The Red Sox lost again last night, dropping their record in September to 2-6. Boston is 2.5 Games behind New York in the Division with less than 20 games left. The status of Josh Beckett’s ankle is unclear. And even if Beckett is healthy for the playoffs, we have no idea who our third starting pitcher will be. There are plenty of reasons for Red Sox fans to panic.
The Red Sox and Yankees have another 3 game series at Yankee Stadium toward the end of the month. Boston has won all 6 head-to-head contests in New York this season. The Red Sox should have a chance not only to re-take the Division lead but for a season sweep in the Bronx. Easier said than done, but even if the Sox have to settle for a Wild Card berth, October is October. They will be ready to play ball. And judging by Boston’s record in Yankee Stadium this year, home field advantage for a potential Sox-Yanks ALCS isn’t a huge factor.
Plus, if there’s a time to slow down, it’s now. At this point, everyone in the MLB is wounded. You can’t play 100+ professional sports games without punishing your body in some way. The Sox seem to be taking it easy, resting and recovering to get ready for the Post-Season. Kevin Youkilis was recently sent to the DL even though he had no major injuries, so it looks like Tito Francona is telling his guys to relax and heal their bodies. There’s nothing wrong with healthy, well rested team cruising into October.
Finally, The Red Sox lineup is still the Red Sox lineup. I pity the pitching staff that has to battle Boston’s bats for a 7 game series. If the Red Sox pitching is even halfway decent they should be able to out-grind any team in the MLB.
In a few weeks, the Sox will enter the magical month of October and we will really see what this team is made of. Until then, keep the faith Red Sox Nation!