5 Thoughts on the Red Sox

I admit I have let down the loyal NTCF following by not posting on the Red Sox days off like I had originally promised back in April.  Do not think for one second, however, that I have lost my focus on all things Red Sox.  The magical story has continued into the middle of September where the Red Sox find themselves with a magic number of 10 to clinch the American League East.  More importantly, the Red Sox are 4.5 games up on the Tigers for best record in the American League.  If the Red Sox are able to secure the #1 spot, they will face the winner of the wild card matchup in the Divisional Round.  Here are 10 thoughts going through my head as the Red Sox finish off a memorable 2013 regular season.

1) Cy Uehara

Go ahead an laugh at me.  When you pick yourself up off the floor and clean the tears out of your eyes, read these numbers.Koji Uehara  1.10 ERA. 0.59 WHIP. 19 saves. 91 strike outs. 65.2 innings.  When he enters the game, you know it is over.  The other team has had zero chance against him.  And he only throws 89 MPH! Opposing batters are hitting .129 against him. Some say those are video game numbers.  Well, I want to meet the man that can put up those numbers in a video game.  There are no words or analogies to describe how good Koji has been this season.  If Craig Kimbrell drew consideration back in 2011, why shouldn’t Koji get that same respect? Koji is my Cy Young winner.  High Five!

2) Jacoby’s Final Exam

Jacoby Ellsbury will miss the next two weeks because of a broken bone in his foot.  This is the same bone Dustin Pedroia broke in 2010 and the same bone Cody Ross broke last season.  Many people have coined Ellsbury as soft.  I have mostly stuck up for Jacoby because of how he has been injured in the past.  I know I wouldn’t want to collide with Adrian Beltre.  I also know I wouldn’t want a shortstop landing on me as I slide into second base to break up a double play.  This injury and his recovery are fascinating.  Jacoby is going to free agency this winter.  It’s no secret Scott Boras will get top dollar for his client.  No one will give him the $120 million he is seeking if he can’t stay on the field.  It is in Jacoby’s best interest to get out on that field and build his free agent resume.  For the record, I want Ellsbury back in Boston for another six years.  In my estimation, he has about $40 million riding on it.  Will he man up?

3) Pitching, Pitching, Pitching

The Red Sox have four aces on their staff.  Granted they are not aces today, but over the course of their careers, they have been at one time an ace.  Jake Peavy won a Cy Young Award with the Padres in 2007.  John Lackey was the Game 7 starter in the 2002 World Series for the champion Angels.  Jon Lester finished 4th in the Cy Young voting in 2010.  And don’t tell me Clay Buchholz wasn’t the ace of this staff up until June of this year.  The rotation is deep and full of experience.  By all appearances, they are healthy and primed for a deep playoff run.

4) The Valuable Victorino

The Red Sox brought Shane Victorino to Boston for 3 years and $39 million because he was a nice guy who smiled a lot and dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsis known to be active in the community.  Red Sox ownership was concerned about the image of the team because of how much the region hated the Red Sox last year.  I don’t think any one expected Victorino to actually be good at baseball to boot!  Victorino has run into walls, dove into the stands, and provided some of the biggest hits of the season for the Sox.  Keep in mind another name on the free agent market last winter: Josh Hamilton.  Hamilton signed a 5 year contract for $125 million with the Angels.  The Angels are paying that kind of cash for a guy that is hitting .243 with 20 home runs and 67 runs batted in.  The case can be made that Victorino has been the most valuable player (other than Koji) for the Red Sox.

5) Is the future now?

I have been one of the few Red Sox fans that have been in Stephen Drew’s corner all year long.  He has been clutch when the Sox have needed him to be clutch.  He has played stellar defense all year long.  He has been solid all around.  Xander Boegarts is with the big club.  In limited action, he has been everything he was cracked up to be.  Drew has struggled against left handed pitching this season.  For the life of me, I can’t understand why John Farrell won’t play Xander against lefties.  It is my hope Xander makes the playoff roster because I believe he can be an asset in October.  Along the same mindset, Will Middlebrooks is in Boston to stay.  I am psyched the Red Sox held on to him at the trade deadline and showed their faith in him.  He will only reward them with great pop from the corner spot.  While everything is great in Boston at the present time, the future looks even brighter.

I can be followed on Twitter @ScottieNTCF

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