On Friday he owned his mistake (RLRS Photo).
Admittedly things here have not been especially positive of late. That’s not the blog I want to have but at the same time I am not one to pretend to be positive when I do not feel that way.
With that said the Sox picked up a nice win on Saturday night against Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners to make it 5 of their last 7. I want to lay out a few thoughts about what we have been seeing.
Accountability – This dates back to last Saturday when Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz called a players only meeting. It continued on Friday when manager John Farrell admitted that his decision to have Junichi Tazawa pitch to Nelson Cruz with first base open was a mistake.
Maybe it is meaningless but I am pleased that the team seems to be holding themselves accountable for their failings. In 2011 the club generally did not seem to be accountable, in 2012 it was all too easy to blame Bobby Valentine for all that ailed them and in 2014 there was an element of “one of those things” at work.
This year’s team seems to understand that there is no room for excuses. They will succeed or fail based on their own merits.
He is doing good things lately (RLRS Photo).
Xander Bogaerts – Xander has started to show very positive signs in Seattle. If you have not been staying up late to watch he has been hitting the ball harder than we have seen all year. Additionally he is back to being a lot more still at the plate and to my unpracticed eye looks like a guy who is comfortable.
Starting Pitchers – The Sox have faced some tough tests in recent days against Sonny Gray and Felix Hernandez and watched as Wade Miley and Rick Porcello out-dueled their superior counterparts.
The Sox now have 17 quality starts in 37 starts, a 46% success rate. That is right on league average and if the Sox can get their bats going that is going to get it done.
Slumping Well – I noted this in the comments yesterday (incorrectly as bad fish pointed out) that the path to success is not so much in the highest peaks but in making sure the valleys do not get too low.
As I pointed out at the start of this stretch of baseball the Sox had to avoid a big valley. Last year they went through a similar stretch with a ten game losing streak and fell 8 1/2 games out of first. This year they have scrambled but gone 8-10 and only lost 2 1/2 games on the division lead.
He still has something to give this team (RLRS Photo).
Blake Swihart – The numbers are not especially pretty but I like a guy having a two hit night against the King and in general his at bats look pretty good to me.
Shane Victorino – His performance Friday night was the kind of game he can have when he is right. Maybe he is just a platoon player or a guy who can only play 3-4 times a week at this stage but he is still capable of impacting a game.
Not all is well in Red Sox land and I stand by my earlier criticisms. But one week ago the Sox’ season was on a precipice. They have stepped back and allowed themselves time to fix some flaws. That is a resiliency that successful teams have.