Bloody Sox

Red Sox Rants — and other random opinions about sports

Not how we hoped they’d start the season

So, here we are, one full week into the 2009 baseball season and the Sox are dwelling at the bottom of the American League East standings. Hmmm. This is not how I pictured the season getting under way.

Sure, I know we’re only six games into a 162-game schedule. Of course there is no need to panic. But it isn’t as if these games don’t count. The Sox lost the AL East crown last year by one game, if memory serves me correctly. How different might the playoffs have gone if the Sox had played the Rays with home field advantage?

Nevertheless, I am not panicking. It is just that too many of the things we hoped wouldn’t happen appear to be exactly what is wrong with this team. The offense has struggled to score runs. Jacoby Ellsbury has failed to “set the table” from the lead off spot. David Ortiz has just four hits, all singles.  Jed Lowrie was replaced in the lineup yesterday by Nick Green (who had two hits!). Mike Lowell is batting just .174.

Other bad things that we were not expecting include the following:

  • The starting pitching has been good but not great, and not good enough to overcome the poor hitting.
  • Dustin Pedroia is batting under .200 — maybe because his family has been threatened.

But there have been good things. Kevin Youkilis has been Superman. Jason Bay has been steadily good. Jason Varitek has two home runs. The bull pen has been strong. And J.D. Drew has yet to injure himself.

These are things to build upon. No one expects the Blue Jays to win the AL East… so things should settle down in the coming weeks. Let’s hope so!

UPDATE: I just looked over the statistics for the bullpen… Not as strong as I had thought. Justin Masterson and Hideki Okajima have each appeared in three games and each sport 13.50 ERAs. Yikes! That ain’t gonna get it done.  But really it is early. Honest.

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