they were down four after an inning, it seemed ok. There was lots of time left for them to score. A month ago, a one run deficit in the first would have seemed insurmountable. But, not anymore. The times they are a changing.

Even Carl Crawford doesn’t make me cringe. He’s been hitting like he should have been hitting. I look at him like any other player at this point. It’s a wonderful feeling.

So, the Sox look to Beckett to keep the ball rolling. I can’t think of a better person to have on the mound in this situation. Hopefully he can pitch like he’s been pitching. That should be enough.

Four games out in May, with a series against the leaders coming up. Not a bad situation to be in at all.

This is going to be fun.

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