To say that the next two weeks will go a long way to determine the fate of the 2010 Boston Red Sox might be an overstatement. But one thing is for certain, a rough stretch against some very good teams will put the Sox in a Grand Canyon size hole heading into June.
During the fortnight, Boston plays Detroit (20-16), the Yankees (23-12), Minnesota (22-13), Philadelphia (21-13), and Tampa Bay (24-11).
It totals 13 games in 13 days… 11 of which are on the road. That’s a lot of hotels and a lot of travel. The break is that it is all in the Eastern Time Zone for a team that has played the fewest road games in the junior circuit (13).
So tonight’s five-run 1st inning off Tigers starter Max Scherzer, which guided Boston to a 7-2 win, is the perfect tonic for skipper Terry Francona.
Now, normally you wouldn’t worry about a team that is two games north of .500. But when that team sits in 4th Place behind two of the best hitting teams in the A.L. (Tampa & New York) and a team that has blown past all expectations just 35 games into the season (Toronto), you take notice and need to get the engines firing yourself.
And fire they did.
Tonight’s 1st Inning was a quicker version of Bugs Bunny’s nemesis, the Gas House Gorillas. Dustin Pedroia… “Wham, a homer”. Big Papi… “Wham, another homer”. And his 459′ shot was like the ball in that cartoon seen screaming out of the stadium.
Throw in a sterling effort from Clay Bucholtz for his fourth win, along with good work from Daniel Bard and Hideki Okajima in the pen, and “The Sawx” have helped themselves out immeasurably.
ESPN’s Buster Olney said tonight that Boston was “very close” to releasing David Ortiz earlier in the week. Now he is helping drive this sportscar.
And now winners in four of their last five games, Boston has cruised past .500 like they just passed the pace car coming out of the pits. Now, all they have to watch out for are the flat tires.