The postseason begins for the Sox Thursday night at 9:37pm EST...seems like it'll take forever to get here. Until then, it's interesting to look back at how the Sox got where they are right now. The members of the ITM staff sent some emails back and forth on this topic, and here are our high level season grades:
Starting Pitching: B
Boston's pitching was an absolute roller coaster ride this year. From having too much, to having too little, the one constant was either Beckett or Lester playing the role of the ace and helping the Sox through it. The front end of the rotation deserves an A-, while the back end (Smoltz, Penny, and Byrd) earned a C- at best.
This would be an A if it weren't for Manny Delcarmen's inconsistency. The best bullpen in the has been predominately solid, and with Papelbon looking stronger than ever, he might not give up a hit in the postseason.
Jason Bay, Vmart, Youk and Jacoby aced the course. However, the cold stretch which made me freak out during my honeymoon in August docks their grade, with Tek and Lowrie also dragging down the class mean.
Jacoby and Gonzo have been going above and beyond. The grade has been increasing as the season bore on, however Youk has been the rock throughout. On the flip side, Lowell has been the damaged goods as his surgically-repaired hip has severely diminished his range.
We were thinking about it, and couldn't come up with of many instances where we completely disagreed with Tito this season. Given the tough environment, turnover, etc, he's done a bang up job.
It's been a tale of two seasons for the boy wonder, the preseason moves, and the mid season moves. ITM deserves the right to change this to an A+ if the Sox take home the title. His mid season transactions have yet to fully show their value.
Overall, this team is hovering around an A-/B+ average, which is nothing to sneeze at....but there are still points on the table to be had. Here's hoping for an upward revision to a hundy spot come early November.