This past weekend the Red Sox decided to take a team trip down to Tampa to catch some down time during the grueling MLB season. Some would say getting swept by the Rays at Tropicana is embarrassing or a terrible look. I call it some well earned vacation time.
What really matters is the big picture. Beating the Miami Marlins.
Just kidding. But the Sox did halt their 3-game skid with a win Tuesday night with the Marlins in town. It was a messy win as the bullpen bled out all over the mound before squeezing out the win.
Big whoop. Unlike Yankee fans who are real hyped to be back to only 6.5 games back from the Red Sox, us folks up in Boston have October on the mind.
Sidenote: I haven’t checked the standings in weeks because I have been, and remain, VERY comfortable saying the Red Sox have already won the division. It doesn’t really matter what the Yankees could do, it won’t be enough.
Now on to October.
Is anyone else a little nervous about Sale. For me, it’s less about his injury being a long term problem and more about how much time will Sale have to get back in rhythm before October.
It’s fair to say his last outing, although his only start in the last month, he had a cool 12 K’s in 5 innings.
Chris Sale allowed just one hit and struck out 12 in five scoreless innings as the #RedSox defeated the Orioles, 4-1 to complete a four-game sweep in Baltimore. https://t.co/K1UB8zRr2B pic.twitter.com/GTAFB6MaZw
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) August 12, 2018
He’s a great pitcher and you’ll never hear me say otherwise. But he is human despite what his stats will tell you. It would take anyone at least a few starts to be comfortable enough to go into the playoffs expecting the workload Sale will get if the Sox want to win it all. Sale himself is no different.
All things considered, they’ve become somewhat of champagne problems as Price continues his dominance that he’s carried out on a mostly consistent basis since May. On top of that Porcello has been an innings eater in a time that it was needed most as the bullpen continues to be shaky.
Possibly more important than both Porcello and Price as of late has been the rehab and looming return of Rodriguez.
The Red Sox are expected to activate Erod, Vazquez and Devers this weekend. No need for a roster move since it would be September, all are Playoff elegible because they’re coming back from an injury.
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) August 28, 2018
I have been on record saying the Sox should do what they did with Price last year and not force Erod into a starting role that he may not be healthy enough to maintain through October and move him to the bullpen.
A hard-throwing lefty is exactly what the bullpen needs and that’s Erod. But should Erod return to the rotation as is seemingly expected, it will still be great to have him back.
I love me a great Johnson every now and then, but if you shove one in my face every 5 days, it does get a bit old.
The Red Sox are back after being swept for the first time in a calendar year and now refocused on the playoffs and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited. October here we come.
P.S. I wrote this in the 2nd inning of the Sox-Marlins game. There was zero point zero chance the Sox would lose 4 in a row, but credit to me for calling it.