Back when the Red Sox left Fenway for this grueling 11-game road trip, I dropped into my local watering hole and threw down a bold 9-2 prediction. People looked at me like I was crazy, most likely because I wasn’t wearing pants, but a few diehards silently nodded and jumped on my bandwagon.
Now here we are, 8 games in, and the Red Sox are rocking a solid 6-2 record, with 3 more to play against the lowly Rays after a 6-2 pasting tonight.
Could this be the magic? Is it even possible to think that the Red Sox have yet to play their best baseball of the 2016 season?
A lot of interesting signs from tonight’s game would have me believe it. David Price threw a solid eight innings of 2 hit, no run ball. Xander Bogaerts’ bat showed more signs of returning to early season form, going 2-for-4 including his 15th home run of the season. The Miracle of Sandy Leon recorded another hit. And Andrew Benintendi fortified his legendary status with an insane snare of a ball that was postmarked to leave the park as a game-changing, two-run homer for the Rays. Instead, it was just a long-ass out.
Here’s my shitty Vine of said catch, followed by a cleaner version:
Again, for context, if that ball leaves the yard it means two runs for the Rays and the Red Sox lead cut to a slender 3-2. That alone should earn Benintendi a spot on Price’s bar tab for life.
As I type this, the Red Sox are tied with Toronto for first place. A week ago, they were on their death bed. Tonight, the online sports betting world has them pegged to win it all. It’s not gonna be easy. It will absolutely not be a cake walk. But if some of the key players on this team–cough cough David Price–are choosing right now to peak, they could not have picked a better time.
Thirty-eight games left to play. A tooth-and-nail battle awaiting to win the division. Tell me, Red Sox Nation, who do you love?