The Sox won a good one yesterday. They still were unable to get the hit they needed to drive in runners with them in scoring position. Instead, they led off the 8th in a 2-2 game with three singles to load the bases. A run then scored on a wild pitch, another scored on a ground out to first that was hit too softly to turn two and two more scored on an error by the shortstop who made an errant throw that the first baseman couldn’t handle on a routine ground ball. So, the Sox held on to win 6-2.
The victory means they beat the Cubs two out of three, which is about the best we could have hoped for and they stayed above .500 with a 13-11 record. They are now only 2.5 games out of first for the division as the Yankees and Orioles, the two who are now tied for first, beat up on each other over the weekend. So, they are not in too bad shape, but as I said, they need to start winning and winning a lot.
Rodriquez pitched a good game, giving up only 1 run in 6 innings. The second Cub run came on 2 walks and a wild pitch that saw the runner score from 2nd, as Kelley did not have a good outing. The rest of the bullpen did a good job and shut down the Cubs for 2.1 innings. The bullpen continues to look good and I don’t recall them blowing any games yet this season, but they may have done so once or twice. All in all, though, the pen has been one of the strengths of the team so far. Let’s hope it can continue.
It is good to see Ramirez begin to hit the ball as he hit a homer in each of the last two games. He seems to have found his stroke and hopefully won’t miss those fat pitches anymore as he seemed to be fouling them off previously. Now he can put them in the seats over the outfield wall. That is good to see. The Sox were last in the majors in homers for the month of April. I think they will begin to hit some now.
I’m not sure what to think of the lead off situation right now. Pedroia, who is now in the 6 spot, but was leading off, got a single in his first at bat, while Bogaerts, who is now leading off, did not. If Pedroia had got his hit in the 1st inning leading off, Hanley’s homer would have been a 3 run instead of 2 run. Still, Bogey came through in the 8th with a single that kept the rally going that eventually won the game. Perhaps he can do as well or better in the lead off spot than Petey and Pedroia has been hitting pretty well from the 6 spot the last few games. Pedroia says: “I can rake it anywhere,” so he doesn’t mind hitting 6th. Maybe Bogey will do just fine.
Price is continuing to progress in his rehab, but they say it will be at least another month or so before he can pitch. If he comes back and pitches well, we will have a great pitching staff. Right now, Wright seems the only real weakness in the rotation. If we can get Price to replace him, we should be in great shape come the month of June. We are really not in that bad of shape now, but things could be even better then.
Well, we just need to keep blowing ahead. While the month of April was only mediocre at best, 13-11 is still something we can build on. We just need to have a great month of May to see ourselves on top. Only 2.5 games back is not too bad a place to be. The end of May might see us on top of the division where we belong. We will have to see what happens. For now, let’s shake off the 3-5 of the last 8 games and get moving forward. If we go 5-3 for the next 8 we will have made progress. Maybe we can do better than that. Anyway, Go Sox!