Well the Sox managed to win 3 of 4 from the Phillies, but forgot to show up again offensively last night. Or was it that the Phillies pitcher had such a great game. Either way, they managed only 5 hits and no runs in the loss. Sale, who was pitching for the Sox, tried awfully hard to win the game all by himself, but he was unable to do it alone. He had a base hit with the bases loaded and 2 out taken away from him by a great play by the Philly short stop. Then in the 8th inning, he led off with a great double and then hustled to third on a fly out to right. The Sox then failed to get him in as he found he could not win all by himself as he needed at least some help on offense. He then gave up a run on 2 hits in the bottom of the 8th (he gave up only 4 hits all game) and the Phillies scored the only run they would need to win this one. The Sox went 3 up, 3 down in the 9th and the gave was over as an abysmal 1-0 loss.
The Yankees also lost their 3rd in a row, so the Sox find themselves still 2 games out of 1st. They play the Astros next, who had been hot but are cooling off some lately. It could be an interesting series over the weekend. Let’s hope the Sox can hold their own or even win 2 of the 3 games. We may catch the Yankees ere too long if we can continue to win series and even stay in first after that if our recent success continues.
The team is again looking for a 5th starter as Johnson has been placed on the DL. Let’s hope E-Rod makes a full recovery and will be back soon. Maybe the Sox will only have to make one start with an unknown. At the most it will be two. Maybe once E-Rod is healthy, all will be right with the Sox rotation again. Still, Pomeranz and Porcello have not been too sharp in their last couple of starts. It will be enough to put up with their inconsistency if we can get get three good, consistent starters in Sale, Price and Rodriquez. It looks like that is how things may be shaping up. It will be enough to get us through the season, perhaps, but the playoff are another matter entirely.
All we can do is keep pushing forward and hope the pitching holds up to meet our needs. The bullpen continues to be lights out and now have a streak in the 20 plus innings without giving up a run. If that holds up going forward, it will more than make up for any inconsistency in the starting rotation. All in all, things look pretty good if everyone can get and stay healthy long enough for us to make a run. The offense is good enough to get the job done on most nights, if the pitching can keep them in the game and give them the chance to outscore the opponent.
The offense seems to have been on an upward swing of late, although they still struggle to hit really good pitching. They can be and sometimes are completely stymied by any pitcher who has a good night. If they could learn to hit good pitching more consistently, we may be looking at a playoff run this year. They will face great pitching every night in the playoffs, so they need to learn to score even against the best of pitchers on their best night. This is something that has been lacking all year. If the pitcher gives them something to hit they can rack up the hits. Otherwise, they are often struggling.
This is bound to improve as the season progresses. Once they all learn to hit more consistently, they will do better even against the better stuff. Right now they seem to be struggling, but by the time the playoffs come around they may be as right as rain. So, let’s just keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. There is a lot of baseball left to play and we may find ourselves one of the best teams before it is all over. Let’s cross our fingers and see what develops. Anyway, Go Sox!