The Rough Road Ahead of the Red Sox

Photo credit, CBS Sports

Photo credit, CBS Sports

The Rough Road That Lies Ahead

The Red Sox are 42-29 and in the middle of what could very easily be considered their hardest stretch of the season. To begin the month they faced the Yankees, Rangers, Angels, Rays and Orioles. They come home now to play three games against the Rays again including a doubleheader tomorrow. Following the three games in two days against the Rays, they head out to play four against the AL Central leading Tigers. After that the Red Sox will play the Rockies, Blue Jays, and Padres, before going on a West Coast road trip stopping in Anaheim to play the Angels. Then they head to Seattle to play against the Mariners for four games and will finish the road trip, and the first half of the season, in Oakland against the AL West leading Athletics.

Over the first half of this stretch the Red Sox are 9-7, winning every series from May 22nd until this past weekend in Baltimore. The Red Sox have performed better than most thought they might in this stretch and that is something to be proud of. Over this stretch they have fought injuries, sicknesses, lack luster starting pitching from top to bottom at times, three spot starts, and a revolving door in the bullpen as relievers from Pawtucket have been up and down more than usual.

The next part will be the ultimate test for the 2013 Red Sox team that was so often written off to be a below or at .500 team before this season started. This stretch is full of powerful lineups that can wear out any starting pitcher, and starting rotations that can make a lineup whimper in loneliness of the base paths. The Red Sox will have to show not just heart, but the true level of their talent as a whole. When this stretch is over there will be a few days off to heal and rest during the All Star break. During this time there isn’t a shadow of a doubt that Ben Cherrington and his front office will be busy combing through their needs, wants, and excess to figure out what this team is going to require to get to the post season and, with any luck, bring the city of Boston another championship.

When the All Star break concludes, the trade deadline comes into focus. Some of your favorite players will be in all sorts of rumors, and teams could change dramatically. Names like Lee, Papelbon, Crain, Stanton, Garza, and Gallardo will be mentioned by beat writers and insiders all over baseball. Although some experts expect not as much movement as in years past, there are always surprises and it is exciting nonetheless. When the All Star break is over, it’s not just about trades, it will also be time to put the figurative pedal to the floor in what will be a very close AL East and Wild Card chase. Buckle up, this is going to be an exciting finish this year, and this writer wants to smell Fenway in October! Let’s hope we all get to.

Tyler Moore-MLB Contributor-Title Town Sports

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