Red Sox character test

The Guru
Contributing Writer

There has been a lot of talk about the character of this year’s Red Sox team. They have shown grit, determination, a willingness to play together and the ability to win.

Great chemistry is easy when you’re mashing the ball, celebrating walk-offs, trading high fives and in first place for 60 straight days. It’s quite another thing when you’re shutout twice in four games, five members of your bullpen land on the DL, your ace won’t pitch with a stiff neck and you’ve scored one run in 18 innings.

Red Sox fans, the real character of this team is about to reveal itself.

With Friday’s 6-0 loss at Baltimore and a Rays win over the Yankees, Boston dropped into second place in the AL East for the first time since May 25. Starter John Lackey gave up three home runs, a season-high five runs and the face of the true John Lackey seemed to rear its ugly head again. Lackey was annoyed with the mound, the right field wall, the home plate umpire and his own manager who mercifully pulled him after six innings.

We all know baseball is a funny game with many peaks and valleys over the course of 162. Good teams win 1/3 of their games, bad teams lose a 1/3 of their games, but it is that 1/3 of dog-days-of-summer games that truly show what a team is made of. The Red Sox are 3-4 since the All-Star break.

Columnist George Will once wrote, “Baseball’s best teams lose about 65 times a season. It is not a game you can play with your teeth clenched.” Now that some of this team's flaws have been exposed and some nerves have been irritated, we’re about to learn how the 2013 Red Sox will respond. Winning doesn't test character, losing does.

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