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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

The Gauntlet

This month is the gauntlet for Boston. They need to do more than just endure it.

2 at .513
day off
3 at .536
1 vs. .541
2 vs. .500
day off
3 vs. .536
4 at .541
3 vs. .500
3 at .469
4 at .536

Those are Boston’s next 25 games, with only one series being with an opponent having a below-average win percentage. Boston has a higher win % than all of them - a mighty .562 - but that’s not far enough ahead for comfort, especially in August. Just about half of these games are with New York and Tampa Bay, the closest divisional foes. The Yankees alone are ten of these games, seven of them being in New York.

September ain’t a cake walk*, either, with more divisional play and a season-ending series against the Astros. But this stretch in August can make a big difference in how September plays out. I’d love to see the Red Sox keep playing as well as they’ve done in the past week or so, but they don’t have the White Sox to beat up any more. This stretch is the gauntlet, and in my opinion they need to do more than just endure it.

For reference: NY has 10 games in this stretch against below-.500 teams (Mets for 4, and 3 each for Jays and Tigers). Tampa Bay has 7, all against the Jays, plus a 3-game set against the .500 Cardinals. We should expect just based on strength of schedule that Boston will lose some ground in the next few weeks to both of them. Hell, the majority of the Orioles’ games in this stretch are against below-.500 teams (Angels, A’s, Jays). If the Red Sox just hold serve here, they don’t have enough of a margin that they can just run out the clock on the season**.

So here’s what I want to see.

- Boston goes at least 6-4 against NY, and at least 1-1 against Tampa;
- Boston goes at least 6-2 against the Cardinals, Orioles, and Jays;
- Boston goes 2-3 against the Indians (4 of the games are on the road).

That would be good for 15-10, and adds a game on the Yankees to help offset the gains the Yankees will surely make based on their schedule. So yeah, what I want to see is Boston doing a little better against these teams in this stretch than they’ve played to date this season. That’s probably unreasonable, but it’s what I think they need to do to set themselves up for a good September.

* I’ve read the Wikipedia entry for this phrase, and I still don’t understand it.

** I challenge you to outdo me by using metaphors from three different sports in a sentence coherently.

villageidiom Posted: August 08, 2017 at 09:05 AM | 105 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 08, 2017 at 02:01 PM (#5528635)
Guessing at the remaining schedule;

Tampa: 2-1
Oakland: 2-1
@Tampa: 1-2
@Baltimore: 1-2
@Cincinnati: 2-1
Toronto: 2-1
Houston: 2-2
Total: 12-10
   102. Nasty Nate Posted: September 08, 2017 at 02:03 PM (#5528638)
Hey, Jose (or anyone else), are you interested in 2 tickets for the Saturday 9/30 game vs the Astros? I want to trade them for tickets to any remaining weeknight game.
   103. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 08, 2017 at 02:05 PM (#5528641)
And once more the season in ten game increments;

5-5
6-4
5-5
5-5
6-4
6-4
6-4
6-4
6-4
4-6
6-4
8-2
4-6
6-4

Other than that one little stretch last month it's been crazy how consistent they've been.
   104. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 08, 2017 at 02:09 PM (#5528650)
Oh dammit Nate I keep forgetting to respond to your email I'm sorry. Let me check this afternoon and let you know.
   105. villageidiom Posted: September 08, 2017 at 02:35 PM (#5528685)
Other than that one little stretch last month it's been crazy how consistent they've been.
And even that one little stretch - the 8-2 followed by the 4-6 - averages out to 6-4.
Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2

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