Monday, July 26, 2004
After some reading and reflection on Sunday morning, I came to the conclusion that if Lowe can pitch well tonight and the Sox pull out a win, then this could be the start of a big winning streak that I have been cautiously predicting for sometime now based on the club’s runs scored/prevented difference.
Everything appears to be coming together for the Sox. Club chemistry is not a question mark any longer after Saturday.
"I hope," added Terry Francona, "this day is one we look back on a while from now and say that this brought us together. We were talking about that yesterday -- how you never know what can make your team stronger, with their personalities and bring them together. I hope a long time from now, we look back and say this did it."
Emotions were running high even in laid back Burlington, Vermont on Sunday morning. A random kid knocked on the window of a coffee shop I was patronizing pointing to my Sox hat and giving me a Fonzie sign of approval. The stars seemed to be lining up. Good karma was overflowing out of Boston. The level of optimism was rising. If Lowe and company can do it tonight, this club will roll over the competition.
As we know, Lowe looked like a new man yielding only four real hits (seven total) and two real walks (three total – he pitched around A-Hole) over six and two-thirds. It is certainly a positive development. But I am not so sure that the Old Town Team is going to run off a 9 or 10 out of their next 12 on the road for the following reasons:
1. The Sox basically won the last two games because they beat up on the likes of Taynon Sturtze, head case Contreras and the back of the MFY pen. Other than Lowe, all other aspects of run prevention were terrible. The pitching, glove work and mental part of the game has to improve or this club is going nowhere despite the emotional lift from this weekend.
2. The list of wounded gets longer and longer. Trot Nixon and Leskanic join Pokey, Williamson, DiNardo, Kim, etc. in Dr. Morgan’s not so virtual waiting room and Tek and Foulke could be next. Theo needs to find more temps like Terry Adams family.
3. Even though the Sox have their best schedule to go, it will be difficult in Baltimore. For whatever reason, the Sox have a tough time matching up with the O’s.
4. The Sox stay on the road. After a stop north of the Expos future home, the boys move on to play more athletic teams on turf accentuating their biggest weakness in the field.
The Sox have just not played good ball after the Break.
On the bright side, Millar is finally hitting. Ferris Mueller looks healthy and is raking with the rest of the club. Kapler, one of two Sox out machines, is even hitting. Hopefully, the Sox spiritual lift will uplift their play too or this weekend won't mean much.