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Red Sox Great Start: Is It Too Early To Jump On Bandwagon?

April 9, 2013

Our Boston Red Sox are looking a lot better than many of us thought they would. Last year at this time, the panic meter was almost in the red. This year, the needle is swinging in the opposite direction, but are we at risk of getting too ahead of ourselves?

Cautious optimism is certainly the best approach with 155 games left to be played. While my gut tells me this team will continue to play well, Monday’s game did highlight two areas of concern.

First and foremost, where in the world has the offense been against left-handers?  On Sunday, the Sox touched up the reigning NL Cy Young winner, right-hander R.A. Dickey, for eight runs in four and two thirds innings in route to a 13-0 victory.

One day later, Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen held the Red Sox scoreless through six innings, allowing only four hits until Daniel Nava’s towering three-run shot over the Monster.

Chen hasn’t been the only southpaw to stifle the otherwise potent Red Sox offense.  J.A. Happ pitched a one-hitter through five, leading the Blue Jays to a 5-0 win on Saturday, and Andy Pettitte allowed just one run and eight hits over as many innings in our only other loss this season.

The one exception was Opening Day, when the Sox ended CC Sabathia’s outing early, but their overall lack of production against lefties is troubling and baffling. With a predominantly right-handed lineup, the laws of physics seem to have abandoned the Red Sox. Hopefully, they’ll find their groove in the coming weeks.

The closer games are the more dependent the Sox will be on closer Joel Hanrahan. The former Pirate has logged three saves thus far but not without some drama. He surrendered a home run to Adam Jones with no outs in Monday’s home opener and has allowed the tying run to come to the plate in two out of his three save opportunities.

Nothing can kill momentum quite like a blown save, but if he can keep the heat and the saves coming, Hanrahan can make games as interesting as he wants. After Papelbon, we’re used to it anyway.

It’s been a while since the Red Sox have given us anything to be excited about, and I’m finding it hard not to jump feet first onto the bandwagon.  Who am I kidding, despite these issues, I’m feeling pretty good about our chances. Still, I will do my best to remain cautiously optimistic.  It’s never a bad plan when our Red Sox are concerned.

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