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So You're Saying There's a Chance...

We lose six in a row to our main division rivals, the Yankees and Tampa. Then we come back to win three in a row against a good Tigers team - five games over five hundred and leading a three-team race for the central title by two games over the Pale Hose and Twinkies. What to make of this?

The Sox are a good team which should still make the playoffs in a tight race with the Rangers and Rays. The main differences between the Yankees and Sox last weekend were a) Alex Rodriquez is just insanely good, and b) the Sox were so injured that Enrique Gonzalez (he of the now three straight years of +10 ERA) and Chris Woodward had to play, and Youkilis had to play outfield.

To the first point, the Sox lost two of the four Yankees games at least in part because A-Rod hit good pitches. Tazawa's pitch in the 15th inning looked like a rolling breaking ball but in a good location. Similarly, A-Rod broke another 0-0 tie with a solo shot in the 7th inning of the last game of the series. Again, A-Rod crushed a breaking ball that was appropriately low, this time from Lester. Sometimes great hitters crush good pitches. Right now, the Sox don't themselves have a power hitter who can kill a good pitcher's good pitch. That was the difference maker.

The fact is that the Sox have a great bullpen, 2 ace starters, and a deep line up in which our 7th hitter is either Lowell, Bay, Drew, Papi, or Kotchman. Not too shabby. The Sox lack an elite power hitter (V-Mart and Youk are great hitters with power, not elite power hitters). No one is sure what we'll get from Penny, Buchholz or Tazawa the rest of the season, though there are reasons for optomism. We do need Wake back and even Dice-K seems like a better and better option, this year.

My point is that the Sox are still a good team and back-to-back sweeps by the Rays and Yanks didn't nullify that. The Sox were playing away from home against very good teams when we were extremely banged up. I hoped for a split of both series. No such luck. Moving on.

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