So, here we sit three full weeks into the season, and the Red Sox find themselves with the best record in the American league.
How did they get there?
I was the first to admit that I didn’t know what to think of the 2013 Red Sox. They aren’t as good as the 2011 or 2012 teams. But, were they good enough? I tried to figure out what, exactly, the 2012 Orioles or Giants had that the 2013 Red Sox did not. So far, it doesn’t look like they had anything. But, I still don’t know what to do with “good enough.” As they Sox have shown, if you get good pitching and good hitting, you can score more runs than your opponents. So far, the Sox have had stellar pitching, which is why the games have tilted into their favor so dramatically.
Will it continue?
I have no idea. Well, that’s not exactly true. I have some idea. Of course it’s not going to continue. The Sox aren’t going to finish the season with 100 wins. There’s just too much mediocrity on the team for that. Buchholz will probably see his ERA go over 1.00 this season. Chances are that Mike Napoli doesn’t drive in 120 runs. Things will balance out for a while. Things will dip the other way for a while. Will the Sox still win?
Depends on luck.
Look at the Orioles last year and their stellar record in one run games. Are we supposed to assume that they did something special that led to that? No. But, when you average 5 runs scored a game, and give up an average of 5 runs a game, you’re going to have a lot of close games. Sometimes you end up on top, sometimes you don’t. There are going to be a lot of frustrating games for the Sox, like the two on Sunday. There are going to be a lot of great games for the Sox like Saturday. It’s going to be a constant give and take this season. Do the Sox get that one hit that makes the difference in the game? Do they give it up? There was a season a few years ago when it seemed that the Sox would win a game 10-1, and then lose the next night 3-2. All the time. That’s what this season will be like. If Jon Lester matched up against the other team’s number five guy? 10-1. If Ryan Dempster matches up against the other team’s number two? 3-2. It’s going to be a lot of back and forth. Give and take.
We can only hope there’s more give than take.