Opening Day at Fenway

Friday, July 03, 2015

Halfway There

They're teasing us again.

The Red Sox hit the halfway point of the 2015 season last night, with a 12-6 win over the Blue Jays in Toronto. They had the biggest first inning of the season, scoring 8 runs off a rookie named Matt Boyd, who faced seven hitters, and they all scored. (And how many of you were like me, thinking Wade Miley was going to give away that big lead in the 2nd?) David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back home runs in that inning. It was a glimpse of a Red Sox team we thought we'd be seeing a lot more of 2015.

Last night was Game 81 of the 2015 season. The Sox conclude the first half at 37-44, six games out of first place, five games out of second. They ended it winning 5 of 7 on the road trip to Tampa Bay and Toronto.

Once again, the Red Sox are fortunate that there is no strong team in the AL East. Right now, the top four teams are separated by just one game in the standings. The Red Sox are the only fifth-place team that is not double-digits out of first place.

So, is there hope? The math may say yes, but this team still has to play consistently well, especially inside their division, to have a chance. And the month of July is no cakewalk. They play six games with Houston, three with New York, four with the LA Angels, three with Detroit, and one with Tampa Bay (to end the month), all teams with playoff aspirations. The Sox went 14-14 in June. Nothing to shout about, but it was much better than the awful May they had, where they finished a putrid 10-19.

The trading deadline is four weeks away, so are the Red Sox buyers or sellers? I would have to say now it maybe too early to tell. It will really depend on where they stand the morning of July 31st. There are really only seven teams right now who appear to be completely out of it right now (PHI, CIN, MIL, SEA, OAK, CHW and COL).

This holiday weekend's series at Fenway with the surprising AL West-leading Houston Astros will tell us a lot about where the Red Sox are heading right now, and if they can carry some of that newly built momentum home against a playoff contender. I'm not loaded with optimism, but things look a lot better than they did after losing 2 of 3 to Baltimore last week. Stay tuned.

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