Sox not going quietly into the night
The 2012 Boston Red Sox were as down in the dumps as a baseball team can be just two weeks ago. They lost two out of three to the A’s, were swept by the Orioles at home and then went on to Kansas City to lose two out of three to the Royals. Plainly put, these are teams the Red Sox should have no problem with. The lowest point came against the Indians when Josh Beckettwas torched for 7 runs and booed off the mound after just 2 2/3 innings of work. The Red Sox were 12-19 and in last place in the AL East.
So what does David Ortiz do as the leader of the Red Sox? He calls for a team meeting of course! Yes, the day after Beckett imploded, Papi called a team meeting. I don’t know what happened, I wasn’t there. What happened doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the Red Sox have gone 9-2 in their 11 games since the meeting. The starting pitching has improved, the bullpen has been phenomenal and the offense is rolling. Most importantly, Josh Beckett has been Josh Beckett. He’s gone 2-0 while only allowing one run in his last 14 2/3 innings pitched. If the Red Sox plan on going anywhere this season, Beckett has to continue to pitch well.
The Red Sox now sit at 21-21 and only 5.5 games out of first place. If you think back to the 9 run lead blown against the Yankees and the 17 inning loss to the Orioles, it’s hard to believe how far the Sox have come. They have refused to crumble under the pressure of the fans and the media. Most importantly, they have focused on playing baseball and doing their jobs.
This is all good and well, but the Red Sox are far from being over the hill yet. They need to keep a consistency of winning while waiting for key players to return. If they can find a way to make it to the All Star break and be within five or so games of first, they will have a great shot at winning the division. If this team is healthy come then and within striking distance, the rest of the AL East should be nervous, if they aren’t already.