Skip to main content

First Half Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox enter the second half of the season with a 55-35 record. This is even more impressive when you consider the infamous 0-6 start even though I warned all Red Sox fans in this blog post they will look foolish if they jumped off the bandwagon. It is now time to figure out if this Sox team can win it all. Let's take a look at the key players from opening day and see how they have faired so far. We will place them in one of three categories:  

The Over Performed Category

Too many players in this category and the likelihood of a bad second half of the season is very real.

Jacoby Ellsbury
Adrian Gonzalez
David Ortiz
Josh Beckett

The four players above have had incredible seasons so far. Beckett has found his form. Ortiz looks like he has found the fountain of youth. Ellsbury looks like he has become what Red Sox fans have always hoped he would become. Adrian Gonzalez has been better than ever. There is bound to be some regression in the second half from these players. Beckett has already started to have some health issues. However, Ellsbury may have finally reached his potential and maybe in a year from now this type of production will be the norm for him. Ortiz is not getting any younger but usually his struggles come early in the season, not late. He is playing for a new contract so the regression shouldn't be too much. Then there is Adrian Gonzalez, he has surpassed the crazy expectations and projections so far. He seems to be impossible to get out. It is hard to maintain a .350 average with power but he might just be the best hitter in the game and he is in his prime. The regression risk is low.

Under Performed

Carl Crawford
J.D. Drew
Dustin Pedroia
Kevin Youkilis
John Lackey
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Bobby Jenks

The more guys you have in this category, the more likely a team will have a good second half. Pedroia and Youkilis started out slow but have been hot as of late. Their batting averages are still under what you would expect from them. Look for them both to have a great second half of the season.

Crawford was horrible to start the season. He then got red hot and then got hurt. Carl Crawford is a great player and will have a better second half then he had in the first half of the season. How good that is might determine the ultimate success for the Red Sox.

Matsuzaka is done for the year, thank god! Lackey can't possible pitch worse. He looked much better in his last start but he is still a huge wild card. It is real hard to count on him. Jenks has also struggled and has had injury issues. He is also very hard to count on for the second half.

J.D. Drew may be done. I have always been a big supporter of his and what he can bring to the team but he is definitely on the downside of his career. Does he have that one great month left in him when he can carry a team? I doubt it, but you never know.

As Expected

Marco Scutaro
Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Jon Lester
Clay Buchholz
Jonathan Papelbon
Daniel Bard

Lester has been good but I do think he can be even better in the second half. Everyone else has performed like many expected.

The Red Sox are in real good shape. The players who are having great seasons are not likely to have a huge regression. The majority of players who are under performing are very likely to have a big impact on the second half of the season The issue for the Red Sox will be the health of the pitching staff. Buchholz is dealing with lingering back issues, Beckett having issues with his knee, Lackey having elbow problems. The season could become a disaster very quickly if those guys are unable to perform. Andrew Miller may end up being the key to the season. That could be scary or exciting depending on how you look at it


Popular posts from this blog

The Greatness of George Brett

One of my all time favorite non-Red Sox players is George Brett. He is in that class of guys like Chipper Jones, Willie Mays, and Pete Rose. Guys who never played for the Red Sox but I wish they had.

I have always liked Brett and I even got to see him play 6 games in Fenway Park in 1990 and 1991. I recently went down a George Brett rabbit hole on the internet and I was reminded why I really liked him as a player.

The first thing I loved about him is that he hated the Yankees and still hates the Yankees. The Royals and the Yankees had some battles during the 70s and 80s and Brett was right in the middle of it all.

Brett was also a Yankee Killer, especially in the playoffs. Brett played in 17 postseason games against the Yankees and had 24 hits, 6 homers and 14 RBI. Not bad.

Here he is going deep three times in Game 3 of the 1978 ALCS

We all know what a prick Goose Gossage has become, here is Brett turning on a Gossage fastball in 1980 and sending it into the third deck of Yankee S…

A Homer and a Suicide: The Life of a Gay Red Sox Outfielder?

Ted Williams homered in his last at bat off Jack Fisher of the Baltimore Orioles. Williams was supposedly the only player in the history of baseball to retire after sending one deep. The great John Thorn found that hard to believe and through research discovered others who homered in their final at-bat. You can read his piece on that right here. Ted Williams was not the only player to do it and he wasn't even the only Red Sox outfielder to do it. Chick Stahl did it first on October 6, 1906 off of Tom Hughes of the New York Highlanders (Yankees). It was Chick Stahl's 36th and final home-run of his very successful career. He was just 33 years old and had played in his final game. Nobody knew it at the time. Stahl hit .305 for his career, led the league in triples in 1904 and would be a key player in the Boston Americans (Red Sox) winning the 1903 World Series. A month after his last game Stahl would get married but in March of the next year he would kill himself by drinking carb…

Willie Mays Would Have Had It

"Willie would have had it." I heard it the first time I went to a baseball game and have heard it or thought about it at every game since. The words would come from my father as he tried to teach me about the greatness of Willie Mays. Fly balls that hit warning track or that would drop in front of or to the side of an outfielder would get the same comment from my Dad, "Willie would have had it".

My father grew up a Mays fan and was surrounded by Mickey Mantle fans. His neighborhood was just one of the many neighborhoods where fans of all ages debated over who was better. Mantle fans would talk about his ability to switch hit and when Mantle would struggle to match up with Willie they would argue it was only because of his bad knees. My father would respond accordingly, "fine, Mickey is the best centerfielder with bad knees and Willie is just the best centerfielder".

I was born in 1974, a year after Willie Mays played his final game. I never got to see hi…