Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Coming Home Ready to Run

Can’t imagine getting more out of that road trip than what the Red Sox gave us. Winning both series would have been a best case scenario. That’s exactly what happened. Perfect.

While you had to like the Sox chances in San Francisco, expecting a sweep on the road is always risky. Going into LA to face the hottest team in the league was easily another possible series loss. To pull out the win was a wonderful bonus. And, yes, I know we missed the Dodgers top two pitchers. But, it’s not like the Sox were winning these games 8-7. The starting pitching took care of the Dodgers line-up as well. So, who’s to say how much better Kershaw would have done, if Peavy is spinning a gem of his own?

Which adds another interesting twist to the stretch run. The starting rotation had a pretty good turn there. Was it because they were pitching in NL West parks? That certainly helped. But, they still did what they needed to do. Which makes the return of Clay Buchholz all the more fascinating. If he comes back even close to what he was at the beginning of the year, that would be quite the boost to the staff. It would also make for some interesting decisions. Do the Sox drop Dempster from the rotation? With only a month left would they use a six-man rotation? Would they skip a starter here and there down the stretch? They would have lots of options. Lots of things to play around with.

So, what does that all mean?

No idea.

The Rays loss last night gives the Sox a 1.5 game lead in the division. Obviously, that’s not a ton. Especially with three games at the Rays left to play. Unfortunately, this could come down to how hard the other teams are trying in September. The Sox finish up with three in Baltimore. Will the Orioles be in the playoff hunt then? Will they be playing rookies to get them experience? They face the O’s for three at Fenway the week before that. Will they still be trying then? How about the Rays. How many of the teams they play from here on out will have given up? Remember the 2011 “collapse”? A lot of that was due to teams not trying. The Yankees had the division sewed up. So, when they played the Rays all through September, they sent out the B line-up. Especially in that last critical series. Same went for the Red Sox. They assumed they had the wild card well in hand. So, they didn’t mind that Kyle Weiland kept getting starts against the Rays in September. If that happens again, obviously, all bets are off. It’s going to come down to match-ups, schedules, and injuries. Thankfully, the Sox have a majority of their remaining games at home. While that’s not a huge advantage, it’s better than traveling.

We’re heading into the last homestand in August, and the Sox find themselves in first place.

Can’t ask for much more than that.


  1. So are you good with the Dodger trade yet?

  2. Nope. Even worse, really, since the players the Sox got back aren't exactly being helpful...still.

  3. We were in dead last when the trade happened last year. This year at the same time we are in first. The trade was about addition by subtraction.

    They didn't just get players from the Dodgers in the trade they got the money to pay other players. No trade no Victorino, no Napoli, no Ghomes, no Drew, and no Peavy. Even though Napoli has slumped for about two months and Ghomes is a part time player we still have got more out of those guys than the Dodgers are getting out of Gonzalez, Beckett, and Crawford.

    Even if we only got Victorino and Peavy it would have been a good trade. Victorino brings a ton of energy to the team and gives 100 every single night, he will run through a wall if it would help the team. Peavy gives us a chance to win every time he starts and he is fun as hell to watch.

    I'll admit that Gonzales was hard to loose but Crawford and Beckett haven't exactly helped the Dodgers out. Beckett missed basicly the whole year so far and Crawfrd has missed half of it. Last week Mattingly said he had to give Crawford an extra day off every week because he just can't go every night.

  4. Well, they weren't in last place when the trade was made. They were a few games better than Toronto. But, I get your point. They were out of it.

    You're assuming that there was something stopping the Sox from adding those players along with Crawford and Gonzalez. Since Napoli is the only duplicate position, if they wanted to they could have done both. But, going with your assumption...

    You realize that Crawford has only played in six fewer games than "every single night" Victorino this year, right?

    Peavy doesn't count. Crawford and Gonzo are $41 million. Gomes,Napoli,Victorino,and Drew are $32.5 million. You can do him either way.

    Basically, I'd rather have the two former all-stars than the collection of scrubs. The fact that LA is in first place proves it wasn't addition by subtraction. Obviously you can win games with AGone and CC on your team.

  5. One last thing.

    Which team was more fun to watch from April to August 2012 or 2013?

    Me, I'd rather watch the collection of scrubs win the AL East.

  6. A few thoughts on the debate here. Victorino is rated by defensive metrics as the second best defensive player this year. He is a far better defensive player than Crawford. Victorino is having a better offensive season and is making $7M less per year for 4 fewer years. Not that comparing them is totally appropriate considering that they play different positions but the point is valid that they wouldn't have Victorino if they still had Crawford. As for the Dodgers being in first place, that is mostly attributed to Puig, Ramirez, Kershaw and Grienke. LA didn't even climb out of last place until Puig was called up. Now, I think Gonzo is a good player but it is obvious that he is not a franchise player. Weren't Victorino and Drew former all-stars? Not exactly scrubs there.

  7. Also, it's way too early to evaluate what the Sox got back in that trade.


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