Is…is this what pride in your team feels like? It’s been so long, I suppose I’d forgotten how nice it was. While the Sox still have quite a ways to go hauling themselves up the side of the Sisyphean-esque mountain that Sox management has created for itself, this is a nice marker for a team that may just have deigns on competing this year. Even if (when) the bottom drops out and the boulder rolls back over them, it’s cool for a weekend to own a team that has knocked their collective junk in the dirt the last 5 years. Make no mistake, while the Sox are climbing up one side of the mountain it seems the Indians are picking up speed on the other side, hurtling down towards the burning shores of the Cuyahoga.
Let’s talk about some stuff, shall we?
NUMBERS DON’T LIE
– If you would’ve told me two weeks ago that Manny Banuelos and Dylan Covey would outduel Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer I would’ve laughed and pushed you into the street (I’m a terrible person). Night one saw Carrasco unable to keep his breaking pitches out of the zone, resulting in quite a few of them going back the opposite direction at speeds normally associated with satellites falling out of orbit. Banuelos did just enough to keep the noodle-armed tribe off the basepaths and in the field, then let his offense do the rest. Abreu, Alonso and Eloy had 7 RBIs between the 3 of them, with Jiminez breaking the ice with a 2 run double. It’s nice to see Alonso contribute something to the equation, but he still shouldn’t be hitting fucking 4th.
-Night 2 saw the Covey give up a lead off bomb to Francisco Lindor (God it’s gonna suck when the Cubs sign him) that killed a Super Ropes vendor in the right-center seats. This had me primed for another Covey Special, where I can turn the game off in the 2nd inning (the outcome predetermined) and fire up Mortal Kombat on my PS4. I decided to keep it on a little longer, and was rewarded by the other side of the lineup jumping Bauer for 6 runs (2 earned) and making the Indians pay for some seriously shoddy D. Covey ended up getting a quality start on the evening, plus his first win since August of 2018(!). I’m happy for him, but if this team has any interest in making this season more than just a stop on the Eternal Rebuild Train, then he can’t be the 5th starter much longer. Time for me to start beating the Marcus Stroman drum, eh?
– Game 3 was the lone blight of the weekend, with the Sox repaying the Cleveland error-fest of the previous night with the type of base running normally seen when I’m playing MLB The Show shitfaced in my basement. The Sox ran into a double play with the Indians not even having to throw a pitch. If you really wanna see it, you can watch the video here, but I’m not going to waste any more time on it other than to say that Yolmer and Tilson know what they did, and they better not fucking do it again. The Sox stranded a shitload of players, Renteria left Nova in too long and pitched Herrera too much. Fart.
– Game 4 was another masterful performance by Lucas Giolito, and another blast by Tim Anderson. Seriously, I’m running out of superlatives as to just how good Gio has looked these last few outings, so instead just watch this curveball over and over again. It’s hypnotic. Gio ended up going 7.1 innings, with Bummer and Colome finishing off the Tribe for the series win. The only downer on the day was Eloy striking out in each plate appearance today, still seeing a steady diet of breaking pitches. I’m not ready to call him Pedro Cerrano yet, but the similarities are getting somewhat striking. I still have faith he’s gonna get his timing down and send Alonso to the bottom 3rd of the order where he belongs. Timmy continues to be the most entertaining thing since Ozzie Guillen, and his pose after he murdered the cutter from Plesac (who actually pitched pretty well) made me cackle like a mental patient. More please.
Next up is a quick 2 game series against the Nats. Thankfully the Sox manage to dodge Stephen Strasburg, who is back to his old dominating self. The Sox currently sit 1 game out of .500 and 2 games out of the 2nd wild card spot. The Nats are a beatable shitshow right now, then it’s another helping of the Kansas City Trash Goblins. There’s no reason for the Sox to be anything but at least 2 games above .500 by the end of the week. In the past, this is where the trap door would open and the Sox would plummet to the depths of the AL. I have a feeling this time might be different. ONWARD!