Thursday, September 20, 2007

Red Sox Late Season Collapse

Are we perhaps witnessing one of the greatest September collapses in Baseball history? Red Sox nation is collectively holding their breath in anticipation of the doom that is fast approaching. That being the Red Sox lead in the AL East which now stands at only 1 1/2 games. It doesn't seem that long ago that fans and baseball analysts alike buried the Yankees and gave the Red Sox the Division crown, I included. But, and there is always a but, the Yankees didn't just roll over and die like everyone wished they would. They battled, found young pitching and found their offense.

At the All-Star break on July 10th the Red Sox held what looked like a very comfortable 9 1/2 game lead. They were a Major League best 54-34. Since the break they are 36-29, a very respectable record. Here's that but again, the Yankees have been better, 8 games better, they have a post all star record of 44-21 which is the best in baseball since.

What's happened?

That's what many Sox fans would like to know. Part of the answer is that in the second half of the season the Red Sox are 1-5 vs the Yankees, that not only gives the Yankees confidence but also gives Sox fans heartburn. The other part is two fold. One being the biggest hitter in the lineup hasn't played since Aug 28th, Manny Ramirez has been out since he suffered a strained left oblique. He was a huge part of that lineup and the main reason the team has gone 10-11 in his absence. The other part of the problem is pitching and the bullpen, which after the acquisition of closer Eric Gagne was supposed to be their strong suite, instead it's been their Achilles heal. Gagne since joining the Red Sox, has posted stats that makes former Brave closer Dan Kolb look like a Cy Young pitcher. Gagne has an ERA of 8.80. But he's not the only one in the bullpen that is struggling, Rookie Hideki Okajima, since August, has also posted a balloon sized ERA of 7.05. But you also have to look at the starting pitching. Prized rookie Dice-K, Daisuke Matsuzaka, has gone 1-4 in his last 6 starts with an ERA of 8.44.

Good News
Yes with the bad comes some good. The Red Sox remaining games are against the Devil Rays, Oakland A's and Minnesota Twins, with the last 6 games at home. They Yankees remaining games though are against the Blue Jays, the Devil Rays and Orioles.

But look on the bright side Sox Nation, you're still going to make the playoffs, lets just hope though that the curse doesn't rear it's ugly head once more.


Who will win the AL East?
Red Sox
Yankees
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1 Comments:

At October 01, 2007, Anonymous The Bushido said...

B, why you hating on the Red Sox when it was the Mets who collapsed worse than anyone else in the history of MLB?

 

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