Today we feel good. We’ve won two games in a row and the guys are smacking the ball all over the park. At the beginning of August we couldn’t hit the side of a barn with a bus, never mind a baseball with a bat, we knew our hitters were too good to continue that way indefinitely, but it was hard to watch them struggle. As the bats have heated up, pitching has gotten a little ragged around the edges, but Jon Lester pitched well last night, too well to lose a win on a wild pitch, and if Tim Wakefield makes a triumphant return this evening we’ll be getting the brooms out and sweeping the White Sox out of town. Life is always a little bit more fun and rainbows when the Red Sox are winning. Hard to believe just a few days ago, Friday night to be exact, we felt completely humiliated by the Yankees and almost ready to toss in the towel on the entire season. That series, plus the Texas series, is the gravity keeping my enthusiasm over this series in check.
Feeling a little seasick Red Sox fans? This past month has been a stormy ride and opinions regarding the team have been just as volatile. We’re either doomed to lose, not only this season, but indefinitely after, or we’re playoff bound and destined to win the whole shebang. The pendulum seems to swing wildly depending on whether the boys from Beantown have won or lost on the previous evening. I’ll admit to occasionally being caught up in the bi-polar win/loss mood swings, but right now my opinion lies mired in the middle. Are we good enough to make the playoffs? Yes. Are we good enough to win the World Series? I’ll play it safe and say never say never.
Squeaking into the October show is not going to be a lasting or fun experience if we don’t start finding ways to beat playoff-caliber teams. We’ve been losing to the Yankees at an alarming rate over the last few weeks, it’s becoming difficult to remember that we started the season series against them at 8-0. As if the Yankee humiliation wasn’t enough, we also did some losing to our current Wild Card rivals down in Texas and Tampa. We won against Batimore, Toronto and Detroit. Detroit may be a first place team, but the other two are the cellar dwellers of our division. The once high flying Blue Jays haven’t been the same since we swept them in May and the Orioles are still waiting for the cavalry to arrive from the farm. The most frustrating factor in all of this is Red Sox still have the tools to dominate. This is the same team that went 9-3 playing 4 first place, and currently playoff bound, teams in a row back in June. We’ve been scratching our heads since the All-Star Break, wondering where the wheels fell off. Remember May and June when the team was “boring” and “successful?” Those days seem like they happened in another season.
We haven’t played ourselves out of contention. We still lead the Wild Card by a game and a half. The season is far from over and and I’m not meaning to paint a rain cloud over the Red Sox prospects in this year’s post-season, but volatility does not usually lead to success.
(and yes, I am aware that although the title of this article was devoted to him, Tim Wakefield only made a cameo appearance, but it will be nice to see our All-Star knuckleballer back on the mound tonight. At least I hope it will anyway, the knuckleball can be a little, um, volatile at times.)