Red Sox Surprisingly Hit the Half-Mile in 49 (Wins)

The Boston Red Sox hit the halfway point of the 2010 season last night, and with a victory, they went out in 49-32, a quick pace especially considering that 11-14 start. Interestingly enough, 49 wins is the same split that the Sox had in 2009 but that is about all this team shares in common with the horse that ran in 2009. That team got a pretty clean break and if anything, underperformed (particularly in the second half). And this team? Well, they got off poorly, have been hit by a tsunami of injuries, seen the bullpen crater, used a half-dozen AAAA’rs  and yet, half way through the season, they are tucked in second, just a half game off the pace. Can’t say I love the health of the team at this point, but all things considered, they are sitting in a pretty good spot.

As for last night’s game, Time Warner did another job on me last night so I missed a chunk of innings, but I did catch the first and that is really all that mattered. That is because in the first, the Birds blew an opportunity to get to Jon Lester and the Sox came back and pounded Jeremy Guthrie for four runs. At that point, was the game in any doubt? After all, Lester entered the game 11-0 against the Birds and I suspect his record in games where he is spotted four runs leads is pretty good.  So after one it was …….. Game, Set, Match!  

Other than Lester’s dominance, and he was dominant, there isn’t a whole lot to say about last night’s game. David Ortiz went off, JD had his second big night in a row, Youkilis pounded one, and Danny Nava chipped in with a couple of knocks. I realize it’s the Birds, but when a lineup that includes Cash, Patterson, Nava and Cameron can put nine runs on the board, it is a pretty good night at the plate.

Other Thoughts:

The halfway point is the perfect time to ruminate on some full-season extrapolations so here are a few …..

* Youkilis is on pace to hit 32 bombs, scratch out 78 extra base hits and walk almost 100 times. Good stuff.

* Beltre is on pace to walk just 34 times but headed into the season, I think the front office would have gladly singed for 24 home runs and 46 doubles. Needless to say, Beltre has been a godsend.  

* JD Drew has always struck me as a high OBP guy who will hit 20 bombs and drive in 80. Lo and behold, he is right on pace for 20 bombs and 82 RBI. I’d like to see that OBP a little higher and let’s hope the past two nights are a sign that JD is in for a big July.

* If you had told me that Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester would both have ten wins at the half-way point, I would have guessed that the Red Sox would be 53-28.  But that calculation assumed Josh Beckett wouldn’t be stuck on “one.”

Final odds and end ……

Seattle, if you are going to trade Cliff Lee to Texas, could you do it after he pitches against the Yankees next weekend, after the Sox play Texas out of the gate and before the Sox are set to show up in Seattle. So any time between July 19 and July 21 would be perfect. And if Minny or the NL is the destination, the window of July 11 to July 21 would fit my schedule just fine.

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