The Sox have been playing mediocre ball lately. The pitching for the most part has been excellent but a total lack of offense has again plagued the team. Before Bett’s 2 run homer in last night’s game, they had gone 24 consecutive innings without scoring a run and were in the midst of losing two straight again. They managed to hold on to victory last night with some excellent pitching from Price who went 8, allowed 7 hits but no runs. The Yankees were shut out for the first time this season. The final was 3-0.
The Sox are still in good shape at this point with a 52-41 record and a 3 game lead in the division over Tampa Bay. They have not been playing their best ball lately, having a 4-6 record over their last 10, but are managing to hold their own. They at least have not fallen into a prolonged losing streak, though they have made no great effort to pull away in the division standings either.
They ended up splitting the series with the Yankees and seem poised to hold their own. If the offense could somehow learn to be more consistent, they would be transformed from a good team to a great team. This problem will probably be what keeps them from winning it all this season as the pitching most of the time is good enough. It seems that much of the team has yet to mature offensively as they often seem incapable of getting the big hit when they need one. They can get the men on initially, but it is getting them across the plate that seems to be the problem. At one point this season they had one of the lowest batting averages with runners in scoring position in baseball. I imagine they are still pretty close to the bottom.
One thing that has improved a great deal is the defense. This was highlighted last night by a great catch in center field that robbed Judge of a two run homer. Bradley reached over the wall just beyond the bullpen in right center and made the catch. Bradley has always been great as a defender, but the rest of the team has been making great plays and minimizing the errors of late too. This is great to see as nothing is much more satisfying than a well defended game. The hole at 3rd base seems to be filled by Marrero and Lin; I think satisfactorily.
Some would argue that the Sox still need to find a 3rd baseman that can contribute more to the offense and any help there would surely be needed. Still, I think that the performance at the plate by 3rd basemen has been adequate of late, if the rest of the offense could just be more consistent. The defense at 3rd had been good or even great since Marrero and Lin took over. If things could continue as they are, we would be fine at 3rd.
It appears to be our pitching that will carry us forward, although there is some concern about the bull[en with two of our staples in that department being injured. Let’s hope their injuries won’t be long, as the pen has been one of the strengths of the team. To lose the edge we have had there all season may be a problem going forward.
All we ca do is keep plugging away and good is bound to happen. If the Sox can go on a mini win streak of 6 or more games a few more times and hold their own the rest of the time we should be ready for the playoffs when the time comes. Let’s hope our offense will wake up and be more consistent before that time comes. If not, we may not go deep into October for the 2nd year in a row. We will see what we will see, but the future is not that far away now. We are well into the second half and plugging toward the finish. Let’s just keep it together, boys, and continue toward the goal. All we can do is win it all from here. Anyway, Go Sox!