It’s been a bit of a ridiculous week here in Red Sox Nation. Things are getting a little turned all around and upside down by the day.
First the great Red Sox lose a series to the Seattle Mariners. I know, it was in Seattle. But, still. The Seadogs shouldn’t lose a series to the Mariners. Then, they follow it up by losing a series at home. Yes, it was to Tampa. But, really? I know double headers are a bit of a crapshoot. I don’t care. That was not the plan. Nor was it the plan to lose David Ortiz to an injury. Losing Youkilis to the DL certainly wasn’t something I had mapped out either. So, where in tarnation are we? Second place. Second best record in the AL. By a half game. Third best record in baseball. Ok. Breathe.
Should I worry? Maybe. Probably not. I think the Sox are doing everything right. They know their record. They no that a playoff spot is virtually assured. If giving Ortiz an extra couple days to rest his heel costs them the division, they’re OK with that. A healthy David Ortiz will do more for them in October then home field ever would. Same goes for Youkilis. If putting him on the DL means he won’t even try to ruin his back for October, I’m fine with that too. Might it cost them in the division race? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t want to face Verlander in a short series anyway.
Heard someone on the radio today mention that the Sox were still looking for a reliable third starter. I think the reaction to that comment should be a fairly common question. Isn’t everybody? If a third starter were reliable, why would he be a third starter? Does anyone have a reliable third starter? I can appreciate the goal of having a Hall-of-Famer at ever position on the team. But, there aren’t that many Hall-of-Famers to go around. I heard another comment a week ago about the Pirates collapse. The reason given for it was that the Pirates didn’t have a true ace. They didn’t have CC Sabathia or Justin Verlander. That’s great. Of course, six teams will make the playoffs this year without CC Sabathia or Justin Verlander. There’s a difference between a wish and a need. I wish the Red Sox had a starting rotation of Beckett-Lester-Verlander-Weaver-Halladay. Good for me. That would certainly give the Sox the reliable third starter mentioned on the radio. But, it’s not exactly realistic. Every team has holes. That’s the fun. So, am I going to lose sleep over a lack of an ace at number three? Not really. Frankly, John Lackey is a fantastic third starter. I know people hate his interviews. They hate his body language. They hate his contract. But, he’s still a quality pitcher. Same goes for Erik Bedard. Either one of them would be a wonderful third starter in a playoff game. Especially with a full and healthy line-up backing them up. I can’t stress over not having a reliable third guy.
Nobody else has one either.