By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Five observations about the 2019 Red Sox as they approach the quarter-mile pole in pursuit of a second consecutive World Series championship…
36: After opening the season by going 1-1 at Seattle, games needed for the Red Sox to make it back to .500, something they achieved with Wednesday night’s win at Baltimore. Before anyone suggests that the Sox have successfully dug themselves out of the 6-13 start that defined their first 19 games … don’t. If the Red Sox miss the playoffs or lose the division by a small margin, we’ll still look back at that dreadful start as a significant reason.
11-6: The Red Sox’ record this season in the 17 games in which Michael Chavis has appeared. While the Sox obviously welcome Chavis’ offense, the Sox could use a player on the roster with something to prove following their historic 2018 season. Chavis, after all, is a former first-round pick who looked like a bust and then got suspended last season for violating baseball’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. If he doesn’t have a chip on his shoulder after that, he never will.
5-1: The Red Sox’ record beginning on the day that ace Chris Sale won his first game of the season, a 6-1 decision over the Chicago White Sox on May 3. Think about it: prior to that, the Sox were 14-18 overall and 0-6 in games started by their ace. Had they gone even .500 during those first six outings, they would have been 17-15 at that time and their horrendous start wouldn’t have felt nearly as bad.
7-18: The record of the Seattle Mariners entering this weekend's series at Fenway Park, since starting the season 13-2. After making the Sox look foolish during the first series of the season, the Mariners have crashed to earth like space debris. If the Sox are truly out of their funk, beating up on the Mariners and getting some payback would be nice proof.
3-9: The Red Sox’ record in series openers this year, a disturbing trend that has seen them repeatedly dig themselves into holes. In fact, while going 5-2 in their last seven games, the Sox have lost each of their last two series openers – at Chicago and Baltimore. Nonetheless, the Sox have won each of their last three series and led the American League in runs scored and wins entering last night.