Conor Frederick (@C_Frederick1016)
The Red Sox closed out the first half of the season with a tough loss against the Evil Empire, 8-6. Yesterday illustrated what the Red Sox need to look for at the trade deadline, but if you look at the bigger picture, the Red Sox are giving us a reason to see the dim light at the end of the tunnel. Why? Despite the tough loss yesterday, the Red Sox closed the first half as winners of 10 of 15. Per the Boston Herald, that's what John Farrell is focusing on going into the All Star Break:
“We can’t deny where we stand, but I will focus on the way we’ve been playing of late and that is much improved,” manager John Farrell said before heading to his mini-vacation yesterday. “We’ve got some guys that have come back to us. Young players have taken a major step forward. But to add some arms to the group that we have, obviously with (Clay Buchholz’) situation and (him) going down, that would go a long way to stabilize things.”
It's going to be tough for the Red Sox to pull a complete 180 from where they were and make a push towards the playoffs, but they are a few pieces from being able to make a run. Maybe it's just me trying to convince myself there's still a chance, but they have been playing a lot better in the past 2 or 3 weeks. They did do this last year, when they went 9-1 right before the All Star Break, and I got my hopes up that they would make moves and at least make a push. That was before they blew everything up and traded 4 of 5 starting pitchers before the deadline. I hope the Red Sox don't pull something like that this year, but I'm praying that I'm wrong.
So, what do the Red Sox need to do if they want to keep this momentum going? Get pitching help. This has been a concern all season, but now it's a glaring need with their ace (Clay Buchholz) out for the time being. Whether it's Brian Johnson or Johnny Cueto or Cole Hamels (please let it be Cueto), the Red Sox need to get another starting pitcher from somewhere. They also need a couple relievers, whether it's Jonathan Papelbon or someone else. The offense will be fine, minus Mike Napoli. They just can't cover for the pitching deficiencies, like I thought they would at the start of the season.
Bottom line: If you want to win this year, get pitching. If you don't, then don't worry about it. But I'm hoping the Red Sox make the right decision and try to win this year.