Monday, May 2, 2016

How’s That for a Weekend?

Sweeping New Yorkers can never ever be a bad thing. So, all of Red Sox Nation has reason to be having a very good Monday.

Of course, people are asking a logical question.

What does this all mean?

That question comes from a couple places. The first is the standard group of annoying pessimists. You know the ones. They’re still leftover thinking that the Sox only do well in April to kill your soul in July. Those people will never be happy, and there’s really nothing more I can say to or about them.

There is a more legitimate angle to question the success, though. Actually, a couple of them.

Have they just been playing really bad teams? Are they just hot right now? Are they just lucky that they’ve been able to cover for the fact that David Price has been terrible?

Three actual questions, with varying degrees of legitimacy. Let’s address them, back to front.

Have they been lucky? Maybe. Usually when your ace is the worst pitcher on your staff, you don’t win a lot of games. But, the Sox have been able to cover for him. Not sure that’s lucky as much as a byproduct of having a really good offense. After all, the Sox have had some bad luck as well. Kimbrel and Koji have both already blown up. Their third baseman got hurt. So, it’s not like 2013 where everything has just gone their way. They’ve had breaks both good and bad. Just like you’d expect over a full season.

Are they just hot? Maybe. But, as we just discussed, it’s not like they’re just firing on all cylinders. They’re not at a point where everything is going their way. Hanley Ramirez hasn’t shown his power yet. Neither has Xander. Nobody in the rotation is pitching out of their minds. So, if some people fall off their pace, there’s an expectation that others will be there to take their place. I don’t see a team on fire. I see a good team.

Have they just been playing bad teams? Maybe. They’ve played a lot of them. After all, almost half of their games have been against the Braves, Astros, and Yankees. But, they’ve played Baltimore too. And around sixty percent of their games have been against division foes. So, if they’ve been playing bad teams, they’re going to keep playing those teams. A lot. All season. If the Sox started the season by going 3-1 against Atlanta, that wouldn’t be a good sample. But, they’ve played a good cross section of the teams they’ll be playing a lot of as the season progresses. I’d say that’s a pretty good start.

Does this mean that the moth of April is completely representative? No. Do I assume the Sox are going to keep playing .600 ball? Probably not.

But, have they been showing things that, as a whole, I can’t imagine will continue? No. Sure, Shaw will remember that he’s a .260 hitter at some point. But, it would make sense that Hanley would remember that he is a power hitter. Porcello may regress a touch. But, Price should improve. So, they should continue, even if the other half of the team is hot while the other is cold. It's the way it should work towards a pretty good season.

It's sure started off that way.

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