This article will end up in one of two columns. Either you love the Red Sox and will appreciate their position, or you’re a Yankee’s fan and regardless of the objective data; the “Red Sox Suck!” But here’s the thing…no matter how much you want the Red Sox to “suck,” they don’t – at least not at this point in the season. So rather than discussing facts not yet in evidence let’s explore the following:
Exhibit A: The Boston Red Sox are currently 17-7. This not only placed them ahead of the Orioles by two games and the Yankees by three, but just happens to be the best record in baseball. Not the American League – ALL of baseball.
Exhibit B: The Red Sox pitching rotation is performing at levels not seen in in proximity to the Charles River since 2007. Although Ryan Dempster only shows a 1-2 record at this juncture, he is currently fourth in the league with number of strike-outs (43). Considering the other four contenders in the top five-slots are Yu Darvish, A.J. Burnett, Felix Hernandez, and Anibal Sanchez – that ain’t too shabby. Of the five starters, three remain undefeated in the 2013 season. Clay Buchholz is 5-0, Jon Lester 4-0, and Felix Doubront is 3-0. Demptser, Buchholz and Doubront are leading the team’s rotation in strikeouts with a combined 111 opponents fanned to date. What was expected to be a strong bullpen squad this year has lived up to expectations. Andrew Miller, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, and (new) closer Andrew Bailey have kept opponent offenses in check late in games and have in no small way contributed to Boston’s close-game successes.
Exhibit C: April has been a successive series of offensive displays up and down the Boston order. Mike Napoli, once the scourge of Fenway as another write put it, has returned to his happy place to consistently play wall ball with that big green thing in left field. Dustin Pedroia is hitting for average, Will Middlebrooks is hitting them out of the park, and Daniel Nava is hitting anything that moves. And lest we forget David Ortiz who returned from the DL and immediately climbed the “scorching hot” ladder.
As we close out the first month of baseball, even the objective hater must concede that the early prognostications of a mediocre Boston year are starting to sound hollow. What does all this mean? Frankly, not much outside of a good opening month and a sneak peak into what could be a surprising contender come the fall. If the pitching rotation continues to keep the pace and the Red Sox can avoid being bitten by the injury bug, the race in the AL East is going to be wild and woolly. Should the Sox be at or near the top of the division come September, die-hard fans will be left with one of two options – holding their breath or holding their noses.
- All systems go for Lackey in series finale (mlb.mlb.com)
- Buchholz and Red Sox Look to Keep Winning (baseballtrashtalkin.org)
Categories: American League Happenings