Marco Scutaro has been a rare positive for the Red Sox in Sucktember. (AP Photo)
Everybody's got a hold on hope
It's the last thing that's holding me
- Guided By Voices - "Hold On Hope"
Dark times have descended upon Red Sox Nation. Our beloved Red Sox are in the midst of their worst September collapse in franchise history. Fenway has morphed into Disney Land. Tito's job is in jeopardy. ESPN the Magazine has the worst timing in the world. And the Sox have lost seven strait series en route to a 5-16 record in Sucktember. They're as down as the Dow, but despite all of this, I offer you 5 reasons to hold onto hope, and believe in October. It may be blind faith, but it's the last thing that's holding me.
- The Red Sox are Making the Playoffs - Despite September being a complete horror show, the Sox are still in the drivers seat, and are the ones being chased, not doing the chasing. This is important, and their outstanding play earlier in the year has afforded them this cushion to absorb the collapse thus far. Their fate is completely in their hands, if they win, they're in - it's that simple. They have a two game lead over the Rays with each Team having six games left on their schedule. If the Red Sox win four out of their last six they're in. No easy task with the way they've been playing, but the odds are still in their favor, and each win they get - or each loss the Rays take, pushes the math that much more in the Sox favor. Put it this way. This morning the Sox odds of making the playoffs are 88.9% as opposed to 8% for the Rays. Which side would you rather be on?
- The ALDS is Only Five Games - If the playoffs started today the Red Sox would be at Detroit for a five game series. I've always been uncomfortable with the ALDS no matter how hot or cold the Sox have been heading into it because it's a shortened series. The odds are evened so much in a shorter series which allows a Team of lesser talent the ability to sneak out the Series. Now I'm not saying the Sox have less talent than the Tigers, because they don't, but they are about 200 degrees colder than them heading into the playoffs, and a shorter Series is in their favor.
- The Red Sox Offense Still Scares Opponents - Yes the potential of facing Justin Verlander twice in five games is absolutely terrifying, but you have to remember that despite the cold September (ok, ok - FRIGID Sucktember) the Sox are still tops in the American League in almost all offensive categories:
- 851 Runs - 1st in AL
- 1537 Hits - 1st in AL
- 342 Doubles - 1st in AL
- 820 RBI - 1st in AL
- .810 OPS - 1st in AL
- .280 AVG - 2nd in AL
- 194 HR - 3rd in AL
- The Red Sox Match-Up Well with the Yankees - I predicted back on September 2nd that the Red Sox and Yankees would meet in the ALCS and I'm standing by this prediction. I also said the Series starting tonight would most likely decide the AL East and well....nobody bats 1.000 right? (I joke because I'm sad) But seriously, the Sox match up great against the Yankees, traditionally have hit CC weirdly well - and have a left-handed lineup made to take advantage of Yankee Stadium and it's short right field porch. The Sox are 11-4 so far against the Yanks and their games are so long, strange, and unpredictable that who'd win the Series would be anyone's guess. If the Sox and Yanks do meet in the ALCS, I like our chances as much as theirs, and that's the Gods honest truth. I may need blood pressure pills though, don't know if I could handle it or not, would like to see if I could though.
- Too Much Talent, Too Much Pride - There's just too much talent on this Team to not believe in them. Our Achilles Heel is going to end up being our pitching staff. The only pitchers I still believe in are Beckett, Lester, and Papelbon as after that it's pretty damn sketchy. But like I said, there's a lot of veterans on this team that have been through the ringer before, our offense can go toe-to-toe with anyone, and while we've been cold as cold gets - there's no reason we can't get hot again. The Sox have been schizophrenic from Day #1 of the 2011 season, wouldn't it make sense for them to get hot in October? Maybe not, but like I said, I'm holding onto hope, t's the last thing that's holding me.