Saturday, June 05, 2010

That Didn't Leave as Much of a Mark as It Could Have

Not many Sox fans would argue that the season so far has been anything approaching success. Yet throw away the angst and include the 6-9 mediocrity against the Yankees and the Rays and the Sox remain in striking distance.

Here's the AL team versus team grid.

The good has come from the outstanding (overall) pitching of Lester and Buchholz at the top of the rotation and the setup-closer combination of Bard and Papelbon. Adrian Beltre has overachieved, David Ortiz has outperformed expectations, and Kevin Youkilis remains one of the top players in the league. Jason Varitek has performed a backup role very effectively. Of the newcomers, Bill Hall has shown versatility and some pop.

Mediocrity has come from the entirety of the outfield, and Victor Martinez has turned his season around recently. John Lackey hasn't found a groove as his command hasn't been there, although most Sox fans probably expect him to rebound. Dustin Pedroia had a tremendous April and has struggled at the plate recently, but continues to excel defensively.

The ugly has reared its head with the injury bug, with the Ellsbury and Cameron duo combining for 13 runs, 5 RBI, no homers, and two stolen bases in a combined 25 games. Josh Beckett's injuries have rendered him either ineffective or absent and he won't be back for a month or more, considering his shutdown.

It's hard to even grade Theo Epstein with so many injuries. The organizational decision NOT to part with either Lester or Buchholz can't go unnoticed, and the disgruntled bus has too many players ensconced, with Lowell (.229/.316/.343/.659) and Wakefield (1-4,, 6.02) drawing a Shakespearean "methinks thou dost protest too much".

Is Terry Francona doing his best managerial job ever, with unhappy veterans, injuries, and too many at bats for guys named McDonald, Hermida, and Reddick?

So even though fans Stones-style can't get no satisfaction, we try and we try and we try.

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