Well this past weekend was a kick in the teeth, eh? A three-game sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays is not exactly what was expected from the team with the best record in baseball. Losing six of eight games in the span of a little more than a week is not what we’ve gotten used to with this year’s Boston Red Sox.
Yet it is those very lofty expectations that have made this past week a stark reminder that even the best of teams can go through dry spells. The Sox are still the only team in baseball with 90 wins right now and even if they don’t end up breaking the single season wins record, they are well on their way to the postseason. It’s also worth noting that the last eight games have featured exactly zero starts from Chris Sale and Mookie Betts has slashed .158/.220/.211 in the last nine games entering Sunday’s contest. (He went 1-for-2 on Sunday). These are not good things, of course, and I’m not here to argue that going 2-6 for eight games is nothing to worry about at all, but there is no need to fly into a panic. The Sox got to 90 wins by playing excellent baseball and they will play excellent baseball again, probably as soon as Tuesday against the Miami Marlins.
Something that will certainly help the cause will be the return of Sale, who is still being cautious. This is a good thing, as its much more important that the staff ace is back to 100 percent health once the postseason rolls around than rushed back to stop a small slide. (Peter Abraham; Boston Globe)
I’m not the only one who believes in this team figuring things out. The team does as well. (Chad Jennings; The Athletic) ($$)
So does David Ortiz. With company like this, I must be onto something. (Evan Drellich; NBC Sports)
Even with this optimism, the AL East race is less finished than previously thought. (Nick Cafardo; Boston Globe)
Nathan Eovaldi was on the mound Sunday and the Red Sox’s trade acquisition was dreadful, again. (Christopher Smith; MassLive)