For the first time this year the Boston Red Sox have had a winning record. They may still be in last, but they’re only a 1/2 game from fourth and if the score of the Yankee game holds they’ll be a game behind the Yankees for third in the division. The Sox have been playing really well lately and if it keeps up they could be in first very soon. Today to get over the .500 they had to take down Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers. I’ll be honest I didn’t have much faith, especially with Bard starting, but they pulled it out with a 6-3 victory knocking out Verlander after just 6 innings. Bard pitched decently, he went 5 1/3 giving up 2 runs on 5 hits. He didn’t dominate, but he got the job done. Even though he was able to pick up his 5th win (4th as a starter) I’m still not in love with him as a starter, as I’ve mentioned before. I guess I’m warming up to him a little because he’s winning, but I still turn into a head vase when I watch him pitch. All in all the game was good, Nava had a great AB every time he stepped in the box, Papi was huge, and the bottom of the lineup contributed some key hits as well.
Now that I’m done recapping the game I’d like to talk about my absence from the blog. It was just pure laziness in case you wanted to know. Now to prevent that I’m setting up a schedule almost to keep me on track a little bit. Every Sunday I will preview the week ahead for the Sox, on Thursdays I will write an opionion article, and lastly I’m going to some kind of rant where I’ll usually just complain about what’s wrong with the team, but offer no real solution. I don’t have a date set for those, but any ideas would be welcome in the comments below or on twitter @thebestsoxblog. So that’s pretty much it. Good night and thank you for wasting your time on my blog.
Yesterday Dallas Morning News columnist, Tim Cowlishaw, wrote a article talking about how the Rangers-Angels rivalry had surpassed the Red Sox-Yankees. Now I respectfully disagree with this. Yes, the Sox haven’t made the playoffs in two years, but neither have the Angels. The Angels stole C.J. Wilson away from the Rangers and he tweeted Mike Napoli’s number. So? Where’s the intensity in their games? The answer is there isn’t. Rivalries aren’t measured by skill of the teams, but intensity between the teams and the fans. I realize the fans don’t like each other in Dallas and LA, but there’s nothing like the hate between a die hard Sox and die hard Yanks fan. It’s these things that make a rivalry great. Just because one team got two great players doesn’t make them part of a great rivalry. Until the Red Sox-Yankees hate dies down no rivalry in all of sports can challenge it.
Another thing that bothered me was that he said the Sox were the third best team in the AL East. Once again I disagree. Although the Sox have had back to back third place finishes in the division, there’s still reason to believe they’re the best.
The first reason is they have without a doubt the best lineup in the division, maybe even the best in the MLB. The top six hitters in the lineup are all All-Stars who’ve all finshed in the top five in MVP votes, with exception of Crawford whose top MVP finish was seventh place. Also behind those six are three solid, proven hitters.
The second reason is the top of their rotation is the best in the division. Many people could argue that Price, Shields, Hellickson trumps Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, but I don’t believe so. Lester-Price is a toss-up, but Beckett edges out Shields and Buchholz, when healthy, is by far better than Hellickson. I will say that the Rays rotation overall beats the Sox’s, but the top of the Sox’s rotation out matches the Ray’s.
My third and final reason is, the Red Sox bullpen (with Bard) is the best in the division. Bailey is the second best closer in the AL East, and Bard and Melacon are the second third best set-up guys in the division next to David Robertson. Aceves is the best long reliever and Albers is the best middle relief pitcher in the division. No bullpen in the east can match up with the Sox’s depth.
I’m sorry Tim Cowlishaw, I respect you, but I refuse to believe that Rangers-Angels trumps Sox-Yankees, or the Sox are the third best team in the East.
The good news today is that the Red Sox won, but once again the Rays beat the Yankees. Both teams are now 90-71. Tomorrow Jon Lester takes on Alfredo Simon in the Sox-O’s season finale. The Rays have David Price going for them tomorrow, and the Yankees are yet to pick a starter for tomorrow’s game. The Sox should be able to get to Simon rather easily, and if Lester pitches anywhere close to his best the Sox should be fine. In the Yanks-Rays game the Rays will have a huge upper hand thanks to David Price. It appears that the Sox and Rays will tie and play in Tampa on Thursday.