So far the results have been very good. The Sox have gone 11-6 and leading the league in runs since Lovullo took over on August 14 against Seattle. On the mound things have also been better with the Sox ninth in runs allowed after having been worst in baseball prior to that date.
The Sox have kept playing hard for Lovullo. It would have been easy for the team to roll over. It is highly unlikely that he will be the manager in 2016, they had the distraction of Farrell’s illness and shortly after that they had the additional distraction of the Ben Cherington ouster/Dave Dombrowski hiring.
To me the ability to keep a club balanced is probably the most important job a manager has. That Lovullo seems to be adept at it is a real check mark in his favor.
On the flip side I have been unimpressed with Lovullo on the tactical side. I mean really unimpressed. I thought he did an awful job Friday and Monday recognizing that his closer needed to be out of there. Having Mookie Betts sacrifice in the fifth inning on Monday was a puzzling decision to say the least.
We are dealing with a terribly small sample. Reaching any sort of conclusion is impossible. I find myself surprised though. I expected Lovullo to be a bit more tactically savvy. Maybe what we are seeing here is just how difficult being a Major League manager can be and the benefit of experience in making in-game decisions.
This is not meant as a salute or a criticism of Lovullo’s managing acumen. It is too early for either. Right now it is just an observation of what we have seen so far.
Oh and by the way, the Sox are closer to the second Wild Card than the Tampa Bay Rays were to the Sox at the same time in 2011.