Sox Continue to Keep Hope Alive
Just when we are about to write them off, they bring us back in.
The Red Sox have been able to build some momentum the past few days after being swept by Toronto at home and losing 2 out of 3 to the Rangers last week/weekend.
After an absolutely wild weekend in the Bronx, the Sox did the exact opposite of what I thought they would do, taking the series 2-1 and finishing off this what was thought to be killer roadtrip 3-3.
After seeing the match ups for the weekend series in New York (Cook vs. Hughes, Lester vs. Sabathia, Doubront vs. Kuroda), I thought for sure we would take the first and lose the next two. Sure enough, the Sox were able to keep their playoff hopes alive by taking the back two of the series. After an abysmal performance from Aaron Cook on Friday, the Sox were able to knock around CC Sabathia while struggling ace Jon Lester continued to give up the lead, although he looked much better than his 11 ER performance last Sunday against Toronto.
After Lester left with a 6-4 lead after 6 innings, it seemed as though the Sox would be able to tie the series up, but after another battle between hated enemies Vicente Paddilla and Mark Texiera (Texiera won by belting a game-tying 2 run homer), it seemed as though the Sox playoff hopes were fading before our eyes. If not for rising star Pedro Ciriaco, we may be looking at the trade deadline in a much different light. Ciriaco was able to knock in the game winning RBI and Aceves was able to convert the save.
Felix Doubront was able to shine when the lights were the brightest, pitching 6.1 innings of solid ball Sunday night. The lead was lost in the eighth for the second straight night, but once again Ciriaco was able to knock in the game winning run, this time making it happen in the 10th.
The Sox showed a lot of heart Saturday and Sunday, and were able to create some type of momentum and bring it home with them, where they beat the Tigers Monday night 7-3. Clay Buchholz proved once again that he can be the ace that this team desperately needs, going 8 strong, giving up 3 runs, 2 of which were earned. In his last 9 starts, Buchholz has 7 quality starts and is 4-2 with a 2.17 ERA. He is throwing his curveball with more confidence and is also trusting his changeup must more. Dustin Pedroia also kept his bat hot, hitting a 2 run homerun in the 6th inning to put Boston up 4-2, while also adding a RBI groundout to take the lead in the first.
The Sox may have hit rock bottom Friday night in the Bronx, but they have made things rather interesting these past 3 games, especially being on the heels of the non-waiver trade deadline (4pm ET Tuesday). Although there are rumblings about the Sox making calls on Josh Beckett (Texas being the reported frontrunner), this 3 game winning streak the Sox are on seems to have put them in a position to possibly be buyers at the deadline as well.
The Sox may be making calls on Beckett to keep the fans happy, as it is known Beckett has lost a lot of his fans’ support this season. Everyone knows this guy still has a lot of good stuff left, but it is a matter of keeping him focused, which as shown this year has been extremely tough. Beckett has shown a lot of inconsistency this season, and has been rather bad as of late.
I would like to see the Sox stick with Beckett and add another starting pitcher. Although the Sox have been rather quiet in rumors the past few days (other than Beckett and Lester), I think something big could be in the works. Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez continues to be the prized jewel that nobody can pry away from Seattle, but with the Sox prospects, something Seattle desperately needs, they could be setting themselves up for a blockbuster deal Tuesday. Also, the fact that the Sox are not sure if they will be able to sign Jacoby Ellsbury after next season is intriguing because he could possibly be trade bait for someone like Hernandez if the Sox have the courage to trade him.
Nevertheless, regardless of what the Sox do on Tuesday, it seems as though they will still be battling for a spot in the playoffs. Even though the Angels just reloaded by trading for Zach Greinke, the Sox are only 4 games behind them in the wild card standings and 4.5 behind Oakland.
The Sox just took the series from a playoff team in the Yankees, and hopefully can take another series from a possible playoff team in Detroit. This team can beat good teams. Lets hope that they can keep this momentum going and rip off some wins during this ten game home stand. For now, we will watch, and we will watch next month, and the month after that, regardless of where the Sox are in the standings.
Because thats what they make us do.