After averaging -3.4 runs all season (all numbers approximate), the Red Sox have now scored 22 runs in their last 3 games, albeit against the Houston Astros. While nothing in baseball can be determined from a pair of games, one in which they scored 9 runs and the other with 10, the games can be used as a microcosm for the state of the Red Sox team in 2014, and more importantly 2015.
After everything went right last year, everything has gone wrong this year. I have a feeling that we won’t see either extreme again, although the Red Sox are on a streak of extremes since 2011. In 2011, they experienced both ends of the spectrum. 2012? Horrendous. And 13 and 14 I already said. But that becomes a problem for fans (and many media members), who will see what happens this year and not have their hopes high for 2015. I’ve heard so many fans say “Well, we caught lightning in a bottle in 2013 (true), but this year is a more accurate representation of the Boston Red Sox.” They’re acknowledging one extreme and not the other.
But Ben Cherrington knows that 2015 should be a different tale. Let’s look at the offense next year. They’ll replace AJ Pierzynski with probably Christian Vazquez, which is an upgrade simply because Vazquez has a body temperature somewhere in the nineties. Mike Napoli, who has done way better this year than people realize, should be good for 115-145 games of a 3 WAR-level of play. Bogaerts should take another step, and Brock Holt might actually be the Brock Holt that we’ve seen the past few months. Then, the Sox should be able to piece together the outfield through Cespedes, Bradley, Victorino, Craig, Nava, and whatever they do by probably trading at least one of those guys. (And maybe Giancarlo Stanton? Yes.) And here’s to hoping that Papi and Pedey are still Papi and Pedey next year. The latter is a little more sure than the former.
The Sox will have to beef up the pitching staff, but I think it’s clear to just about anyone who follows closely that the offense will be a lot better next year. While 2 great games means next to nothing from a statistical perspective, they can serve as a reminder that better times are to come for the Sox. When there’s nothing to cheer for in August except 9 and 10 runs within a few nights of each other, I guess that’s what we’ll have to focus on.