It’s been an up-and-down past few weeks for the Red Sox to say the least.
The team struggled in June, which saw them go from having a 3.5-game lead in the American League East at the beginning of the month, to trailing by 5.5 games at the end of the month.
Then, on July 2 they suffered their worst loss in quite some time – 21-2 to the Angels – and questions surrounding manager John Farrell’s future were in full swing. But since that game, the Red Sox have turned things around as they may have used that blowout loss as a turning point.
The team is 3-1 since that game and have scored a combined 35 runs in those four games. More importantly, as of Thursday they are just 2.5 games back in the American League East. It’s a much different feeling around the team than say five days ago.
"We've played much better baseball with the exception of the one game here this month," Farrell said after Wednesday's win. "It's good to get a couple series' wins back-to-back."
This past week or so was the perfect example of why it’s so hard to react to one game in baseball.
Despite their blow out loss on Saturday, the Red Sox still won 2-of-3 games over the weekend and then followed it up with taking 2-of-3 from the best team in the American League. If they can win every series the rest of the way, they will be in great shape to make the postseason.
The unofficial first half of the season closes out this weekend with the Rays coming to town. Tampa is in last place in the American League East, but did take 2-of-3 last week in what was the end of a poor road trip for the Red Sox. Certainly, they will have revenge on their minds as well as heading into the All-Star break on a good note.
If the Red Sox sweep the Rays, they would be 49-38 at the break – a very good record.
All things considered, this recent stretch has shown the Red Sox are a pretty good team. Things could have fallen off the rails after Saturday night, but instead it appears that game was a rallying point, the sign of a potential playoff team.
Going into the second half of the season it’s clear the pitching needs to be improved and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski will do everything in his power to bring in a quality arm or two.
So while some thought the season could have came crashing down last weekend, it appears it’s only beginning.