Red Sox @ Rays Game 2 (8-23-16)

The Sox have won their second in a row against the Rays. It wasn’t much of an offensive output so I fear they may be going into one of their slumps, but the pitching was great for a change and the bullpen, which has been the big problem with the Sox lately, managed to keep the Rays off the board late to secure the  win. Buchholz pitched his second great game in a row, giving up only one run on 5 hits ans striking out 9. He was at his best and that was good to see as we may need him to start often in the final month of the season. Both Wright and E-Rod are scheduled to come off the DL this week, but we may need Buchholz again soon and with him pitching the way he is, why not. He will probably go to the bullpen where he can help out where we are hurting the most. Let’s hope the winning can continue for our side as we are now tied for 1st with Toronto and may yet win the division. The final was 2-1.

We are going to have to score more than 2 runs a game to keep on winning. Let’s hope last night’s offensive production does not become the norm. Right now we need the whole team  to  be playing well and if we can’t help the bullpen we won’t win many close games. Ziegler came on and pitched the 8th last night and did fine, but has been inconsistent and we need him to perform well going into the final month. Perhaps Buchholz can help out in the 8th inning and let’s hope Farrell will use him there. We don’t have anyone else and Ziegler is going to need some help there. If we can get to the 9th with the lead we should be in good shape. The bullpen overall has been terrible lately.

I think we should probably conclude that Tazawa is done for the year, He has been used a lot and is probably burned out for the season. He isn’t getting any younger and doesn’t seem able to last a whole season being used regularly. He showed that last year as he was terrible down the stretch then, too. We need to bring in another arm and put him in the minors cause I think he is done no matter how much they try to rest him between outings. I don’t think resting him is going to work. We need another arm that we can depend on because we are not going to be able to depend on him going forward.

We are getting probably the best we can expect from the starters right now and they have been doing well lately, with the exception of that poor start by Henry Owens recently. Let’s hope the starters can stay healthy and keep on doing well through the playoffs. That of course remains to be seen, but I will remain skeptical. We have not seen consistency from the starters all season. They will pitch well for a while then fall off the wagon again. Look for them to struggle at some point in September. We can only hope they are sharp come October and playoff baseball.

I am optimistic about us making the playoffs now, although there is still plenty of time to blow it. If nothing else we should make the second wildcard, but it is exciting to watch the close race in the AL east and for the wildcard spots. The Orioles are only 2 games out of 1st, with us and Toronto tied for the lead and Seattle is only 2 games behind them for the 2nd wildcard. It should be a close race down to the wire, but let’s hope we can hold on to secure a place in the playoffs. I am pretty confident at this point that we will. Go Sox!

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