The Sox are coming off a four game sweep of the Yankees. It was really the Hanley Ramirez show. He went 9 for 16 with 9 RBI’s and 3 homers. Without him we would not have won at least two, probably 3 of the games. The Sox are now sitting pretty on top of the AL East by 3 games with only 13 to play. It may be safe to say they are going to make the playoffs, but we really don’t know yet. Teams have fallen before and there is still time for them to not only lose the division, but the wildcard spots as well. I believe they will probably win the division, but I did not always believe that.
There is still time for them to lose and if not for Ramirez, they would not be doing so well. The starting pitching has not been that great of late with 3 of the 5 starters being questionable since we don’t know whether we will get a good outing or a total flop out of them. Even Price did not do well against the Yankees giving up 5 runs in 6 innings. We will need good pitching to go far in the playoffs and I’m afraid the starting pitching will be our undoing in the end.
The bullpen has been pitching lights out lately. They did very well against the Yankees, I believe only giving up 1 run in 4 games. Let’s hope they can continue to do well as they may have to bail out the starters often in post season play. It looks like Boston will be playing Cleveland in the ALDS if they can hold on and win the division. Let’s hope they do and we see them move forward against Cleveland.
We are going to have to get some more hitting out of the rest of the offense as Ramirez can’t carry us all the way through the playoffs, I don’t believe. Bogaerts has been showing some signs of coming out of his slump, but Pedroia has cooled off and we are still not getting enough out of Betts. Bradley may be hitting well again soon as he has come up with some timely hits lately. He does better in the number 8 or 9 spot. Let’s hope the bottom of the order will give him some chances to drive runs in. If not, he can get on base for the top of the order to drive in or simply drive himself in with a homer or two.
If we get everyone on the same page and hitting well, nobody, not even the Cubs, will be able to beat us. That would be a beautiful thing to see: the young and mighty Sox lineup hitting up to their potential all at the same time, just as we get close to the playoffs. We will go far, perhaps, if that were to occur.
That is still a perhaps because a lot depends on what kind of starting pitching we get going forward. I am afraid it is going to be what beats us in the end. We will be facing tough lineups going forward and we need great performances out of the 3 questionable starters to really have any chance of winning it all. Still, they might pull it off. Those 3 starters are supposed to be better than they are and at times have pitched well. Let’s hope the next month or so will be their time to shine and we get the pitching we need.
So, the Sox are poised to win the division and vault into the playoffs with high hopes in Papi’s final season. If the whole team does as well as he has done himself, we will definitely be in the running to go all the way. We will see what happens and we can only hope to see things go well the rest of the way. Let’s win it all for Papi, as I have said many times this year. It may still come to pass Go Sox!