The Boston Red Sox are not your garden variety "drop dead and stay dead" team late in the season, at least not in the Tito Francona era.
Bizarre occurrences have a certain fondness of popping up in September heading into October months.
Terry Francona merits an insane measure of praise for the Red Sox preservation of a potential playoff run, but plugging the young farm hands into the everyday lineup is only half of the equation. Stepping up and taking full advantage in producing in the lineup is a completely difficult task to ask out of green talent fresh off the farm.
So far so good; do the best you can with what you have to work with.
Boston’s minor league system can go toe-to-toe, maybe even mowing down all other farm systems in the majors period.
Twenty-two games remain on the Boston Red Sox regular season schedule. Following last night’s 11-5 five home run-filled outburst versus the AL Wild Card-leading Rays, Boston climbed to within 6 ½ games of Tampa Bay. Stacking on, Boston it’s reclaimed a half game lead over the frequently shifting Chicago White Sox.
With the prospect of piecing together a last gasp run, the Boston Red Sox margin for error nears zero, but a sense of urgency singed in a usual suspect leaves a certain “what if” in the minds of other playoff contenders.
Stranger things have happened in the past.
Shortstop Marco Scutaro is currently gutting out an excruciating rotator cuff injury while sustaining the most consistency in Red Sox hitters outside of Adrian Beltre. Scutaro (9,10) homered twice piling on in last night’s come from behind victory in the rubber game against division rival Tampa Bay.
Terry Francona’s offense carries on their torrid tempo marching in the run production parade with help from the white hot Victor Martinez. David Ortiz, J.D. Drew, and Adrian follow V-Mart in a resurgent hitting practicum as of late.
Boston’s obvious ache keeping them from gaining precious ground is the horrendous performance of their bullpen.
Analysts and other writers have repeatedly mentioned the demeanor of the formally unfailing execution of free spirit closer Jonathan Papelbon, described as checking out.
Sadly, they may perhaps hit the nail on the head. However, dealing Manny Delcarmen to the Colorado Rockies patches a gaping hole in a swiftly leaking setup man setting.
Do you really see the Tampa Bay Rays overtaking the New York Yankees for good to win the American League East crown?
No, not when Yankee hitters have an addiction to dead of the ninth inning dramatics.
Until that third out is recorded, disregard the assumption the Yankees are done from game to game. The Yankees will hold on to win the American League East easier than most think. There’s too much fire power and clutch play despite the next gear the Rays have hit up to this point.
Major League Baseball’s postseason fires out its first pitch on October 6.
Not much time left.
The question isn’t, “Do the Red Sox possess the intestinal fortitude to survive the final stretch gauntlet?”
Quite the contrary.
Does time permit the Red Sox from digging deep into their innermost section of the intestinal track to maintain the fraught excavation it takes to make the run.