The Boston Red Sox squared off against the Texas Rangers this past weekend in what were fairly exciting games. All the talk around the league signals that there is a high chance that the ALCS will feature both of these teams facing off to play in the World Series, against most likely the Giants. Everyone wants the Cubs to win it this year, however they will most likely fall apart down the stretch, as the young talent needs a little more big game experience, look for them next year to hoist the title. But back to business, the Rangers sitting atop the AL West at 49-27 currently hold the best record in the Major League’s. They are 10 games ahead of the second place Houston Astros, which means after the all-star break and trade deadline, if they make a few moves to fill needs they would be a force to reckon with. The Sox sit at 41-34 and in second place of the AL East, 4 games back of the first place Baltimore Orioles. The Sox still have 9 games left to play against the O’s and it is still early for the Sox to go out and target another starter. Speaking of which, there were trade rumors of the Sox picking up Julio Teheran of Atalanta put talks fell through. He would have been a difference maker in the rotation as he throws fairly hard and has been pitching as an Ace the past few seasons for the Braves, throw him behind the experienced Price and he will have a great deal of success.
The Red Sox played the MLB best tough however they came up short going 1-2 against the Rangers. In game 1 the Red Sox never gave up, as they were down 7-2 after 4, but they keep playing, got 2 in the 6th and then when there final 3 outs came in the 9th, they battled and scored four including a two-run home run off the bat of Mookie Betts. While the Sox were outhit almost 1-2, 9-16, they battled and won the game as the pen rallied behind Price’s poor start, stop the bleeding and shut them down from the 4th on. Game 2 was not the Sox day, as all they could manage was three, 1 run innings, while the Rangers 5-run 5th was a nail in the coffin on a bad day, final score 10-3. Game 3 felt like the Sox also had no life, as they went down in what was an easy 6-2 victory for the Rangers.
The biggest takeaways from these games for me, was the lack of quality starts from the starting pitching that troubled me. Price, our so called Ace and who will lead us off into the sunset, went 2.1 innings and gave up 6 ER against a team he will have to beat twice in order to reach the world series. Then Steven Wright went 4.2 which is understandable, sometimes the knuckle ball is on and you can throw a shutout, other times it gets hit no big deal. Then Buchholz, our other pitcher to help bring the Sox out of the dark, goes 5.1 and allows 4. None of those starts will be good enough in the playoffs. The bullpen had to throw more innings then the starters did this weekend. Not a formula for success going forward. In the playoffs those starters need to be going a minimum of 6 on a consistent basis to keep the bullpen rested, because in the playoffs, every night counts more than the previous night did.
The Red Sox are looking to build upon their record this week with 3 games in Tampa against the Rays, then home to the Angles and Rangers again each for 3 games series over the course of the 4th of July weekend and days following. Hopefully the Sox can sweep the struggling Rays, then split the 6 games against the Rangers and Angles.
The Sox have Eduardo Rodriguez throwing tonight against Blake Snell, tomorrow Rick Porcello taking on their ace Chris Archer, and then David Price facing Matt Moore.