Red Sox: Boston’s next three weeks will decide their 2021 fate
The next three weeks will be dire for the Red Sox
We’ve crossed the midway point of the regular season and are just days away from the All-Star break. While the Red Sox have a handful of stars heading to Colorado to be honored, it will give many on the roster a much-needed rest before the second half of the year kicks off. Getting everyone rested and close to full health will be more important than ever with the way that the schedule is built for Boston in the remainder of July.
It’s said that you can’t win a division at the beginning of the season but you can lose it. Well, for the Red Sox that sentiment is at the full extreme with what’s on the horizon for them in July after the All-Star Game. Not only does Chaim Bloom have to do some work at the Trade Deadline as Boston is in need of a first baseman that can hit the ball on a regular basis, but the on-the-field results cant stumble for a single night.
Boston will run into an AL East buzzsaw to close out July and begin August, playing 18 games in 18 days against the rest of the division. An insane gauntlet that the Red Sox can use to either run away with the AL East crown or a three-week span that could see a collapse and struggle for the divisional crown. They’ll see the Yankees eight times and Blue Jays seven times in that span while the Rays will be on the docket for a trio of games.
Some will say that there will still be plenty of time left on the calendar to recover if they fall during this span but there really isn’t. August and September are for finalizing your postseason plans and finishing any pushes you may need in order to get to the playoffs. While the Red Sox are sitting pretty right now a losing record in that window could see them drop down the standings and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Boston wasn’t supposed to be this good in 2021, and blowing the remainder of July would only add fuel to the fire for the haters. However, if they’re able to once again stomp the Yankees, finally figure out the Jays, and keep up with the Rays, it could be smooth sailing for the Sox on their way back to October baseball. Just think about how sweet that would be, burying the Buffoons, stifling the Lames, and clipping the wings of the Bluebirds all before August.
It won’t be easy by any means, but we haven’t seen this team run into too many roadblocks along the way this season so I’ve got full confidence in them to get the job done. We’re going to need some stellar performances from our big four but the real success will come if the bottom of the order can wake up.
The 7-9 spots in the batting order have been a black hole for much of the season and we simply can’t have that against this barrage of divisional assassins. This may be where Bloom goes to the trade block, maybe a C.J. Cron or Carlos Santana could make their way to Fenway.
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We may see some roster shuffling before the season picks back up next week and it may be the best time for it. Danny Santana was added to the IL today which allowed for Michael Chavis to return to the big club. As much as I love the Ice Horse he hasn’t really offered much since his rookie season in 2019. Obviously, Red Sox Nation is waiting with bated breath for the debut of Jarren Duran, and at this point, it may be time to hit that button and bring him up.
We’re close to the league’s worst nightmare returning to the mound in active play as Chris Sale is inching closer and closer to his comeback. Add in a healthy Tanner Houck and Boston will have some serious depth for their pitching and will make it even harder on the opposition. I doubt Sale will be back in time for this three-week stretch of hell but we have a good chance of seeing Houck at least in the bullpen for long relief.
The Red Sox are having an incredible first half of the season but the next three weeks are the definition of make or break for this squad. They don’t have to sweep, they don’t have to dominate, they just have to win. Walking away from these 18 games with a winning record will be the biggest challenge of Boston’s season, but it could also be the stand that punches their ticket to October. Come August, 1st, we may see a team that has a mile-long lead in the division or one that will be fighting for their postseason hopes. 18 days, that’s what will decide this season.