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The Red Sox Off the Brink

What a weekend!

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox
Very nice.
Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The Red Sox finished what looked like a lost weekend 2-1. It was awesome and ultimately unlikely but I wasn’t terribly surprised. Sometimes you just know.

I knew.

How did I know? Well, I figured the Sox were due to bounce back when I was listening to Bill Simmons’s Friday podcast and he made a snarky remark about the wisdom of betting against the team for the foreseeable future. This set off alarm bells in my head. If the Sports Guy is that certain about something, there’s always something to be learned one way or the other.

There are pros and cons to the fact Simmons never really changes. This was a pro, even if it has ostensibly nothing to do with Ryan McKenna’s dropping Masataka Yoshida’s popup on Saturday, extending the game long enough for Adam Duvall to hit a walk-off home run... except it kind of does, in the sense that if you’re certain about anything after one (1) day of baseball, you deserve and will likely receive what’s coming.

The darkest days of the recent Sox are in the past. Opening Day seemed bad, yes, but the Sox scored nine runs, as they have in every game this year. This is bananas even accounting for Orioles pitching. This team’s bats have life. The arms are still coming around. It’s April 3. There’s time.

What has made this year especially fun in the very short term and is the pitch clock, without which these high-scoring games would all be about an hour longer, I reckon, and sort of insufferable. Sunday’s game came home in under 3 hours and there were 14 runs scored. I can only imagine what it’ll look like when the pitching normalizes, provided it does. (It will.)

This is all a marathon, and not a sprint, though. Just as Opening Day inspired feelings of dread, the following two games inspired feelings of hope, and while it’s not all illusory it’s also not entirely reliable data. Adam Duvall and Kiké Hernández probably won’t have better three-game stretches for the rest of the year, the same way Corey Kluber and Chris Sale probably won’t have worse back-to-back starts in 2023. You can see whatever you want to see, but today, April 3, I see a team that’s plainly on the come-up. If that’s easy for me to say now, I would have said it after the opener — and I kind of did.

This team plainly has some juice. I wouldn’t bet against them just yet.