At 42-46, most MLB front offices at the All-Star Break start looking toward the future. What pieces should be moved to bring in young talent that will help next season and the next season? Who should stay and remain part of the core going forward? Who can be called up from Double-A and Triple-A to get some Major League experience and be more prepared come next Spring Training?
One win changes that thought process for the Boston Red Sox. Just one win.
By winning today against the rival New York Yankees, leaders of the AL East, the Red Sox will serve notice to the rest of the division that they are not prepared to write off the 2015 season.
A win today does several things:
1) It moves Boston to within 4.5 games of the first-place Yankees.
2) It gives Boston five straight series wins heading into the break.
3) It means don't give up on this team.
There have been many, MANY pleasant surprises, like Mookie Betts' incredible plays in center field, or Brock Holt earning his way onto the AL All-Star team, or perhaps the best shortstop in the game in Xander Bogaerts. Seriously, how does he get left off the All-Star roster?
Perhaps the biggest and best surprise this season has been the emergence of Eduardo Rodriguez. E-Rod is 5-2 with a 3.59 ERA and 46 strikeouts to 16 walks in nine starts. He's also coming off a huge win over the Yanks.
There have also been many, MANY disappointments in '15. Mike Napoli and David Ortiz are hitting below .250. The starting pitching has been abysmal, at least until recently, and now Clay Buchholz is on the mend just as he seemingly was figuring things out.
And as bad as it has been, a win today could cure all the headaches. This could be six wins in seven games. This could be going from 10-games back to under 5 in just over a month. This could be turning it around. This could be the one win that changes everything.
At 42-46, things appear bleak. At 43-46, Red Sox Nation can have a lot to look forward to the rest of the summer.