Red Sox: Fear and Loathing in Boston

Matt BreenCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2008

The Red Sox suffered a dismal road trip through Houston, Tampa Bay, and New York and have reached their lowest point of the season now falling to five games back in the divison. With the white hot Twins coming to town, things are looking bad, but don't worry the Red Sox will be okay.

1. David Ortiz

David Ortiz is a couple weeks from returning and that is exactly what this Red Sox team needs. The Sox have been fielding lineups consisting of Varitek, Lugo, Crisp, Moss, Cash, and Cora who at any time have collectively looked completely lost at the plate. Having a 7-8-9 of any of these players is a tremendous liability; evident in the past few games where the Red Sox have left men on due to the terrible bottom of the order. With Ortiz back in the lineup, Manny can go back to left field to allow either Crisp or Moss to chill on the bench where they belong.

2. Starting Pitching

The Red Sox strongest aspect is starting pitching and it will only improve in the second half. Jon Lester has stepped up to the player the team expected him to just in time. Daisuke Matsuzaka while still unpredictable, has a 9-1 record and, besides walks, has solid numbers. Justin Masterson has filled the number five hole perfectly. Don't forget Bucholtz is sitting in Pawtucket ready for a phone call and Colon will be back in the next week or two.

3. More home games

Since the season opener, the Sox have spent a lot of time on the road including three ten-game road trips. The Red Sox have turned that corner with 39 home games remaining and only 31 road games left. The Red Sox sport one of the best home records in the league at 31-10.

4. Big Payroll

With the trade deadline aproaching it is more apparent than ever the Red Sox will be active as usual. Depending on David Ortiz's health, Mark Teixeira will be on the radar along with a number of relievers including Brian Fuentes.

5. Ray's inexperience

While the Rays certainly look like the real deal, they are mostly inexperienced and young which can be costly down the stretch. While I believe the Rays' youth is not much of an issue, it should still be considered.