Red Sox Torey Lovullo Believes They Can Still Make Playoffs
The Boston Red Sox have won four games in a row, posting a 6-4 record in the last 10 games. That’s great, but they also have a 56-66 overall record for 2015. They are 11.5 games back in the American League East division and are seven games back of a wildcard spot. Somehow, that hasn’t dampened interim manager Torey Lovullo‘s hopes for the post-season, this year.
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Ricky Doyle of NESN reported Lovullo’s comments during last night’s post-game interview, after they beat up on Johnny Cueto and the Kansas City Royals. When asked about the Red Sox having any chance at the playoffs, Lovullo said yes:
"“For Lovullo, it all boils down to having faith in his players. ‘Because we’re not eliminated and I believe in these guys,’ Lovullo said when pressed on the issue. ‘And I know what happens in our dugout and I know the quality of players that we have and performers we have. And I feel like anything’s possible with this group.'”"
Doyle added in his own comment, “Right now, it looks like everything’s clicking. And if an MLB season lasted 182 games rather than 162, Lovullo’s vote of confidence might seem a bit more believable.”
There really isn’t much else for Lovullo to say. If he answers that question with any negativity, regardless of its logical sense, the players and the owners would likely frown upon it, even if they felt the same way. It’s one thing to think it; it’s a whole other thing to say it to the media.
The fact is that Red Sox manager John Farrell would have nothing much else to say to that question, either. Although he would have played the ever-constant politician card, that Red Sox Nation has seen a great deal this season, avoiding the question with a neutral response, Farrell and the Red Sox cannot hide behind the numbers.
Yes, the Red Sox have won four games in a row. So have the San Diego Padres, whom are 10 games out of the National League wildcard spot. The Red Sox have won six of 10 games? So have 12 other teams, five of them in the American League. There are eight teams in between Boston and the AL wildcard game, all of whom have earned .500 or better in the same span of games.
The rest of their schedule doesn’t lighten up, either. For August, the Red Sox finishes up their series against the Royals, who likely will not stand for such a loss as last night, and then they go to Chicago to take on the White Sox, who have been battling just as hard as them. Next, they take on the New York Mets, the NL East division leaders, for three games. and then they go home to take on the AL East leaders the New York Yankees, who are fighting off the Toronto Blue Jays for the top spot on a daily basis. No gimmie games there.
After that, in September, it doesn’t get any easier. The Red Sox have three games against the Philadelphia Phillies, whom played the same Blue Jays tough enough to, by some miracle, take a game from the Canadian juggernaut. Then, they play all of the divisional opponents one last time, all of which have records that are .500 or better and are hungry for a playoff berth.
None of these games will be a cakewalk and, when you’re as behind as the Red Sox are in the standings, you need all the help you can get. It’s tough to get help when there are so many people in front of you and only 36 games left. Even if the Red Sox went on a 15-game winning streak, the longest in club history, they would still need enough teams to lose almost double that to get out of the way. Since so many teams are still in the hunt, they would just trade victories back and forth and stay jammed in front of Boston. Besides, it’s a safe bet that we’re not going to be seeing any Pesky or Williams-like performances anytime soon.
Does Lovullo really think that the Red Sox can leapfrog over eight teams and get into the post-season before September is over? Anyone feeling a Green Day song coming on? Wake me up when it’s over, because I don’t think the chance that the Red Sox making the playoffs is going to keep me in much suspense. It’s nice sentiment, but not realistic.
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