Right off the bat, let’s be honest. For the last month or so, everyone was holding out praise until after the road trip of death. Sure, the Sox may have been playing well at home. Sure, they were hanging in there. But, the road trip was looming. Eleven games in eleven days in four cities. That was going to crush them. That would separate the men from the boys. The pretenders from the contenders. We weren’t even supposed to talk about the prospects of this team until after The Trip. It was all moot until we knew what was going to happen there.
So, wouldn’t you say that finishing the trip with a 7-4 record, and a tie for first place in the East is a good thing?
Oh, sure. The trip ended on a sour note. It would have been nice to have won that Tampa Series. Sure, when the Sox got to Tampa visions of a 9-2 trip were dancing in everyone’s heads. But, the reality is that those last two games are masking a pretty darn good trip.
Honestly, I can’t get too upset about the last two losses anyway. I’d say that the last game of a road trip, resting David Ortiz, and having just lost your starting left fielder the night before, is a pretty decent scenario for conceding a loss. Even if it is to the Rays. If you include the Day game loss following a night game in another city as another conceded loss…the Sox actually went 7-2 in games they could have won.
So I, for one, am pretty excited about things. The Sox took care of business against three playoff contending teams on the road. They’ve set themselves up nicely as they start a weeklong home stand, and a strong run to the end of the season.
Because the best part about finishing that long road trip is finishing it. Earlier in the month the Sox had a remaining schedule stacked with road games against good teams. Right now, the Sox have 16 games at home and 19 on the road. And half of those road games are against sub-.500 teams. The remaining schedule just switched from a major problem to a benefit.
Because the Sox were able to take care of business on this last trip.
Now they just need to keep rolling.