Don’t Look Now

Don’t look now but the Red Sox find themselves 1.5 games out of the wild card.  Having won 7 of their last 8, the Red Sox have snuck up in the standings.

First off, I think we can put to bed the notion that David Ortiz is done.  He got out of the gate poorly, again, but has turned things around to the tune of a .878 OPS with most of his damaging coming in May.  Ortiz is .359/.408/.781/1.190 in since May 1.  He might not keep that up, but he is probably more like the player we saw from June 1st on in 2009.  He’ll never hit 50 HRs again (lob your steroid jokes here), but he is good for decent production.

Kevin Youkilis is the main offensive force for the Red Sox and Adrian Beltre, even though I cannot stand watching him hit, has been productive.  Beltre’s at bats are just so opposite of what I’ve come to appreciate about Red Sox hitters.  No patience, no selectivity, but if he can maintain his .327 average, then his obp and slg will probably be just fine and I can more than cope.

The next reason, and probably the biggest reason, is pitching.  The staff has posted a 1.90 ERA over the same period with a WHIP of 1.03.  Since my 2nd to last post, a mere 8 days ago, the staff has cut its ERA by half a run.

Things have been going well especially with the return of Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron.

Speaking of Ellsbury, he might not be out of the woods injury-wise just yet.  He reported some soreness and was a scratch from last night’s game.

Observations from Tuesday night:  Adrian Beltre has seemingly found his way with the glove making 2 great diving, ranging plays to his left.  Manny Delcarmen has found his fastball posting 95 mph heat in the 7th inning.  Daniel Bard has one of the easiest, effortless deliveries I’ve seen.  There is a buzz when he comes into the game what with his ability to light up the radar.

Last observation, it is amazing how quickly things can change.  I was really worried about this team just a week ago and while I can’t say with any certainty they have figure things out, their play has improved enough to at least allow me to think they could make the playoffs.  There’s a reason people say "it’s a long season."