Let’s try to look objectively at our favorite team in the warm (some from more northern climes than mine might say "hot") light of day.
The Red Sox are absolutely not playing good baseball right now. Call it pessimistic if you want, but the hitting and pitching has simultaneously tanked. On the other hand, we know that the Sox’ pitching and hitting from a seasonlong standpoint aren’t this bad, and August and September could be rally months for the Sox.
Perhaps, just perhaps, the three walkoff wins we’ve seen in the last five games are the ignition for a two-month stretch of good baseball. A lot has been made of the injuries to Tek and Trot, but they rob the lineup little when it comes to offense. Replacing Nixon with Pena is clearly a boost to our lineup, and letting Tek sit for a month I feel will be a boost to our lineup when he returns more healthy than he’s been all season.
In the meantime, Jon Lester appeared to learn a valuable lesson with last night’s first inning — don’t throw fastballs all the time — then settled down to be the Lester we’ve loved all season. Kyle Snyder might have finally found his place in the bullpen, Jason Johnson actually had a respectable outing, and Tim Wakefield is this much closer to being back in the rotation. Papelbon and Delcarmen remain great, but Hansen and Timlin have become unreliable (check the game thread for Timlin’s pre- and post-injury stats).
So it’s not the end of the world. The Red Sox and Yankees are both flawed teams. I’ll go out on a limb and say Cory Lidle will give the Yankees Wright-like performance (which means one good start out of five). Abreu might improve their lineup, but the lineup wasn’t the Yanks’ problem to begin with, considering the performances of Williams and Melky Cabrera. In the end, this will still come down to Sox and Yanks head to head, a situation in which previous records and performances mean nothing, and new heroes are made every game. Just ask Vaughn Eshelman or Billy Rohr or David Pauley.