Sunday, July 18

ITM - Going Around The Horn

(I'm not quite hitting it yet, but I'm damn close)

I was talking to my brother earlier today and we both agreed that the plethora of injuries, non-identifiable names on the current Red Sox team, and recent All Star break has caused many of us in the Nation to lose focus.....we need to snap out of it, and so do the Sox.

While the Sox may be getting Beckett, Buchholz and Hermy back this week, the upcoming West coast trip could very well shape the rest of the season for Boston. That said, seeing how it's a Sunday night and I'm still on European time, let's quickly go around the horn:

-VMart played catch today, which is a good sign, but his timetable is not yet defined....I'm not sure how much longer I can stand watching the combination of Brown (who?), one of the seven Molina brothers, and Rube Baker behind the plate for the Sox.

-Boston has won only 3 of their last 11 games, meanwhile the Yanks continue to chug along, extending their lead over the Sox to 6.5 games ( and 3 over the Rays). If the Sox pull a 3-7 road trip, they'll likely be in big trouble upon returning home right before the trade deadline (ITM note: while the Sox are away, the Yanks and Rays have pretty cake schedules, not a good combination)

-With the return of Beckett and Buchholz this week, it means Just for Men Wakefield will probably be headed back to the pen. Let's hope he has one last solid outing in him on Tuesday.

-Mike Cameron is starting to put up the numbers we had hoped for. We'll need a lot more if it while on the West Coast.

-Good for Michael Bowden. After throwing up all over himself against Toronto last year, he's seemingly worked hard to fix his delivery issues and now looks stronger than ever. His slider was absolutely nasty in his perfect 9th inning today. Good sign for the Sox since that's by far their weakest area (once healthy).

-Mike Lowell is getting an injection and starting a rehab start with Pawtucket soon. To be honest, I had completely forgotten he existed or a while. That said, he's had to deal with so much this season, you gotta be pulling for the man.

-Beltre may be over-achieving at the plate this year, but his 15 errors is about 14 more than I expected at this point given all the ball washing we heard about his glove (ITM included).

-Fenway celebrated its 600th straight sellout today. There have been some questionable sell outs along the way, but regardless, it's a testament to a great (and affluent) fan base.

10 days, 10 games on the West Coast, once it's over we'll know a whole lot more about the Sox, their overall health, and their chances of playing baseball in October when they return.

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