So many Red Sox thoughts right now, I'm overwhelmed with strange feelings.
It started with Lester's 8 innings in Tampa last week when it looked like it was a lock for a win. And then the pen collapsed. I knew then that there was something strange and eerie going on--like it was 2008 all over again and the Rays have magical powers at the Trop.
Some thoughts go to the past... Was Manny a Zenmaster in disguise, relaxing the middle of the lineup with his que-sera-sera, stoner outlook?
I despise Manny now for what he did to get traded, but I understand his value in the middle of that lineup. For all his bad traits, the guy rarely pressed. He was the equivalent of having, gulp, Mark Teixiera (say what you want about him being on the Yankees--the guy is a freaking stud).
Manny relaxed Ortiz. This is not news, it's just a fact. As Eric said to me today, "Manny is a lingering presence. Like overripe fish."
Is the silver lining that our starting pitching is very good? Is Tito for real doing these Bigelow Green Tea ads online?
Whatever the case, I haven't seen the Red Sox offense press so much in a very long time.
Youkilis who had been hitting really well on the road, suddenly lost it again over the weekend. The Jason Bay hamstring pull couldn't have come at a worse time. I love getting V-Mart, but getting him in a slump of sorts is unfortunate.
Lester and Beckett are studs. Buchholz has some things to work out, namely, throwing that fastball for strikes (and maybe going back to the mysteriously missing curveball).
First place is pretty much a goner at this point in the season, unless the Yankees pull an about face or there is some major injury to Burnett or Carston Charles. The wild card is the spot to get, and with having to go on the road in Texas and Toronto, the Sox have a lot more work to do.
The point is that it's time to relax a little, and get back to basics. Shrug off the week, and get back to taking bad pitches, hitting strikes and being patient.
ps. The Red Sox schedule is so whacked this week.. Why the hell do they go home for 4 games, then are back on the road for 6 to Texas (again) and Toronto? And looking ahead, from August 18 to 30 the Red Sox do not have one day off.