Friday, May 23, 2014

Boston turns its lonely eyes to Lackey

After the incredible euphoria Red Sox Nation felt during the 2013 season and playoff run, the last month has been brutal. Twitter has been buzzing with a self-pitying and sarcastic hashtag, #worsttofirsttoworst, and comparisons to the atrocious 2012 season have been made in several corners.

Realistically, the Red Sox aren't the worst. The worst team in baseball (according to their record) is the Houston Astros. The worst team in the AL East is the Tampa Bay Rays (and I unashamedly revel in that fact). The Red Sox are only five games out, thanks to the AL East finally being a mediocre division after years of dominance.

It's only May, and there's plenty of time for the Red Sox to scrape their way back into things - but that has to start sooner rather than later. John Lackey will start off this weekend's three-game series against the Rays tonight at Tropicana Field.

If the Sox can sweep the Rays, it would push the pesky Tampa Bay team further in to the basement, and once agains send Boston clawing closer to a .500 record and a clean start. For the Red Sox to get themselves back to .500 by the end of May they'll need to win eight of nine - with five games coming on the road, five against the Rays, and four against the Braves.

It's a tall order, but just like any other series, the Red Sox will have to take this stretch one game at a time. Tonight, they'll hope that Lackey can rebound from a less-than-stellar start his last time out.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

David Ortiz is better than you.

He's better than all of us, really. And without a doubt, better than the Minnesota Twins. It's pretty obvious that David Ortiz has never quite forgiven the Twins for not giving him the chance he deserved at the beginning of his career - since joining the Red Sox in 2003, he's absolutely dominated against Minnesota.

In 55 games, Ortiz has hit at a .344 clip, with 17 home runs, and an incredible 1.106 OPS. Last night alone, Big Papi had four hits, including two homers, and four RBIs. I'm sure the Twins executive who approved Ortiz's release regrets it every day - and assuming that person still has a job, last night must have been extremely painful.

But just like last October, amazing production from Ortiz is not enough to win games for the Red Sox. Perhaps he needs to pull his teammates aside for another pep talk - the AL East standings will only remain a mess for so long.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Standings check-in

It's official: the AL East is a mess. Just 4.5 games separate the first place Orioles (18-14) from the last place Rays (15-20). The Red Sox, finally back at .500, are in fourth place - but just two games behind the O's.

The winningest teams in the American League are the Tigers and the A's - and they have just three more wins than the Red Sox. It may be only a month into the season, but this kind of parity keeps things exciting - and will keep a less than stellar start from the Sox from overwhelming their chances later on.

Meanwhile, the Rays should be thanking Bud Selig and co. for switching the lowly Astros to the AL, because without them Tampa Bay would be in the basement all alone.

The AL East standings are probably about to get more stratified, as Baltimore will welcome the Astros to Camden Yards to extend their lead, while the second place Yankees have to head to Miwaukee to face off against the Brewers (who are currently holding onto the best record in baseball).

The Red Sox won't have it easy if they want to continue to pick up ground; the Rangers might be in third place in the AL West, but they always seem to give the Sox trouble.