The Sox have been playing good ball lately and winning for the most part. There are some major things going on that have affected just how effective they can be but despite the problems they have continued to win. They split the series with the Astros by winning the last two 5-4 and 9-3. The pitching has been good for the most part both starting and out of the pen, except for Sale who has not been pitching up to his usual standards his last two starts. The offense has been good enough but has suffered lately.
Mookie Betts has been out of the lineup due to some sort of side issue and has been the the DL the last 8 games or so. Also, Pedroia who was back only for a hand full of games is back on the DL thanks to his knee. Betts is due to be back soon so this should help get the offense back on track, though they are not as formidable as they once were due to a managerial move that I don’t understand and I will get to in a minute. Nonetheless, they are still pretty good and have been winning the last 20 games or so which has allowed them to stay a game ahead of the Yankees in the standings, As I told you, they will have to play well to stay with the Yankees as the later is certainly going to play well for most of the rest of the way.
What I don’t understand is why team management decided to weaken the offense and designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment when Pedroia came back to the team. I can understand that there were essentially two good first baseman on the roster and it was better not to platoon them and that Mitch Moreland needed to play everyday as he is having the best season of his career so far, but Hanley gave the team more depth as another quality bat in the lineup when needed that we do not now have. With Betts and Pedroia both on the DL we need that badly right now. The better move would have been to send Swihart to the minors as he has been unable to contribute even remotely as well as Hanley would have with the bat. We could not have anticipated the injuries but now that we have them we badly need another quality hitter in the lineup. That’s all I am going to say about that.
Actually Swihart did get a base hit and an RBI last night, so there may be some hope that he will do okay going forward. Still, it looks right now that we have only 4 consistent hitters in the lineup and that from hitters 5-9 we don’t expect much of anything. Last night was good to see, however as the bottom of the order got it going for a change, but we haven’t seen that much so far this year. Brock Holt is hitting well (he had 3 RBI’s last night) and Jackie Bradley is hitting some, but other than those two there really isn’t much after the top 4 hitters have done their thing.
Somebody needs to work closely with the Rookie Devers and teach him to hit. He has been a sort of all or nothing player that either hits a homer (he has 9) or does nothing at all. I am sure the coaches are working with him and he could learn to be more consistent I think, but so far he has been pretty much a dud at the plate. He definitely has potential, but is trying too hard perhaps and needs to settle down and begin to hit. As the season goes on perhaps he will. Let’s hope so, we need another true hitter in the lineup.
All in all, though, the Sox have been doing well lately and let’s hope it will continue. When we get Betts back and even Pedroia we will perhaps be able to continue to win and stay ahead of the Yankees. It will be a tough race all the rest of the way, I am afraid, as they are not going away any time soon. As for Pedroia, I hate to say it, but he may be near the end of his career if he can’t get his knee right again. Maybe he came back a little too soon from his surgery or maybe his knee will plague him from here on out. We certainly could use him if he can still get going and have a good Pedroia year, but we can only hope that his knee problems won’t do him in. He has been the heart and soul of the team for a lot of years. It would be a shame to lose him.
So, the Sox just need to keep on doing what they are doing and all looks good going forward. The struggle will probably be to beat the Yankees out for the division and do well in the playoffs, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. For now we need to just keep plodding along and playing good baseball. There is a long way to go and if we stay healthy it will be a great 2018. It has been great to be a fan so far this season and if things continue to go well it may be one of the best years yet. We can only hope that the team will stay healthy going forward. Anyway, Go Sox!