The Boston Red Sox win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday could potentially change the course of their dismal season thus far.
The West Coast road trip is finally over. At long last, the Boston Red Sox will return to Fenway Park on Tuesday after a much-needed day off.
It’s hard to imagine that the first eleven games of the season could have gone any worse. Following an October filled with joy, the defending World Series champs opened 2019 out with three consecutive series losses. While some of the games were absolute heartbreakers, others seemed out of reach well before the seventh inning stretch. Pitching woes, frustrating miscues and ill-timed injuries all piled up just as quickly as the losses without a reprieve in sight.
The Red Sox barely managed to avoid getting swept by the Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, and Arizona Diamondbacks. While none of those teams belong in the dregs of the MLB, it’s also clear that none of them should be pushing around a largely unchanged team that won 108 games last year.
After dropping two straight to Arizona, the Red Sox knew they needed to end the series on a high note. They did just that with their narrow 1-0 victory on Sunday. Merrill Kelly pitched an absolute gem, but his one blemish is ultimately what cost his team.
The perennially clutch Mitch Moreland took the rookie deep on the first pitch of the seventh inning. The home run barely escaped the glove of the outstretched Adam Jones, proving true the old saying that baseball really is a game of inches.
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Now the Sox can ride this momentum into their upcoming homestand. After their day off on Monday, they will take on the lowly Toronto Blue Jays who also sit at 3-8. The Jays are fresh off a four-game sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Indians and have now lost six of their last seven. They have also recently traded Kevin Pillar and don’t seem to have playoff aspirations this year.
After a brief two-game stint with them, which includes another off day sandwiched in the middle, Boston will get a chance to beat up on the Baltimore Orioles for four games. This is a team that lost over 100 games last year and is expected to be even worse this time around.
These two teams should give the Red Sox an opportunity to finally right the ship. Boston will, at last, get a chance to play at Fenway Park against two inferior opponents. Cleaning up against their AL East rivals should be a nice confidence boost heading into several tougher series against the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.
This last win against the Diamondbacks was a tough one, but thankfully ends the miserable road trip on a high note. Now that the players get a chance to sleep in their own beds and then go to war against a couple of amateur rosters, they should finally be able to right the ship just in time for their two-game set against their hated arch-rivals.
If not, the Boston fanbase and media are going to start hitting the panic button quicker than you can say “Bobby Valentine.”