After a series sweep of the Yankees, Boston seems to be in a good position heading into what will be a tough series in Houston. The team seems fired up, upset about multiple calls in Sunday’s series finale— which Alex Cora made clear in his postgame press conference. All of this points to a positive outlook for the Sox, who are certainly within striking distance of the third Wild Card spot.
We really cannot overlook the power that beating their biggest rival and getting fired up over umpiring can have on a team, especially this rag-tag group. Hopefully *hopefully* this can create some sort of competitiveness as they enter this cross-country no-off-days trip.
But unfortunately for them, the Mariners have won six straight, the Blue Jays hit five home runs in their 7-run victory Sunday, and the Yankees aren’t necessarily the best opponent to test this team’s real level of talent.
At the end of the day, the facts are the facts, and New York has now dropped eight straight and had scored a total of six runs in their last five games before putting up five in the series finale. They’ve been falling apart since that awful Marlins meltdown and seemingly have a divided, frustrated, and insecure clubhouse, which does not provide a controlled measurement of what this Red Sox team may do in the coming weeks.
On the other end of the equation, Boston absolutely hung one on current Cy Young frontrunner Gerrit Cole, scoring six runs off of him in only four innings, and hitting two home runs among that. Luis Urias hit the second grand slam of his career, which was coincidentally only the second grand slam that Cole had given up in his career, and the first since 2017.
Obviously, both the offensive and pitching performances were great this weekend, with the whole lineup contributing, Kutter Crawford throwing five no-hit innings, and the bullpen holding it down. But the real problem lies in the fact that we have absolutely no clue how this success may translate to these upcoming series. This team has been the perfect picture of inconsistency this year as it luck has had it, and baseball itself is a cruel, uneven, and relentless game.
So, as much as I *hope* that this series could be an ignition of 2019 Nationals proportions— I wouldn’t hold your breath (for all of our sanity). Every year, I get too emotionally attached to the Red Sox, so maybe this is my coping mechanism for distancing myself from the pain and hurt to come. But I can assure you that this is not me trying to be overly negative and downtrodden, it is simply me being realistic and taking into account all of the truths of this season, this team, and the game itself.
But for those of you who prefer to look on the positive side of things, Tanner Houck, Garrett Whitlock, and Chris Sale all returning as reinforcements to this relatively unrecognizable starting rotation certainly cannot hurt, and some improvements from Alex Verdugo and Masataka Yoshida point to hopefully good signs in the near future.
Whatever this season turns out to be, whether I’m right or wrong, whether we’re destined for the ride of our lives or not, I’ll still be buckled in all the way.