Looking ahead, looking behind: the outfield’s noodle bats and the gold-dust sprinkled Sox

May 18th, 2007 → 9:39 am @ // 9 Comments

These next six days will be interesting ones for the Sox. Tonight — god and the weather providing — will mark the beginning of this year’s interleague play; last year, you’ll remember, the collective National League pretenders gave RSN the false impression that the team was one of baseball’s elites. It’s unrealistic to expect the Sox to duplicate 2006’s 16-2 performance…but I’m not sure anyone would be surprised if they did. Especially with the roll the team’s on right now. In the last five days, the Sox took full advantage of Sam “Brain Fart” Perlozzo’s missteps for a Mother’s Day Massacre that is not likely ever to be repeated, and swept the first-place Tigers — er, make that formerly first-place Tigers — in a doubleheader despite the fact that in the night game, J.D. Drew was out of commission, Papi was on the bench, and Schilling looked as if he was serving up batting practice. The Sox are 12-4 in May. Seven of those victories have been by a margin of one or two runs. There haven’t been any giveaways. Life is good.

But there’s no reason to focus on May alone: the Sox, at 28-12, have two fewer losses than any other team in baseball and four more wins that any other AL team. This, despite the fact that the team’s starting outfielders are collectively batting .244 with 11 home runs (seven players have hit 11 or more) and 48 RBIs…and that Manny, JDD, and Coco all trail Dustin “Rudy” Pedroia in batting average (.253) and OBP (.356). Oh, and despite the fact that, a quarter of the way into the season, Manny projects to finish the year with the lowest home run total (24), the second lowest RBI total (100), and the lowest hit total (148) of his career.

But back to these next six days. The Yankees (who’ll throw out their 11th starter of the year) are facing a pair of the Mets’ lefties this weekend. The Bronx Bumblers are 3-7 versus southpaws thus far in 2007, and the Mets are on the tail end of a week that was as blessed as Boston’s, with two wholly improbable walk-offs versus the Cubs in the past three days. (Yesterday’s was the result of a five-run ninth in a game most of New York’s biggest bats started on the bench.) It’s not a stretch to think the Sox could pick up another two games on the Yankees by the middle of next week…which would put 11.5 games up.

Indeed, why not? The Sox do seem to be sprinkled with gold dust these days…but baseball is an unfair game good luck can turn bad right quick, especially because the Yankees, as epically sucky as they’ve been, aren’t likely to keep on getting this many bad breaks day after day. With Beckett headed to the DL, Schilling coming off of two sub-par starts, and Tavarez being relied on to turn in a solid start every five days, a bad couple of weeks isn’t out of the question. It’ll happen at some point.The team will weather it just fine. And the fans and the media should, too. Everyone agree? Good.


Post Categories: 2007 Season & Interleague play & Manny Ramirez & Offense & Red Sox & Winning streaks & Yankees

9 Comments → “Looking ahead, looking behind: the outfield’s noodle bats and the gold-dust sprinkled Sox”


  1. rln2433

    10 years ago

    Manny is looking increasingly lost and indifferent out there lately. No plate coverage on 2 strike counts, it’s May 18th and he still doesn’t have his timing down?

    Give me a break.

    Theo and company insisted that they get fair value for Manny. Well, when you consider that he sucks up $19 million a year in payroll, locks down the #4 slot on a team that has scored 6 less runs then the vaunted Yankee lineup and has done nothing this year I’d say that they overestimated his worth. Tito doesn’t have the balls to pinch hit him late in the game to wake his lazy ass up.

    Good luck getting an extension from the Sox next year, Manny. Good luck getting anyone to give you a long term deal.

    Reply

  2. rln2433

    10 years ago

    Oh, and by the way, this new hitting coach for the Sox is really working out well, no? Lugo, Crisp, Drew and Manny are all underperfoming. This team swings at too many eye level pitches and the speed guys don’t put the ball in play or get on base with enough consistancy.

    Mikey Lowell is having a great season though!

    Reply

  3. Jenny

    10 years ago

    Wow. I guess it’s true that Sox fans are never happy unless they’re miserable. I’m frankly not sure what there is to be miserable about with this team, aside from Beckett’s DL stint. We’re 28-12, have a 9.5 game lead on the Yankees, and that’s with all the players you named underperforming. Despite that, we’ve scored only 6 less runs than the “vaunted Yankee lineup.” That’s a knock on the Yankees, not on us. Maybe the pitching will come back to earth somewhat, but the hitting should actually get better, because despite your misery, 6 weeks do not a season make and Manny and Drew are both very good hitters. They will come around.

