Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Looking ahead...

Tonight, the Red Sox will head to Baltimore, where they will play a 3-game set against the free-falling Orioles, and then return home to the friendly confines of Fenway Park to play the Mariners (3 games), Angels (3 games), and Twins (4 games).  As of this afternoon, these teams are 38-49, a combined record well under .500.  However, since the Red Sox are currently ALSO under .500 (10-11), we know you can't take an April record and say what caliber team you have.

In the last 10 games, the Red Sox are 8-2, tied with the Marlins for best in the Majors in that span.  They are a different team than the one who started off 0-6, and thank goodness.  The Orioles are 2-8 over the last 10 games, and 5-7 at Camden Yards.  Their pitching for the upcoming series includes one lefthander (tonight) and two righthanders, and if the Sox can beat tonight then the Sox might be able to complete their second sweep in as many series.

Not to be overly optimistic, but if all of the Red Sox pitchers can continue to toss the ball the way they did during the last turn through the rotation, we might even pick up a few games on the Yankees and forget the horrible start that had all of Red Sox Nation reeling just a week ago.

I'm feeling optimistic, so I'm going to make some bold predictions:

1. Carl Crawford will take the next two weeks and pull himself above the Mendoza line - and then some.

2. Jed Lowrie will continue to rake.  Perhaps not at the ridiculously torrid pace he's been setting, but the numbers will be respectable nonetheless... Tito will be making some tough decisions, soon.

3. Adrian Gonzalez will knock a few more homers.  The much-heralded first baseman's rather slow start has gone unremarked upon because of the struggles of Crawford... but we've been saying all winter how perfect his swing is for Fenway - we'll start to see that now.

4. The Red Sox will finish this upcoming road trip (and 3-game series at Camden Yards) with a 10-3 record, bringing them to 20-14.  I know that's optimistic, but with everyone playing the way they have been, I can't help it - I know this team is that good.

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