I had a different column planned for today. It was about a serious topic and would have waded into some difficult waters and would not have been fun to write, let alone read. Maybe it would have made some good points, changed your perspectives on stuff. We’ll never know.
Instead, I’d like to focus on the Red Sox, who have won both games started by Nathan Eovaldi this year and lost all the others. Having exhaustively studied this slate of results so far, my team and I can confidently say it stinks and the Sox should try winning more games, perhaps as soon as tonight against the Mets. Could be tomorrow against the Yankees if push comes to shove, but healthy habits are always best started today.
Perhaps I am overreacting to a whopping total of six games — that’s not even one Joe Kelly suspension! But per an earlier column this year in which I boasted I could count, albeit in more colorful language, I know that at least 10 percent of the season is now done. I say “at least” because the Marlins’ COVID outbreak has exposed some of the prickly particularities of this extremely particular season, namely, in this case, that not every team is likely to play all 60 games. Another outbreak, which seems near-certain, would seem to clinch it.
So we are left with a decent roster and a putrid pitching staff and not much else. The minor leagues aren’t even that great, and also not playing. The main goal of the season, getting under the luxury tax, will or will not happen regardless of the on-field performance, which means there’s just one thing left to do: score more runs than the other team, with regularity.
I know, I know: Easier said than done, especially when the hard part of the schedule hasn’t even kicked in yet. The Mets are decent but the Orioles are not, and both have taken the Sox to the woodshed. As noted above, their next stop is in the Bronx, where the Yankees play and will want to repel their flailing rivals behind a lineup custom built to do just that.
What I propose is: Don’t let them. Instead of letting Aaron Judge hit home runs, the Sox should get him out. Instead of trying to hit Yankee pitching and coming up short, Boston hitters should knock the dumb baseball out of the park. They have three games against the Yanks, and they should try to win them all.
In fact after tonight Boston’s next 17 games are against their more traditional divisional rivals — the Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays. Even with the COVID-related reshuffling of the teams, the Sox should try to beat them, too, with extreme prejudice, based on their historical and geographic rivalries. The Blue Jays, who can’t go to Canada, seem potentially vulnerable to a smash-and-grab plan by Boston to score more runs than them out of pure homesickness. Gotta take every edge we can get.
I say all this because the Sox don’t play a team they are probably better than until they visit Baltimore three weeks from today, if we get that far, and they need a new plan for the games in the interim. After that they get the Orioles once more and the Marlins, or what’s left of them, for three games. The rest of it is landmines all the way down for a team that barely has two legs on which to stand.
And so there’s just one thing to do, which is be better at baseball, and score more runs than their opponents. Hopefully this column illuminates the way for our lost boys. We need wins and we need them now. This column is over.