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Sunday, July 18, 2010

This is reminding me of 2006

2006 was the year that the Captain went down with a knee injury on the last day before the trading deadline- July 31, 2006. The Red Sox went into a tailspin after that going from 1 game up at the end of that day to 11 games behind at the end of the season.

I don't think anyone counted on the improbability of Varitek going down 3 days after Victor Martinez and 5 days after Dustin Pedroia (the day after his huge 5/5 game at COL.) So far this month, the Sox have won 5 games against 8 losses. They were in 2nd place only 1 GB the division leading Yankees on June 30th. From April 20th on to June 30th, they had the best record in baseball, climbing from a miserable 4-9 start to closing in and ready to pounce on the Yankees.

The only difference this year is that Theo had an extra month to be able to address the catching situation. Kevin Cash has been the quick fix, as he has caught Wakefield before. Wakefield moved back into the rotation following injuries to Beckett, Dice-K, and Buchholz. The injuries sustained not only by Pedroia, Martinez, Varitek, those 3 pitchers, and Ellsbury, Cameron, Lowell, Hermida, and Delcarmen should have sent this year's team into a similar tailspin if it weren't for the grit, determination and resolve that the unlikely players Nava, Hall, McDonald, and Doubront have shown in their places. However, those qualities alone are not going to get this team to the playoffs. With the injuries mounting a month before the trade deadline, I'm sure Theo is working on something, whether it's DeJesus or someone else.

The injuries occurred early enough in the season that hope still remains the injured players can come back and mount a campaign such as the one starting on April 20th. In the meantime, all we (the fans) can do is wish them well, hope for the best, and take a look at the upcoming schedule.

The Sox have 10 upcoming games with the relatively weak AL West Division, but they're on the road. An off day on July 29th is followed by 3 games at home with Detroit and 4 with Cleveland. They play 10 road games against the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Rangers, for a total of 19 games in 19 days. After a rare off day, they host the Angels, Blue Jays, and Mariners. After one more much needed off day, then it's off to the giant yurt in Tampa to play the Rays.

Let's hope these guys heal faster than expected, and that in the meantime, the unlikely replacements and occasional heroes keep them within striking distance of a playoff spot.

Jon Lester pitched well today, allowing only 3 earned runs in 8 innings, while striking out 6 Rangers, but his counterparts on the Rangers pitched 1 run better.

Sox 2 Rangers 4 BOX SCORE

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