The debate lately on the talk shows, social media, and fans calling and tweeting is the question of whether this Red Sox team is good enough to get to another World Series. The recent hitting barrage and the walk-offs were exciting and they swept the White Sox which is a team they needed to beat in order to gain a few games on the Yankees who were losing.
Realistically, no one expects the offense to continue hitting on that pace the rest of the year. They could get hot like that again, though, because they’ll be playing more home games the rest of the way and they hit well at home. However, I’ve always felt that when all the hitters get hot at once they also cool off all at once. It’s always nice when three or four hitters get hot and when they cool off the other hitters pick up the slack. I’ve experienced it first hand.
Does this team have what it takes to get to the World Series this year? My answer is yes. They are a talented ball club and are strong in almost every category. However, in my opinion a few things have to happen before the Sox print World Series tickets…
Number one is the health and attitude of David Price. If he’s healthy he needs to pitch extremely well down the stretch and into the post-season. Assuming Sale is himself and pitches the way we know he can, back-to-back wins will be enormous for the ball club to advance. Pomeranz has thrown well and should give the team an opportunity to win his game as well. Should he and Porcello have problems the depth of the bullpen should be able to hold the scoring down. Addison Reed adds to the depth of an already good bullpen. The bullpen has to be handled flawlessly by John Farrell in close ball games. Having Kelly back will help in the late innings.
Red Sox hitters will be facing the best pitchers the opposition has and the intensity of post-season games is a rung higher than the regular season. For many it will be their first post-season experience. The others have had some playoff experience and it might help. To me the one player who needs to produce down the stretch and into the post-season is Hanley Ramirez. He needs to produce more RBI in case the other hitters struggle with men on base. They need at least four or five hitters to hit well and Hanley is one of them. Along with the hitting the Sox need to run the bases better. They cannot afford to have bad base running take them out of big innings. Play aggressive baseball but don’t make stupid mistakes.
There’s a way to go in the regular season and should the Yankees get hot it will be a lot tougher to win the division. Anything is possible. The team I’m concerned about most is Baltimore. Not to overtake the Red Sox but they want to beat the Red Sox badly. Showalter does not like the Red Sox and would love to knock them out of first place. The incident earlier in the season will also motivate them to maybe play their best ball of the year. I still think the Red Sox are capable of getting to the World Series but it will take everyone on the ball club to play well. Pitching is always the key to winning but you have to do the other things well in order to go all the way. The Sox are capable but they have to do the job on the field.