Just a week ago, all the talk was “best record in baseball” and everything that goes with it. After yesterday’s loss, the water cooler conversation might be a little different. The Red Sox are now tied with the Orioles for second place and a game behind the Yankees. And for the millionth time since the end of the 2011 season, we wish for the services of one Jonathan Papelbon.
The holes that were masked by the overachieving April Red Sox are now obvious. Mike Napoli has eight strike outs to go with his nine hits in May, Gomes is under .200 and Middlebrooks is batting a few points over his weight. The once-great bullpen is in shambles thanks to the loss of both Hanrahan and Bailey, and the Sox are just 4-7 in May.
So, are the Red Sox going to return to the ass-kicking machine they were in April, or are they going to drift down the standings in the East? I think we will look back on this as the year of mediocrity. The Sox will not make the playoffs and will finish right around five-hundred. We will root hard for things to be different and they will give us a lot of thrills, but the lack of talent on this team will not be overcome by their heart.
And to continue my dreary mood, we haven’t seen the last of the injuries. Papi’s heel? Napoli’s hips? Lackey’s arm? No way those guys all play full seasons. Happy Mother’s Day!