Well, the Sox have come to the end of the road for 2017. They ended up doing pretty much the same thing this season as last: winning the division, but being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. They did manage to win one game in the playoffs this time around as they were swept last year, but couldn’t manage to win enough to get to the next round. All in all, it was another good season and we can’t complain too much as fans. We can only hope that next season they come back stronger than ever.
We did see see some good baseball from the team in 2017. If we could have just been more consistent. We really didn’t know what to expect from them in any given game, but it was great to see them battle as they often did and win in the late innings. They did that time and time again and it seemed that the offense often had trouble getting going at all, but would throw in a big 5 or more run inning every now and then that resulted in some wins.
Unfortunately, we quite often watched them struggle inning after inning to put up any runs at all and had it not been for good pitching we would have been nowhere but the cellar this year. I really think the offense can be better and more consistent as the young players on the team mature and learn to be more consistent. I think we have an exciting player in Devers, who may not be able to replace Papi, but will go a long way toward making up some of what lacks by his absence next year and for years to come. I really hope they hold on to him as it will be exciting to watch his career as he develops into the good power hitter we need so badly in the lineup.
There were several disappointments this past season, the least of which wasn’t Ramirez, who never really got going at all. If he can have a better season next year and with the rest of the lineup continuing to develop, we should have a potent offense in the years to come. Really, in the playoffs we were pretty banged up with Pedroia and Betts, two of our best hitters, not being near 100% and Nunez being totally out. Without them hitting well, we really didn’t have much of a chance in the playoffs. At least we were able to squeak by and win the division again. It was the first time the Sox have won back to back seasons in franchise history!
As for 2018, if we can get most of the team back and make some further additions, we should be in good shape for another good season. They really need someone who will step up and give them strong and consistent leadership to lead them to the playoffs and beyond for a change. If they can get the leadership they need (Nunez might be a good candidate) we might have a stellar season next year. Can you say 100 game winners? We might do just that if all goes well in the off season and everybody returns and can stay healthy.
Still, it was a good year to be a Sox fan in 2017. Are we wrong to hope for just a little more to put them over the top next year? I don’t think so. Also, I think it will happen as the young offense matures and learns to be ready to score runs inning after inning and not just in spurts. It’s great to score 5 runs in an inning, but when you put up 0’s inning after inning with only a few big innings sprinkled in something needs to improve. The thing to watch next year will be whether they can learn to be consistent with pitching, but especially on the offensive side. We will see what we will see. I can’t wait for 2018 to see how it goes. Anyway, Go Sox!