Sox Broken at the Break, but there is Hope
Posted by athomeatfenway on July 8, 2012
I am a firm believer that bad precedes the good, pain precedes pleasure, and sacrifice precedes reward.
There are so many painful things for which to be grateful.
When I heard that Bobby Valentine was named Sox Skipper I thought, What a relief. They picked the perfect short term manager to be the bridge to a new team in 2014, the Post-September Collapse team,.
I was certain that the curse that settled on the Sox last September would have Katrina-like effects, with long term damage both obvious and mysterious.
The damage was quite evident in yesterday’s line-up.
I count five out of nine starting position players as replacement parts for Ellsbury, Pedroia, Middlebrooks, Crawford and Reddick. Of the four MIA players, 3 are on the DL and 1 is resting with an injury. Josh Reddick, of course, was traded on Dec. 28 to Oakland for closer Andrew Bailey, who is on the DL with Red Sox pitchers Buchholz, Carpenter, Hill, Lackey and Matsuzaka.
Josh Reddick is hitting .265 with 20 HR and 42 RBI for Oakland, by the way.
Yesrday’s starter, Franklin Morales, is a career relief man pressed into starting service due to the decimated starting staff.
With all this pain, boy are we in for good times.
Our Sox limp into vacation time with a 43 – 42 WL record. The starter in tonight’s game with the Yankees on the eve of the AS break is John Lester, who has a string of 7 quality starts intact.
Let’s root for ending this half with a W.
We saw some crazy stuff happen in June and July.
Clay Buchholz shined like a CY Young candidate for 3 starts, had a shaky game, and then disappeared to a sick bed with a mysterious stomach malady.
Daniel Bard was sent to Pawtucket after allowing 1 hit, 2 HBP’s, 5 walks and 4 runs in just 1.2 IP’s on June 3. The one time ace set-up man has looked terrible (8.78 ERA) for the Paw Sox ever since.
We were swept at home by the Nationals, with Bryce Harper (3 hits) and Stephen Strasburg (13 K’s) dazzling the Fenway crowd the first night.
Listless Sox bats were shut down on various dates by Ryan Dempster, Bruce Chen, Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Jair Jurrjens, Aaron Laffey, Felix Hernandez, Jason Vargas, Jerrod Parker and Bartolo Colon. All in one month.
At one point in June, the Sox scored just 14 runs in 7 games.
On June 24, Youkilis tripled and was traded to Chicago because Will Middlebrooks had delivered .298 BA, 10 HR & 37 RBI in about the same at bats that Youkilis produced .233 BA, 4 HR & 14 RBI.
Overall, the consistency of the last 8 years is gone. The Sox were 11 -11 in April. 15 – 14 in May. 15 – 12 in June. 2 – 5 in July. Pathetic.
But help is on the way.
Ellsbury, Crawford and Buchholz will be back soon. Salty has been hot. Big Papi is still raking.
The starting staff, which has used 8 different hurlers so far, has provided 52 starts in which they pitched well enough for the Sox to win. Give those hurlers a steady offense and this team is 52 – 33 instead of 43 – 42.
The Sox may be in 4th place and 8.5 games behind the Yankees, but they are just 4 games behind the Angels in the Wild Card.
Let’s see where they take us.