Good news and bad news, Red Sox fans.
Well, let’s start with the good news. They start the week in first place. Yeah. Take that Baltimore, Toronto, New York and Tampa Bay. Especially you Tampa Bay. Must be fun to be playing meaningless baseball in September. The Sox had a blast with it last year and the year before.
OK, so here is the bad news. Their schedule from here on out is terrible. And by terrible, I mean it’s tough. They play some really good teams.
You know how the AL East is a real tight race separated by four games (on September 12) with the fourth place Yankees back by just four games? Yeah, umm… The Red Sox are only playing AL East teams for the rest of the year. And only three of those games are against the Rays.
There’s good and bad with that. 17 of their last 20 games are against big-time contenders. So what does that mean? Well, they’re going to have to play some hella good ball to make it to the playoffs.
And if they do play well, they could really separate themselves in the division because the games are head-to-head with their foes.
That sounds kind of obvious. But what’s not obvious is they are 7-3 in their last ten and so are the Yankees.
It’s worth noting: Yoan Moncada will play a reserve role for the rest of the season. His whiff rate and Travis Shaw’s recent surge at the plate made the decision easy for manager John Farrell. And while Moncada might be a pinch-runner on their bench, one critique of this team could be their lack of a reliable pinch runner — one with big league experience.
Also, the swelling in Steven Wright’s should has subsided. It’s unclear if he’ll be ready by the end of the season though since he has not started throwing.
Wright has come a long way since mop-up duty for Alfredo Aceves in April of 2013.