That’s right. Thanks to their current win streak, the Sox have dropped their magic number to clinch at least a tie for the division title to 100. They’re on their way!
What’s the reason behind their recent good stretch? Nothing, and everything at the same time. They haven’t been shutting out the other team. They haven’t been scoring 15 runs every game. But, they’ve been doing what they need to do in order to win. They’ve battled. They’ve come from behind. They’ve capitalized on mistakes. They’ve put other teams away when they needed to.
And, that’s exactly what a team needs to do. They don’t need a pitching staff to throw a 1.20 ERA. They don’t need to score 6.8 runs a game. They just need to score one more than the other team. Some nights, that’s going to mean the pitchers have to account for a slow night at the plate. Sometimes the bats are going to need to make up for a pitcher who has lost his way. And things are going to get even better from here.
Adrian Gonzalez drew a big walk last night. Not big in that he walked in the winning run or anything. But, he was up in a relatively close game, relatively late, with a couple people on base. It’s the exact situation someone might try too hard in. They may go outside their game to try and drive in those runs. End their slump right in that at bat. It’s exactly what Gonzalez has been doing too much of lately. His trademark patience has gone away, and been replaced with flailing at pitches early in the count. But, in this case, he didn’t do too much. He waited the pitcher out, and drew the walk. That’s a wonderful sign.
Another good sign? The Sox are one day closer to the return of Beckett, Bailey, Ellsbury, and Crawford. That’s going to be a big boost. Sure, the replacements have been doing a wonderful job. They’ve done more than hold the fort. But, that balloon is going to pop. Having the cavalry back before that happens will be a big help. Everything is starting to shape up for a second half run.
I can’t wait.