2004 changed everything, taking away the edge, the aura of inevitability. Is it lack of concern about being overtaken by the New Yorkers, confidence in the Red Sox pitching staff, or just fatigue induced by contemporary sports scandals?
I am sorry to see Wily Mo Pena go, as somehow, I view him to be a future productive player. Who knows, maybe he'll come this way again. After the break, his OPS is .749, not very good.
My pitching obituary for Mike Timlin obviously came prematurely.
Clay Buchholz reminds me of another tall, right-handed pitcher who threw over the top. Of course, this boyhood idol has just a little bit longer track record.
Last year Kevin Youkilis seemed to wear down from the long season and a lot of hit by pitches. This season, Youk has just tailed off after the All-Star break. The bad news is that Wily Mo had an OPS 61 points higher than the Sox first baseman since the break.
OPS after the break:
The surprise? Lugo and Lowell have almost the same OPS, as does Youk and Varitek.
Heck, it's always the pitching in the end anyway.