I’m a die hard Red Sox fan and have followed them since 1986. The last decade has been extremely kind to all of Red Sox Nation with 3 World Series titles — including one just last year (2013). Expectations were high this year; even though we lost Jacoby Ellsbury, due to the makeup of the team and the high level of talent in the Red Sox farm system. Unfortunately, injuries and under-performance hindered our start and now we have to play catch-up the rest of the way.
But I have hope. We’re now on a 6 game winning streak and seem to have regained the edge which we lost earlier in the season. Our pitching with Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jake Peavy is strong and we have young guns in Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa (next Pedro?) performing well in their limited starts. The bullpen is still their strongest attribute with back-end staples of Tazawa and Koji going strong and saving games for us.
The lineup is where we still need help. Xander Bogaerts is a sure-fire rookie of the year candidate and is piling up huge numbers while David Ortiz is still consistently providing the power wattage. After those two, the level drops off precipitously with starters not averaging even a 250 batting average. The outfield of Grady Sizemore and Jackie Bradley Jr. need to step to leave an imprint on each game. Their defense has been great but they can’t be considered automatic outs when batting. With Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino on the disabled list, offensive highlights are at a premium and we’re just getting by with pitching and defense.
They’re not dead though in the weak AL East. Only 6 games out of first place with another 100 games to play is not insurmountable especially once they get fully healthy. I’m excited to see their young guys perform alongside the veterans. Good clubhouse leaders in Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz are still there and Jonny Gomes is always giving comic relief. Potential is there to make a comeback to either win the division or get a wild-card berth.
I’m hoping they make a trade before the deadline to enrich their offense with some power. An outfielder capable of 35-40 home runs such as Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins or Jose Bautista from the Blue Jays would definitely put them over the top to compete yet again for a World Series title.
Through the first 40 games of the season, I was pessimistic on their chances and even didn’t pay attention to their daily results. Now it’s all changed with this winning streak and I’m curious on how long they can maintain it. Coming off a 10 game losing streak and running off a 10 game or more winning streak would be a rare achievement. The Red Sox have that look of a champion again and here’s hoping it continues the rest of the 2014 season. Let’s go Red Sox!!