Battle for the AL East
Oh boy, the final 23 games for Boston are here and every game is against an AL east opponent. The division has four teams seperated by at most 4 games.
Red Sox –
Blue Jays 1 game
Orioles 2 games
Yankees 4 games
The Yankees worry me most this last month, they have been very sneaky closing in on the lead. Being down as much as 8.5 games.
The Sox have 7 total series coming up and are heading north of the border to face Toronto and kick off this final run. Rick Porcello will be taking the mound tonight looking to reach 20 wins for the first time in his career. The two other games of the series will be pitched by Edwin Rodriguez and Clay Bucholtz. Yikes! Both have losing records.
Edwin Rodriguez in 15 starts.
2-6 with a 4.83 ERA
Bucholtz in 33 games and 17 starts.
6-10 with a 4.99 ERA
Sox can not afford to lose any one of these up coming series, especially any against the Blue Jays. It’s time Sox pitching steps up and is reliable, Boston needs to go atleast 15-8 to have hopes of taking home the AL East pennant.
I’ve shown you how the bottom of the rotation has been, how about up top.
Steve Wright 13-6 3.33 ERA 127 K in 24 starts.
The knuckleballer was absolutely amazing to start the season and was at the time Boston’s losing streak killer. Since his shoulder injury last month, he has passed the reins to Porcello, Wright has had only two starts since his injury, with a total of 10 innings pitched and 9 runs allowed. Some good news though there is no damage to the his shoulder beyond the initial diagnosis of bursitis. Sadly there is no clear sign of a return any time soon, Woof… This means it’s up to Drew Pomeranz.
Drew Pomeranz in Boston.
10 starts 2-4 3.97 ERA 59 K 10 HR allowed.
The San Diego Kid came from the Padres with great numbers, in 17 starts, he had an 8-7 record, a 2.47 ERA, and 115 K. Since the trade he’s had trouble getting used to the American League. Good thing that in his last 7 starts he’s 2-2 with a 2.76 ERA. Can’t blame him for that record, offense needs to give that needed run support. Drew needs to keep this up, for his sake and of course The Sox sake.
David Price 15-8 3.87 ERA 201 K in 30 starts.
The 200 million dollar man has had a pretty up and down season, but Price has been looking vintage these days, striking out opponents and controlling games as one should, in his last 7 starts he’s gone 6-1 with a 2.49 ERA. If he can continue this, Boston will have a much easier road to the pennant.
Rick Porcello 19-3 3.23 ERA 154 K in 28 starts.
The Fenway Freak has been the man for the Sox. Why is he the Fenway Freak? Because he is 13-0 this season pitching in front of the Fenway faithful. He has just been turning out wins and quality starts like a machine. In his last 15 starts, hes gone 12-1 with a 2.77 ERA. If he’s on the mound I expect the bats to support him, and get the win, especially tonight.
Now the bullpen…. Ugh, I believe the top six guys can give us quality starts but it’s up to this pen. Who has been very bummish through out the season. In 202 innings pitched, they are 21-24, with a 5.60 ERA. They have to step up and be reliable, if not that hopeful 15-8, will be more like 12-11, not acceptable. If you’re handed the lead, you need to maintain it.
These final 23 games also means the final 23 regular season games of David “Big Papi” Ortiz’s career, where he has been a total monster this season. I’m sure more then anyone he wants to add that 3rd Al East pennant to his resume. This last month also gives my man Mookie Betts to show the league why he’s this year’s AL MVP. He has a .316 AVG, 30 Home-runs, 100 RBIs, 37 doubles, And is only 9 stolen bases away from 30. Why is that important? Because that’d give him a 30-30-30 season. Beast mode, Mookie has shown Sox Nation has nothing to worry about with Ortiz leaving.
These games are what will make or break the 2016 season for the Bo-Sox. They have to get it together and mesh like champions do. With David Ortiz the leader in the clubhouse, I know he will be on these guys backs to do what they know how, and lead them to another AL East Pennant.