Red Sox @ Rays Game 3 (9-25-16)

The Sox continue their winning ways. They have now won 11 in a row and are just two games away from clinching the division. It was not a high scoring series against the Rays as the Sox always seem to have trouble with Ray’s pitching, but it was their 3rd straight sweep of division rivals. The door is now open for the Sox to march into the playoffs and beyond. I am a little leary of them winning so much lately as they may be peaking a little too early. Let’s hope their winning ways can continue through the playoffs. As they say, they don’t have to win every game in the playoffs; they just have to win more games than the other team.

Even if they start to stumble and falter in the playoffs, it has been a better season than I would have thought just a few weeks ago. They lead the majors in lots of offensive categories and their pitching has been adequate for them to win more than 90 games, which is surprising. Still, I like the way they have surprised me so far and hope it will continue.

They have also moved into a tie with Texas for home field advantage, which means they have tied for the best record in the AL. They may well get home field advantage, but I’m not sure that will help them much as they seem to have done better on the road than at home. Maybe it will help them hit more doubles off the green monster and drive in runs. They can play well at Fenway Park, but they don’t always.

They take on the Yankees for 3 in New York and then Toronto for 3 at home and that will do it for the regular season. Everyone thought it would come down to the last 3 games to decide the division and it might yet, but I think it is safe to bet that the Sox will win the division even if they were to lose all 3 of the final series, which I doubt they will do. They haven’t quite clinched the win yet and Toronto is behind them, but they are 6 games behind with 6 to go. The best they can do is tie and I can’t see the Sox losing the next six, nor will the Blue Jays likely win the next 6. It seems a shoe-in for our side.

So, 2016 looks to be one of the best seasons for the team in recent years. One of the main reasons is how well Papi has played in this his final season. He is setting records for players over 40 and other record for players in their final season. With him doing so well, how can the rest of the team keep from responding and playing well also. That seems to be what  is happening. Can Papi lead them all the way to the big series in this his final season. Perhaps. We will have to see.

Meanwhile, let’s just keep pulling for them and try not to expect too much. If we keep our expectations low, perhaps they will go far. Often expectations are dashed in Big League Baseball, but we can hope they will do well. If we hope without expecting the world, maybe the world will be ours. I hope the young team that we have can deal with the pressure and continue to perform.

Dealing with the pressure has been an issue some this season as the team seemed to fail from time to time when the pressure was on. Let’s hope Papi and Farrell can help them to forget about how big the playoff games are and just play because they love the game and enjoy themselves. If they can play with that attitude instead of feeling the weight of too much pressure for young players, we may be able to pull it off. If they feel the pressure too acutely we may not. Let’s hope the leaders on the team can keep them playing well as we move forward.

The playoffs begin soon and hopefully I will be able to see every game on the national networks. Let’s just keep moving forward and we may we reap success. We have already had a successful season. Now it is time to go for it all. Let’s do it. Go Sox!

 

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