I Love Joe Kelly: Lessons Learned Through 18 Games

For the sake of entertainment and ease-of-writing I am going to start off by saying this: I am ignoring small sample size bias. Without projecting too far out I am going to assume that what has happened so far is not a fluke, even if there is some regression to be had.

SO, with that in mind: HOLY SH$% WE’RE 16-2! Unbelievable start to the season and they’ve been fun to watch even in cold weather--which generally isn’t the case for baseball teams. Some guys have had mini slumps and others seem to be baseball gods themselves, but what have I learned?

1. JD Martinez was an excellent signing- He got off to a slow start, and for some reason doesn’t have 394739 home runs. But he’s a solid presence at the plate and save for a couple mistakes in the field (which we knew were coming) he’s been a boatload of fun to watch and a stalwart in the lineup.

2. Xander Bogaerts is a legend-People seemed to be critical of his play all of last season, and justifiably so. He’s not having it this year. Prior to his injury (what an effort play…just really, gotta love his effort even if it sidelined him) he was arguably the hottest player in baseball. He’s out to prove people wrong and I feel like many of us are just going to have to hold on tight or be thrown from the bulldozer. (That’s a saying, right?)

3. Chris Sale has been…good. FINALLY.-Follow me here: Would you rather have an exhausted Chris Sale who has 300 strikeouts or a fairly underused Chris Sale with say…220 strikeouts? I’m not alone in my opinion that holding him back a bit early in the year is a WISE move. Same goes for all pitchers on the staff, and with how they’re pitching so far…phew. I’m glad he’s been GOOD this year and not OHMYGODTHISGUYISINSANE like he was last year. Plus, I’d be willing to bet that holding him back might be pissing him off a little, even if he understands why Cora is doing it. I like pissed off Chris Sale.

4. Alex Cora is NOT in over his head-Alright fine, I’ll admit. I was afraid of Alex Cora. I was scared he’d botch the bullpen, overuse the starters, overplay the outfielders, etc. He hasn’t. I was plain WRONG and I am THRILLED about it.

5. I have never had such mixed feelings about a human being as I have had about Joe Kelly-I love the guy. More than Papi. More than Pedey. More than most of the people I see on a daily basis. (SLIGHTLY less than my fiancé. SLIGHTLY.) But over the last calendar year he had me worried as his command became an issue and his usage dropped. I began to hate him in a loving way. Then I didn’t know what to think so I shut him out of my life. He’s back. In a big way. Oh, and he beat the crap out of some guy apparently. Someone from New York or something?

6. No one scares me anymore.-What team, in either league, are we afraid of playing? No one. We’re the take-on-all-comers version of the Red Sox this season and I love it.

7. The one bad lesson: it’s a long, long season.-Unfortunately, it’s only 18 games. There are about 6000000 still to go. But MAN has it been fun so far.

8. BONUS NON-RED SOX LESSON: Crow tastes…okay I guess. I was wrong about Ohtani. He’s a solid player and a good pitcher with a pile of potential. But the Sox handled him just fine both on the mound and at the plate. But he’ll be okay, and I’m guessing he’ll be even scarier next year.

Pomeranz is back tonight and he’s going to throw a no-hitter* against this Athletics lineup. Go Sawks.

*probably, maybe.