June has rapidly approached us meaning the dog days of summer and meaningful games are on the horizon for baseball fans. This is especially the case for the city of Boston. After a 6-3 victory over the Tigers on Tuesday night, the Sox successfully surpassed the .500 mark on the year, (25-24) after failing to do so the previous six times they had an opportunity this season. Accomplishing this goal was something that obviously was expected to come a lot earlier that now but, they have won 13 of their last 18 contests pulling within 3.5 games of first place in the crowded American League East. The Nation once again has hope that good things could be a possibility to come. However, this team must learn how to crawl before they can walk which is the case for Bobby V and his wounded roster at the moment.
Daniel Bard put together a decent start going 5 and 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and only two walks as he tries to silence his critics, including myself, showing he belongs in this rotation. Despite the two fastballs he left over the plate That Peralta and Fielder hit for mammoth blasts, Bards control and velocity were better tonight (56 strikes, 38 Balls, 94 pitches) which are going to be needed on a consistent basis if he wants to remain in the rotation. The gun even lit up at 95mph on more than a few occasions which could be a good sign that the converted setup man is getting comfortable dialing up that high cheese that he struck fear in batter’s eyes with when coming out of the pen the last 4 years. Justin Verlander did not have as much luck with his hardball tonight as he watched Daniel Nava slap a 101 mph fastball down the left field line for a double bringing in three runs and giving the Sox a comfortable 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. David Ortiz continues to swing a hot stick as well as he went 3-4 on the night with two doubles and a solo shot. The reigning AL MVP and CY Young award winner yielded 10 hits to the residents at Yawkey way in 6 innings of work; something he has only done eight times in his illustrious career. That feat is even more impressive for this Rag-tag Red Sox team which is starting to resemble a lineup card that would commonly be seen in the 20th of March in Fort Myers Florida. The repetitive juggling act that Valentine is being forced to display right now is one that I am starting to admire because very rarely do you see as a big of a mess to a team that has historically been atop its sport as the Red Sox have. 16 players, which awaiting an official announcement coming sometime tomorrow regarding Dustin Pedroia’s status, will soon be 17 that have dawned the dreaded disabled list and we aren’t even at the all star break yet people. Eventually that will change as time moves on Ellsbury, Crawford, Ross, Bailey and the other wounded victims will exchange a disabled title for an active one allowing Bobby V’s Excedrin intake to decrease. Until then, the big names left in this dismantled roster with Papi, Gonzo and Youk being the obvious remaining will need to produce at the high levels they are used to. The Paw Sox’s finest will have to help contribute along the way but guys like Nava, Podsednik, Middlebrooks (if he remains on the big league roster for much longer which is doubtful), Aviles and company will need to stay consistent over longer periods of time which might be a bit of a high expectation to ask for. Only time will tell with nobody being able to truly predict the future in the process leaving Red Sox Nation anxious with only 113 games left to play…
About the Author
Written by Jefferson Mills
I am a 22 year old aspiring sports journalist. I graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and was born and raised in Norwood, MA, twenty minutes south of the great city of Boston. Sports consume my life in every which way as I have been an athlete since the age of 8 playing organized football, baseball and basketball throughout high school and have been an avid die-hard Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox and Celtics fan. I Interned for the "Mecca of Sports Radio" WFAN 660 AM while in college and also interned for News 12 Long Island. Working as a member of the hardest working sports department in one of the most talented college radio stations 88.7 FM WRHU is the one thing I am most proud of when it comes to my work in the field. My passion and work ethic define who I am as a writer, person and friend which is why I hope to become successful in the sports Broadcasting spectrum in years to come.