Prior to this season, I picked the Boston Red Sox to finish last in the AL East which is where they currently find themselves. As recently as Saturday, I told my Dad this wasn’t their year. Nevertheless, they managed to take two out of three from the Yankees in New York this weekend.
For the first time all season, I saw the Red Sox operate as a unit. It happened in the top of the 10th inning of Sunday night’s game. Will Middlebrooks was up with Jarrod Saltalamacchia at first with nobody out. Middlebrooks attempts a bunt but the pitch comes in too tight and Middlebrooks pulls the bat back but gets hit in the hand. Only the home plate umpire gets knocked down and none of the other umpires see it.
This brings out Bobby Valentine who is mimicing Middlebrooks pointing to his wrist as if he had been hit with the pitch. Bobby V. gets angrier and angrier and is eventually tossed from the game. And the Red Sox bench is right with him. Everyone to a man is yelling at the umpires. I’ve never seen Adrian Gonzalez so fired up. While AGon doesn’t get ejected, Josh Beckett does. It’s the first time I’ve seen the Red Sox red hot with a unified passionate intensity and a common cause all season.
After the dust settles, Middlebrooks singles on the very next pitch. A couple of batters later, Pedro Ciriaco hits a bloop single to score the game winning run.
I still have major doubts about the Red Sox. But it wouldn’t surprise me if the Red Sox got red hot even if they do have to go face the Detroit Tigers back at Fenway. If the Red Sox do make the post-season in 2012 you can point to the late of hours of July 29, 2012 as to when they turned things around and put the debacle of 2011 in the rearview mirror. The final 60 games of the season will tell the tale.