This was the best hope among Red Sox fans regarding the team’s fortunes in 2013: that 2012 would be an outlier for the starting rotation; that the return of John Farrell would mean the return of performance from Lester and Buchholz to their former peak; and that any projections that included any influence of 2012 would be assessing the rotation too negatively. While it’s less than one month, it’s fun to see that hope be fulfilled to date.
I declared a couple of weeks ago that this is the “house money” season. Expectations preclude a playoff spot, so in that sense it’s like they’re gambling with house money. If things go wrong, whatever, it’s not like it would make a difference in the season. If things go right, hey, fun times!
But what’s so fun at this point is many of the major problems seem resolved on the whole.
1. Rotation. They haven’t had a starter give up more than 3 runs in an outing, which through 14 games hasn’t happened since 1990 (Milwaukee). Lackey is hurt but prior to that looked better than he ever had in a Boston uniform.
2. Chemistry. Winning often breeds good chemistry, but this team had good chemistry before game 1 and it hasn’t changed yet. They are functioning as a team moreso than last year.
3. Manager. Still early for Farrell, but he’s not Valentine, and that’s a lot. Players are giving him a lot of credit for their focus and preparation, and I’m assuming it’s not just talk.
4. Coaching. The staff is working together, not squabbling.
The bullpen was pretty good last year in general, so I don’t want to list them here as a 2013 solution to a 2012 problem. But they are kicking butt this year so far.
And despite not having Ortiz yet the team is scoring runs aplenty.
Hey, fun times!