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Game 100: Guardians at Red Sox

Make like a banana and split

Cleveland Guardians Vs. Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Red Sox enter the day below .500 for the first time since June 4th when they were are 26-27. During their month-long rung of playing teams with a .500 record or better they are just 4-16. There are still 7 more games to go. The final is, of course, August 3rd. The day after the trade deadline. You may have thought play leading up to it would influence if the Sox were buyers or sellers. You are probably right.

The bats were more lively last night - 9 hits vs Cleveland 12 - but five of the six runs they scored were thanks to Bobby Dalbec having the game of his life, it’s not like everyone was hitting again. J.D. Martinez was 0-4 as he tries to get back into a groove.

If you’re looking for good news there is some: assuming Chaim Bloom doesn’t take this opportunity to blow up the team and rebuild from scratch all is miraculously not lost. Sure, Chris Sale is gone but he hasn’t help in years anyway. With the (somewhat silly) expansion of the playoffs the Red Sox sit just 4.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for a share of the Wild Card round.

Don’t look now but Kutter Crawford has been pretty good recently. Over his last four starts - all during Disaster July - the righty has a 2.82 ERA, 2.09 FIP and has held opponents to .213/.247/.313. He’s striking out 27% of batters this year and waling a tidy 9%. And for all the talk about “the Red Sox fail against the AL East” all four of those starts were against AL East opponents: the Rays twice, the Yankees, and Toronto. The Sox won two of those games but they easily could have won all four. There’s every possibility that Brayan Bello makes and adjustment and has a strong run over the next two months. He’s talented.

It’s depressing watching the club get beaten down every night after looking unstoppable (after looking terrible). And sure,Hunter Renfroe’s .247/.301/.506 sure would look nice replacing JBJ in lineups without Rafael Devers and Trevor Story. But Whitlock is back in the bullpen. Eovaldi and Pivetta aren’t punching bags and should be even slightly better. And Rich Hill...uhh...we’ll find him maybe.

I’m not saying sell the farm and go all in for this season. It probably was never their year. But the first base market had some guys freely available that could have helped at the margins. At least make those moves. If it means flipping Eovaldi or J.D. in the process it’s possible to buy and sell and just distribute the talent a little better.

In the best news, the Sox are celebrating Joe Castiglione’s 40 year in the booth tonight, “can you believe it?”

Game 100: Guardians at Red Sox

Lineup spot Guardians Red Sox
Lineup spot Guardians Red Sox
1 Steven Kwan, LF Jarren Duran, CF
2 Amed Rosario, SS Alex Verdugo, LF
3 Jose Ramires, 3B Xander Bogaerts, SS
4 Josh Naylor, 1B J.D. Martinez, DH
5 Andres Gimenez, 2B Christian Vázquez, C
6 Franmil Reyes, DH Franchy Cordero, 1B
7 Nolan Jones, RF Bobby Dalbec, 3B
8 Luke Maile, C Jackie Bradly Jr., RF
9 Myles Straw, CF Jeter Downs, 2B
SP Triston McKenzie, RHP Kutter Crawford, RHP