This is the calm before the Red Sox storm back into contention. Right? At least that’s what I’m thinking. Boston’s first 16 games of the second-half of the MLB season include Tampa Bay, the White Sox, Toronto, Texas and the Yankees. They are at home against the White Sox (hey, Youk!) and Toronto. Their first road trip takes them to Tampa, then they are home for two series (Chicago and the Jays) and then a road trip to Texas and New York. It not only sounds daunting; it is daunting.
Bobby, Bobby My Valentine?
So are we going to be blowing kisses or throwing rocks at Bobby Valentine after these next 16 games. As I mentioned earlier, we want and need some Morgan Magic and that doesn’t not mean playing even ball. That means a solid string of wins and taking every series.
That won’t be easy but it is needed. The Red Sox have a lot to prove and they can do so in the next 16 games.
Consistently Good Pitching
No more of this on again, off again business. We need consistency from starters and relievers. Beckett, Lester, Doubront and whoever else starts. The staff is thin and relief can be okay, great or nonexistent. The closing situation is tenuous at best. The best guy we have on the entire pitching staff is Doubront. I’m grateful to have the guy.
More than Ortiz
I’m glad Big Papi did not compete in the homerun derby. I think taking swipe after swipe at meatballs harmed his performance in the second half. You see those guys flailing at the plate? So, we need Ortiz to continue hammering away and we need to see Gonzalez continue to hit, Ellsbury, Crawford, Middlebrooks and Pedroia come back and hit and anyone else in that lineup start producing.
Get Into the Second Season
I want the Red Sox to win the division. But the truth is it doesn’t matter how they get into the playoffs, they just need to get there. Yes, the Wild Card has become a much longer postseason haul with the addition of a second team in each league but if they make the playoffs anything can happen. If they do not make the playoffs, everyone will be looking at two people and asking why—Cherington and Valentine. Those two will be in the public eye of a very nasty storm.