After Sunday, the Red Sox had played 27 games, or 16.7 percent of the season. Sure, the finish line is far off, but a substantial chunk of the year is gone. Also, early May is a great time for a team to hit its stride. Boston most certainly has not.
With that in mind, here are the three teams that are hot and three that are not as we approach the quarter pole of the season:
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The Rays won four straight after Evan Longoria went down with a torn hamstring. That’s the nature of this bunch — they find a way to make it work when the chips are down. Of course, when your rotation leads the league with a 3.19 ERA (entering Sunday), it does not hurt.
Give them credit. Their manager’s already been suspended and their high-priced closer has already been demoted. But the Marlins have shaken off a poor start and seem to be coming around. They had won five straight heading into a Sunday matinee in San Diego.
The one question in D.C. is whether the Nationals will have enough hitting to survive. Entering Sunday the team ERA was 2.36, far and away the best mark in baseball. But Washington ranked 14th in the National League in runs scored. So far, the formula has worked. The club had won four in a row entering Sunday.
They still have star power and some truly great players at a handful of positions. But between injuries, uncertainty and a disastrous rotation, it is just an average team (at best) with an above-average payroll. The Sox are now 4-10 at home this season after Sunday's 17 inning, 9-6 loss to the Orioles.
This was a mildly trendy pick as an upstart team after it showed some improvement last year and showcased some good, young talent. But the AL West won’t allow for many 5-11 stretches, such as the one the M’s just endured.
Chicago White Sox
They’ve scored more than four runs just twice in the last 13 games. They’ve been shut out twice in that stretch and held to one run yesterday in Detroit. Punchless. And losers of nine of their last 12 overall. Chicago is still hovering around .500, though with a 13-15 record.