Oakland, Seattle, New York could be lands of opportunity for Red Sox

There’s been a great deal of hyperbole tossed around in the past month or so about the chances of a postseason berth for the Red Sox in 2014. On the morning of Memorial Day Monday, with the Sox having lost 10 games in a row, their season was dubbed “over,” by most. They then won seven games in a row and many said their march back to October had just begun. Then there was another five game losing streak to start the month of June, and the pessimists were once again vocal. Since those extreme days, the Sox are 6-4. Not great. Not bad. Slightly above average.

If the Red Sox can maintain that “slightly above average” pace over the next 10 days, the glass half full Sox fans will be happy at their Fourth of July cookouts.

A daunting road trip against the A’s, Mariners and Yankees begins Thursday in Oakland (10 p.m., NESN). If Boston can go 5-5 on the trip, it will almost certainly remain just five games out of a wild card spot with 80 games left on its schedule. If the Sox go 3-7, 2-8 or 1-9 – then the pessimists may finally have a legit case.

The Red Sox have an opportunity to show that some semblance of 2013 magic carried over to 2014 in this upcoming stretch if they can just hang with three American League teams that are legit playoff contenders.

The A’s are the best of the bunch, owning the best record in the AL at 43-28. Oakland currently has three pitchers with over five wins and a below- 3.00 ERA and the Sox will face two of the three. Lefty Scott Kazmir, who is enjoying an all-time bounce-back year, is 8-2 on the year and sports a 2.05 ERA. He will go Thursday against Jake Peavy (1-4, 4.53 ERA). Jesse Chavez, who owns a 6-4 record with a 2.93 ERA, will throw Friday for the A’s against Felix Doubront (2-4, 5.12 ERA).


The Mariners (37-34), who host the Sox for three games beginning Monday, are playing their best baseball of the season as they are 10-5 in the month of June. Robinson Cano (.327 batting average) has been highly productive for Seattle lately, registering at least one hit in 13-of-16 games played in June.

The Sox will be in good shape if they show up to Yankee Stadium on June 27 with three or four combined wins under their belts against the two aforementioned AL West teams. Over the next two weeks, the Yankees (36-33) will be slugging it out with AL East teams exclusively, so there is plenty of opportunity to make up some ground in the division.

Follow Metro Boston Sports Editor Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…