Archive for July, 2010

Red Sox Back in Familiar Grounds

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Going into the Fourth of July weekend, the Boston Red Sox had been able to take a very large 8.5 games behind in the American League East and whittled it down to a simple half-game difference with the New York Yankees.

Then starting on the holiday, they rattled off four loses in a row, took two of three from Toronto, rested for the All-Star game (Lester threw one inning, Ortiz won the Home Run Derby and had two at-bats in the game, and that was it for the Sox’s roster), and now have lost the first two games back to the Texas Rangers.

They have been able to allow the Yankees’ lead to ballon back to 6.5 in just nine games.

To be fair, in the past 15 games or so, they have lost a ton of key players to injuries, adding them to a list that was already a few deep.  Two catchers are out, a 10-game winner as well as an All-Star and MVP second baseman.

After Sunday’s day game against Texas to wrap up a four-game homestand, Boston flies out to play ten games against the AL West starting Monday night in Oakland.  Their first seven games are against the bottom dwellers of the division (including four against a Cliff Lee-less Seattle team), but it always seems that the Sox have issues going out on those west coast trips, where you just hope that they play .500 ball.

I think it’s safe to say that unless the Yankees go through a stretch of bad baseball and a slew of injuries, they are going to take the AL East this year.  Thus looking to try to take Tampa Bay (3.5 behind them) is their only option to making the playoffs this year.  I don’t think that there will be any major moves coming to Boston by the trading deadline (and hey, if they are this far below after the deadline, they might be in a position to pick someone off the waiver wire).  But, by the end of July, players like Beckett and Buckholz, Pedroia and Ellsbury (maybe), Martinez and Varitek, and some nice roll/bench players like Lowell and Hermida should be back in the lineup.  These players could be better than anyone else out there for whom they would have to take on more salary or lose top prospects.