(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Was this a successful season for the Red Sox?

Less than a week ago, the Boston Red Sox were the talk of the town for the first time since 2018.  They had a 2-1 lead on the Astros in the ALCS with the next two games at Fenway, where the benefits of home-field advantage had been undeniable so far in October.

Then they lost three in a row.

The great debate now is whether or not this was a successful season for the Sox.  On one hand, most experts had them projected to miss the playoffs altogether.  They technically overachieved.  But those preseason predictions went out the window when their AL East lead reached 4.5 games in early July.

They proved the doubters wrong and raised their expectations, then failed to live up to them for the remainder of the regular season.  On July 5th, the Sox were 54-32.  They proceeded to go 35-38 over their next 73 games before saving themselves with a sweep of the Nationals and a win over the Yankees in the Wild Card play-in game.  They caught fire for a bit to start off the playoffs, but ultimately fizzled out due to a lack of depth.

I understand that starting pitchers aren’t as valuable as they used to be due to the fact that nobody lasts more than four innings anymore, but the Red Sox need better starting pitching.  Nathan Eovaldi was really the only reliable starter down the stretch.  Otherwise, Alex Cora was scrambling to get anyone on the mound who was healthy and could throw strikes.

This wasn’t a terrible debut year for Chaim Bloom but it wasn’t great either.  He certainly has a lot of work to do, and how he addresses the team’s glaring needs on the mound will determine his standing among Red Sox Nation come next spring.

 

I happened to be listening to the game on the radio so I caught Joe Castiglione’s closing remarks, which included a Bartlett Giamatti poem that he reads at the end of every season, passed down to him from his father:

“[Baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall all alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”

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