Here we sit, ready to start the unofficial second half of the season. What can we expect from our beloved Sox in the months ahead? I can’t wait to find out.
Can you believe I actually heard one of the EEIdiots say that we already know what we’re going to get? He had the gall to say that they’ve been a .500 team all season, so that’s what we should expect. After all, half a season is a legitimate sample size, so this team is what it is at this point. Huh? What team is what it is? The team that’s been on the field for the last couple months? Maybe I’ll concede that that team has had time to see exactly what it is by now. But, even that’s a stretch. After all, there are a couple things that are going to be different about the second half. Namely the number of all-stars on the field at any given time.
Sure, the Red Sox who start Kalish-Nava-Sweeney in the outfield has had plenty of time to show exactly what they are. What about the team with Crawford-Ellsbury-Ross on the grass? We haven’t seen that team on the field yet. If the Red Sox of the first half are a .500 team, that new outfield has to be worth a couple games. Right?
But, the offense has been fine, the EEIdiots claim. They point out that the replacement outfielders haven’t been performing that poorly. And, no, they haven’t been hitting .200 or anything. It’s the consistency. Sure, the AAA outfield can hold their own, or even excel, against weaker pitching. But, top of the rotation guys shut them down. The Red Sox of the second half doesn’t get swept in Oakland.
What about the pitching? Nobody’s hurt on the pitching staff! Well, except for the closer. He’ll be coming back. Anybody not think bringing in an all-star closer will help a bullpen? Even if you have him set up for a while? Oh, and the third starter. He was on the DL, and is now back. Remember when he was pitching well before he left? Are we expecting a return of his stomach issues? Shouldn’t we expect Clay to be Clay in the second half? But, Beckett’s awful! He needs to be shipped off! Ahh, but he spent some time on the DL in the first half too. Lumped together, his body of work in the first half is less than stellar. But, he wasn’t John Lackey out there. He had a couple terrible starts surrounding his DL stints. He’s had quite a few fantastic outings. I don’t see why we should expect Beckett to continue to struggle.
The Sox are a couple games out of the playoffs as the second half starts. Sure, there are a lot of other teams bunched along with them. But, are any of those other teams planning on adding three all-stars to the team?
I didn’t think so.