Friday, June 25, 2004

Treading Water . . . Or Slowly Sinking?

With today's 7-3 loss to the Cubbies, the Sox have dropped to 37-33, a mere four games over .500. Last year, they were 32-38 after 70 games, so it's a 5 game improvement.

But more troubling is that the Sox simply haven't done much since starting out the season well. In the first 20 games, (see list of season segments on the sidebar), they were 12-8 . . . four games over .500. After 27 games, they were 17-10, meaning that in the last 43 games, the Sox are 20-23. That is not so hot. In fact, during the same stretch, the Indians were 23-20, so the Sox are pretty much playing Indians-level ball.

This Sox team needs to get it together, and get it together fast. Last year, it was a couple of trades - for Everett and Alomar - that turned the team around, as they went 33-16 from July 18 to September 9th. The Sox are going to need a similar streak to be in the pennant chase come September, because it's obvious at this point that the Twinkies aren't going away, absent injuries.

Things do not look good, either, going into the All Star Break with Schoeneweis on the DL, making Rauch the Sox's 4th starter. Great, the Sox just found a 5th starter in Rauch worth a second trip to the mound...and now they have to do it all over again. During the Schoeneweis DL stretch, the Sox will play the Cubs, Twins, Cubs, Angels and Seattle. Of those teams, only Seattle is below .500 - and the Sox lost 2 of 3 to them in Seattle (thanks to Billy Koch).

I believe that these next 14 games are a key stretch....if the Sox can't at least manage to go 7-7, look out folks.

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