Anybody remember last weekend when the Red Sox went to Yankee Stadium, lost two out of three, and were outscored 19-13 in three games? Yeah, me neither. Was that really only a week ago?
Here’s the theme of today’s column: the Red Sox are winning a lot of baseball games, and now they’ve officially won six straight. Back-to-back sweeps, both on the road. An overall record of 62-29, the best record in baseball, and a two-game lead on the Yankees in the AL East (which feels like a lot even if it’s really not).
Since that blowout series in New York, the Sox have traveled to Washington and Kansas City, sweeping both teams. People will say, “Well, anyone can beat the Nationals and the Royals, they stink.” Sure, the Nationals are in the middle of a catastrophic collapse that might send Bryce Harper sprinting off to Chicago or New York this winter, and sure, the Royals are currently the second worst team in baseball. So what? Does that mean we aren’t allowed to celebrate victories? And sweeps? And stretching the division lead over the Yankees to two games, which as I mentioned earlier, feels more like 10 games given how close things have been all year?
The level of competition doesn’t matter. The Red Sox played tremendous baseball this week, and they earned the heck out of those two sweeps. The last game they lost was a Sunday night beat down, 11-1, at Yankee Stadium, when David Price once again melted on the big stage (further fueling his reputation), which would be enough to suck the energy out of any team. But the Red Sox got right back on their feet and started winning again – something they’ve been doing all year, and something that will definitely bode well for them in October.
Andrew Benintendi, whose greatness often gets overshadowed by megastars like Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, and Chris Sale, even had a stretch in Kansas City where he reached base in 10 consecutive plate appearances. That was pretty neat.
Amazingly, it feels like the playoffs should be just around the corner, but we haven’t even reached the All-Star break yet. Before we get there, the Sox get to go back home to Fenway Park to play the Rangers and the Blue Jays. And then after that, we still have two more months of the regular season. Baseball season is excruciatingly long, but the 2018 Red Sox are too much fun to care.
To all the fans that will be at Fenway over the next week, throwing down beers and hot dogs on top of the Green Monster and getting to enjoy this team in person, I envy you. I wish I could be there with you, instead of being stuck all the way across the country in Phoenix.
One of these days, I’ll finally get back there.