Well, we're six games into the new season. So how are my teams doing?
The Red Sox, who every prognosticator and sports writer decided would finish last in the AL East . . . is leading the East with a 4-2 record. Their fourth win came today in a 13-0 drubbing of the vaunted and endlessly touted Blue Jays.
The Sox are a completely different team than last year in oh, so many ways. I admit I watched Cherrington's off season acquisitions and thought (cautiously) that there could be a tremendous upside to his rebooting of this team. It seems that Cherri might have been on to something after all.
Lester and Buchholz seem like their old selves, both sporting sub 2.0 ERA's. Even Ryan Dempster wasn't all that bad in his loss, racking up 8 K's in a losing effort. The addition of Gomes and Victorino have added some gutsy speed to the team, enabling them to play a little small ball when necessary. And Middlebrooks and Napoli are bringing some lumber to the plate -- Middlebrooks hit three today plus a warning tracker, reminding everyone why the Sox were willing to dump clubhouse cancer Kevin Youklis without hesitation.
The bullpen is lethal as expected. Newly acquired Koji Uehara has been unhittable, Hanrahan has two saves and Bailey and Tazawa have been lights out as well. I imagine that as the season wears on, a late innings lead will be fairly safe. I am a bit disappointed that Lackey's (also 8 K's before going down) hurt already though. A year and a half out of baseball, and the dude goes down in his first outing. He may be back, who knows? But it's the only bummer so far for my boys up north.
And speaking of bummers -- the Rays (3-3 in the division) got pummeled by the Indians 13-0 (talk about synchronicity, eh?) today. Reigning AL Cy Young winner David Price was horrible today and only average in his other start, which was a win. The Rays were picked by SI to win the division, and had their style of play lauded by pretty much everyone.
Well, when your style of play is to hope your starters can throw eight innings of shutout ball every night and then hope that a group of guys who can't hit their weight will drive in a run somewhere . . . I don't know . . . but there's a reason why the Rays have been blasted out of the playoffs twice by the powerful Rangers. Not gonna get in and then win the Series with a lot of 1-0 games.
The aging Yankees and the big trading Jays are in the cellar and the Sox are on top. Nice way to start the year. I actually think it will be a fairly tight division this year and won't be surprised if there's only a half dozen games separating first from last by the time the year is over.
Oh, and by the way, Sophie Reade is fairly attractive:
'Cause I notice stuff like that :-)