With Chris Sale having a triumphant return to the mound on Saturday, he adds some much-needed energy to a Red Sox rotation that has been clinging to life support since the trading deadline. He did so by firing off five innings of good baseball while only yielding two runs and striking out eight en route to a victory. His first game since 2019 was an overwhelming success and is now firmly back entrenched as the Ace of this Sox team. By any statistic he is the Ace this team has sorely been missing. Hopefully moving forward, he will stay his dominant self. One must wonder if there will be any aftereffects of the Tommy John surgery he underwent.
That victory Saturday led to the Sox bringing out the brooms as we completed a much-needed sweep of the Baltimore Orioles. The wins this weekend leave us a few games back of the division leading Tampa Bay Rays. Nipping at our heels, and only a few games behind us in the standings are the New York Yankees. We start a three-game set against our old adversaries this week in the Big Apple. By outscoring the Orioles in dominating fashion of a 30-5 clip, we should have built some momentum heading into this week’s tilt. The Sox needed their mojo back in a bad way. A bad Orioles team was just what the doctor ordered. One wouldn’t necessarily call these Yankees games a must win while there are still 42 total games left for our beloved Boston Red Sox. It will have lots of playoff implications. They could do some serious damage to the Bronx Bombers by winning the series, or even sweeping the Yanks.
While the rivalry isn’t what it was in ’04, this year’s competition between both teams is especially fun. It always helps when you are the team that has won the season series so far. The best Red Sox teams are the underdogs, the down and outs, the infamous Idiots of ’04. I am not saying this Sox team is by any means that of ’04, but they are definitely likeable. They play until the last out, and this has led to numerous come from behind wins this year. The Sox are grinders, and what is there not to love about that. While the Yankees aren’t their hated selves of old, I can still root against them just as easily. With only six games slated against the Yanks the rest of the year each one does have extra weight added to it. It has been too long since we have had meaningful baseball with these two bitter rivals. With both teams chasing the division title, or at least a playoff spot, this is baseball at its finest. The dog days of August are going to have some very important baseball games if we hope to make it into the playoffs.