Monday, May 05, 2008
The Sox are still fortunate to win 20 games in essentially April. They hold a 7-2 advantage in one-run games, which accounts for most of the variance. Papelbon has pitched in each one of the seven victories recording either a save or a win. Pap did not pitch in the two losses, which were both in Tampa on back-to-back days. A case can be made for him pitching in at least one of those two games, since he had been off for a minimum of two days and the team had an off day coming up – Tito? Regardless, Pap is the Sox April MVP. A shut down pen or closer can boost a team’s record in one-run games. Pap is a big reason the Sox are playing above their run differential. As for May, the schedule doesn’t do the club any favors.
The Local Nine starts tonight with four in Det-Riot, then another long series in the Twin Cities and a pair in the Inner Harbor before returning to Fenway mid-month. Even though the Twins and O’s are talent bottom feeders, the Sox do not play well on the road. Upon their return, they have seven between the Brew Crew and Royals…good times. Then after a Thursday day game versus the Royals, the Olde Towne Team heads West for six against the M’s and A’s. The West coast road trip is never fun. Anything more than twelve wins out of these 23 will set up the Sox up nicely heading into June.