A show of hands from all of you who thought the Red Sox would have 58 wins and be 2 1/2 games up in first place at the All-Star Break.
Not many went up, right?
The Sox finish at the break 58-39, after 97 games, with a .598 winning percentage, best in the AL. They need just 11 wins to match last year's total, and may get that by the trading deadline, July 31.
Does the 2012 season look like it happened a lifetime ago?
The Sox ended the west coast trip at 5-5 (just as I had hoped they would) with two losses in the final two games in Oakland. They won the first, lost three straight, then won four in a row, and then completed it with two losses, the last one a tough 3-2 defeat in 11 innings.
They go into the break with the league's best record, and the third best record in MLB. They have a 2 1/2 game lead on Tampa Bay, 4 1/2 over Baltimore, and 6 over New York.
The .598 winning percentage translates to 97 wins over the course of the season. If the Red Sox go 32-33 over the final 65 games they will still end up 90-72. (The same record they had in 2011. But that was a lifetime ago too, right?)
John Farrell is without question the leading candidate for the AL's Manager of the Year.
Now the Sox take a four-day break and return to Fenway to open up a seven-game homestand with New York and Tampa Bay. The first 97 games were a blast. Let's see if they can keep it going.