Daniel Nava? Darnell McDonald? Felix Doubront? Household names all, thanks to a wild and bizarre first half of the season that has seen the Boston Red Sox go from floundering to flying to floundering again. The Sox have dealt with a remarkable rash of injuries and yet received critical contributions from sources both expected and very unexpected, and somehow stand just five games back of the Yankees at the break.
Boston fans have gone from the lows of an April and May that featured a fading David Ortiz and frustrating losing streaks that dug a sizable hole to the highs of a June that vaulted the Sox back into contention, within a half-game of first place at one point. And they are now dealing with the question marks of July, as the Sox stumbled into the All-Star break continuing to deal with injuries while fading back to five games out.
So how did the first half break down, really? Not at all like anyone expected. A team built on run prevention has indeed prevented very few runs, but produced more than its fair share. And with the All-Star game just a day away, the first-half report card is officially in.
Leave an apple on the desk in the morning.