    And after season upon season of demanding to be traded and driving the front office nuts, what in the world makes you think Manny wants an extension?

    Reply

  4. djarm18

    10 years ago

    Seth is onto something, I would think. It seems inevitable to me that right as we are ready to watch the Yanks fall flat on their face, lady luck pays them a visit. Even the Pirates win a few games. It’s not inconceivable for the Yanks to rip off a few good series and the Sawx sputter and land some players on the DL.

    And that will interesting moment for this team. It sounds cliche, but the ’07 Sox seem to have “character” in a way I don’t think the ’05 or ’06 group had (easy for me to say).

    Manny seems to be in a fog. But that can’t last forever can it. Can it?

    >

    Don’t the Sox lead the AL in walks? Or close to the top? With Coco and Lugo’s speed, Youk working counts and the (sometimes) big bats, I think this is a pretty dynamic offense.

    And about interleague play: What’s with the Sox playing the NL west but no games against the LA Dodgers? Will Nomar ever play in Fenway again? Or did he in ’05? Wasn’t he hurt?

    Enough procrastinating @ work! Enjoy the weekend…

    Reply

  5. HFXBOB

    10 years ago

    One think that strikes me about the Sox current run is that they are ‘winning ugly’ in a lot of games. You look at the box score and see a bunch of guys with oh-fers, nobody did anything special but we still won. This is a good thing. Games are being won with superb pitching and runs being produced in many ways-including gifts from the other team. In yesterday’s sweep of the Tigers, the first crazy thing is that the heroes were named Tavares and Hinske. The second is…how many times in history has a team swept a doubleheader at Fenway scoring 6 runs total? You have to like the makeup of this team and the way they play nine full innings.

    Reply

  6. tater

    10 years ago

    LOL. People bitching about the hitting of the Red Sox make me laugh. The Red Sox have scored the most runs in MLB and are second in batting average. rln, you are sounding like Dan Shaughnessy.

    Reply

  7. rln2433

    10 years ago

    Tater:

    If the trend continues then this team falls back to earth in the next 45 days. You cannot win in the AL with so many people not producing. They decided that Nixon was done and get us a guy for $14 million who swings at stuff out of the zone while taking pitches middle in. They shell out $8 million a year for a guy who is one of the least productive defensive players and he sucks at lead off. Their center fielder hits fly (pop ups) balls when he has no HR power. Manny is 25% into the season and looking like he’s on the decline. Do not think for one moment that the Yankees are not capable of ripping off a 10 game win streak and cutting that 10 game lead in half. We have all seen it happen.

    If the Sox are going to make the playoffs then Theo is going to have to make some adjustments.

    Reply

  8. HFXBOB

    10 years ago

    rln:

    C’mon, man, you are freaking out on us. Can’t win in the AL with so many people not producing? How you explaining the .700 record and 10 game lead again?

    I think the fact is as Sox fans we’re not used to getting this kind of pitching and winning games without scoring 8 runs. The real question is not whether these hitters come around but whether the pitching can continue to be this good.

    This offence is a little weird for a Sox team but they somehow cross the plate enough to win games. I’ve been concerned about Manny too, but even though he seems to be struggling and he did have a terrible April, in May he’s hitting .317 with 12 RBI in 15 games-bang on his career averages.

    And please, you can say what you want about Drew, but forget the ‘shoulda kept Nixon’ stuff. As far as power, Trot definitely is done. He hit a total of 27 long balls in his last 3 years with the Sox and this year he’s got 2 in 32 games. His average has been dipping lately too.

    I think the one change we may see is Youkilis in the 5 slot. He looks pretty good there.

    Reply

  9. rln2433

    10 years ago

    The Sox have a great record, in part, due to the fact that the AL (l)East sucks right now. That’s not to say that they haven’t pitched well (although the pen looks a bit weak outside of Oki/Pap) or made some plays but too many holes for them to win the WS.

    Trot was done but my point was that they felt the need to get rid of him for a guy they needed to pay $14 million for that has not been very impressive.

    I want Lowell in the 5 hole and Crisp banished to 7/8. Mikey is getting the job done with extra base hits and Youk can produce in the #2 hole now that Pedroia is starting to become a .375 OBP guy. Maybe we could drop Youk to #5 and have Drew bat 2nd? He does walk a lot and he can run.

    Reply

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