Sorry to have missed this past Sunday afternoon’s affair. I was recovering from my wife’s sister’s wedding and the following brunch (all delightful)…my 2.5-year-old son was the ringbearer…dressing him in a tuxedo (that cost $200 to rent so he could be cute in it for 20 minutes, damn my bro-in-law and thank God his grandmother was willing to subsidize) and managing him for the hour and a half before and during the wedding (my wife was the matron of honor and engaged elsewhere) was one of the most challenging parenting experiences of my life thus far, and I still feel mentally and physically drained.
But the Red Sox probably don’t. They went 17-11 during what looked like, on paper, to be the toughest month of their schedule (September looks like the roughest ride from here on, with August, dare I say it, looking like a cakewalk). And they did it with their ace on the DL and their #2 pitching like #2. On the whole, this half-season is owed in large part to a tremendous bounce back from John Lackey and consistent slight above-averageness from Ryan Dempster. And Uehara and Tazawa stabilizing the back end of a mostly-good bullpen. And an offense that has gotten contributions up and down the lineup (Ortiz has had a monster couple of months and Pedey is having one of his best seasons in a year in which he hurt his thumb in the first game of the season), sometimes from unexpected places (Iglesias!).
If anyone is counting, the Red Sox played .700 baseball in April, .500 baseball in May, and .600 baseball in June. That’s a recipe for the best record in the AL with the most games played by any team in baseball. They have the fewest losses in the AL (tied with Texas, who has two fewer wins) by far the best run differential in their division (BOS: +80, BAL: +28, TB: +18, TOR: 0, NYY: -16) and the best run differential in the American League (DET: +71, OAK: +55, TEX: +33, CLE: +28). They are second only to the Cardinals in Pythagorean wins/losses and/or run differential (BOS X W-L: 50-34, their exact record, STL: +112, X W-L: 52-29, actual W-L: 49-32…they trail the Pirates–who are on a 102-win pace with a mere +45 run differential–by 2 games!).
Great first act, fellas. Do you have anything left for when the curtain rises on the second act?