Monday, May 14, 2012

Are Things Looking Up?

Hard to say. I know I liked this weekend better than I did last weekend. That’s a good sign. But, anything specific?

Adrian Gonzalez looks like he’s feeling better at the plate. I see his name pop up a lot more with a crisp double, or RBI. If he can start his season this May like he did last May, that will be a great thing for the team. A fully functional Pedroia-Gonzalez-Ortiz makes for a pretty potent heart of the line-up.

The fact that people are wondering what to do with Youkilis when he comes back, is another great thing. That means that Will Middlebrooks is hitting well. It’s a nice problem to have. Obviously, when Youk comes back the job needs to be his, even if it’s just to see if he can play. I like to think that a healthy Youk will not be a drop in production. That adds a fourth solid bat to the line-up. The offense is really looking pretty decent, considering it’s missing the top two guys in the order. When they get back, look out.

Now, the pitching. It could be better. I know, the understatement of the season. But, it was still promising this weekend. Beckett got blown up. I get it. He hadn’t pitched in ten days, or whatever it was. I’m not shocked that he came out a little flat. Buchholz was promising. I know it’s a bit like saying that he had a good game, except for all the runs he gave up. But, he pitched six really good innings. If the bullpen strands the runners he left, we’re all talking about a dominating performance by him. The bullpen didn’t, so we’re talking about Clay losing steam. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next time out. I thought the Bard performance was great. He was in a lot of trouble, but got out of it. I think that’s a big deal. He lets some innings get out of control, but not out of hand. When he needed to, he got the outs. Every pitcher is going to let some runners get on base. It’s what you do with them when they get there that counts the most.

The Sox have an interesting schedule. They have two more they should win against Seattle. Two in Tampa against a team they are 3-1 against this year. A trip to visit the equally disappointing Phillies. A trip to Baltimore. Then home against the Rays and somewhat confusing Tigers. Could be a big month. Could be crap.

It’ll be fun to find out!

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